What is Christian Heritage?
This introductory article on Christian heritage applies to virtually all the content on this site of the All Christian Archive, but also applies generally to all Christian heritage everywhere.
To begin with, we define Christian heritage broadly. Christian heritage is the whole of the Christian faith, emboddied in individuals, organizations, and institutions, materialized in various “witnesses,” in documents, art, artifacts, structures, and buildings, everything that reflects any aspect of the Christian faith or testimony thereof, and which is considered worth preserving and passing down to the next generations and carried forward into the future for the benefit of others. It manifests in all kinds of materials from paper records (e.g. written testimonies, Christian curriculum, Bible studies, sermons, worship bulletins, etc.) to photographs, artifacts, art, and buildings/architecture.
Can the All Christian Archive embrace or embody it all? That is a great question. The key is embrace. Our love for Christian heritage, for all to come to know Jesus Christ and the love of God through Christ, through the holy Scriptures and through the living scriptures in us, leads us to want to embrace all that accords with our faith. But in great distinction, the All Christian Archive, is one archive. It cannot embody all Christian archives and their material evidence and records, which number in the hundreds of thousands among Christian institutions and their archives around America and around the world nor does it covet them (Commandment #9/10: “You shall not covet…). See the About page https://allchristianarchive.org/about to re-affirm this important distinction between the All Christian Archive and other Christian archives.
The samples of Christian heritage exhibited on this site are just that, a representative sampling for public viewing. It can in no wise display, represent, or claim to be all of Christian heritage. We hope what is exhibited here on these pages inspires souls and strengthens Christians in their Christian lives through many faithful witnesses. May young people who have questioned the Faith be inspired by the example of their fathers, mothers, grandfathers, and grandmothers in the faith. May all be strengthened in faith and in hope of the fullness of Christ’s Kingdom to come.
When it comes to influential Christian leaders such as Billy Graham, Billy Sunday, Dwight Moody, Warren Wiersby, Erwin Lutzer, Jack Hayford, Rick Warren, Max Lucado, John Maxwell, Oswald Chambers, Oswald Hoffman, Josh McDowell, Francis Schaffer, Walter Martin II, Pope John Paul II, and so many more, their LEGACIES are under the purview of “Christian heritage.” In fact “legacies” is a synonym of “heritage” in Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary definition. So when it comes to people, we think in terms of legacies. Christian legacies are certainly a significant part of Christian heritage.
The All Christian Archive is working to preserve the legacies of thousands of Christians renowned and not “known,” churches, organizations, and institutions. Everyone Christian who has lived a Christian life at least say for one year, should have some kind of legacy. Once a new believer gets discipled, their discipleship should include instruction on discipling others, so that they too bring others into the Kingdom. And they should pass the faith on to their children and share with their friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. So, to help visualize the relationship like a Venn diagram, the large circle is “Christian Heritage,” and inside this circle are a smaller legacy circles.
How we use these terms on the ACA site. “Christian heritage” is the broad picture. And we use “legacies” and “memorials” specifically for people. And for Churches & Ministries and Organizations (for both the ACA and the CIRC) we have these as separate categories respectively “Churches & Ministries” and “Organizations”.
The All Christian Archive wants to assist you in preserving your Christian heritage whether from you own collection or family’s, or your church’s, or a particular ministry’s, or an organization. Please read our FAQs page and Contact us and we will send you more information. Thank you.