Bebbington Speaks on History Window in Stained-Glass Series
October 25, 2005
“We need a framework for looking at and interpreting the world, and history is the chief discipline that creates such a worldview,” said Dr. David Bebbington, religious scholar and professor of history at the University of Sterling, Scotland, as he spoke on Raley Chapel’s History and Government window during Oklahoma Baptist University’s weekly Chapel service.
The History and Government window was dedicated in memory of Judge W.R. Wallace, a Baptist layman who was responsible for the creation of the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma.
Bebbington pointed out that the top of the window displays the Liberty bell, which symbolizes the foundation of the United States as an expression of freedom and stable government. He mentioned how the window symbolizes the law code of Hammurabi, a Babylonian artifact that represents one of the first known codes of public law and is the oldest object represented on the window.
A crown and a broom tree branch are featured as symbols of the Plantagenet dynasty which established order on society and government in England. He noted that this achievement is considered the foundation for the modern legal framework.
While discussing the window, Bebbington spoke on the relationship between faith and learning. He stressed that Christianity should be viewed in a “historical light,” and that the value that historical view of faith has is a framework for looking at the world.
According to Bebbington, three elements must be remembered when analyzing history. God intervenes in history, God controls history and God has a goal for history. He stressed that these three elements are important because they shape the Christian worldview.