|“AC — A Historical Account of Alexander Campbell” may be viewed in its entirety on GBN on March 10, 2015 at 8:00pm EST. If you cannot view the network in your area, you can still watch the program live on their website at www.gbntv.org.|
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL DOCUMENTARY
By David R. Kenney
“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it” -- George Santayana. I remember this from my history teacher, Mr. Lippman, who stressed that learning the places and dates of history are important, but we must learn the lessons of history! I have found this to be true in secular and religious history. I have been a student of restoration history ever since my parents took me to hear Basil Overton at the first Cane Ridge Workshop in 1979. So in August 2013, when I was asked by Gospel Broadcasting Network to produce a documentary about Alexander Campbell on location, it was like a dream. Bethany College granted unrestricted access, so we filmed in November 2013. Filming such a documentary can be both daunting and adventurous, going “off road”; e.g., trying to find the area on Buffalo Creek where Alexander Campbell was immersed on June 12, 1812. When there are books entitled Campbell and Controversy, you know everyone is not going to agree; but I have tried to be faithful to the historical record and present scenes some may never be able to view otherwise. My effort has been to not only rekindle interest, but to inspire future generations to learn the lessons of restoration history because we are facing similar challenges.
Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) has been called “The Sage of Bethany” because he was a preeminent religious reformer. There were reformers of notoriety such as Calvin, Luther, Zwingli and others who left their marks in the religious world. Alexander Campbell, his father, Thomas Campbell, and men such as Barton W. Stone left their mark not only in religious reform but restoration. Reforms are remedies to a broken system; however, restoration is an effort to get back to the original system. It may be a simple concept, but the path to accomplish such is easier said than done. We owe these men of the past a debt some may not fully comprehend; and we repay that debt, in part, by learning from them. The men were not perfect; however, their experiences provide great lessons we need. When I hear statements like “It would be better if we never heard the name Alexander Campbell today”, it reminds me of those who ignore historical details at the cost of repeating historical mistakes. History is a powerful teacher. If we ignore the lessons of history, then we will be re-taught by the pain of repetition. The pain of such mistakes will be no less severe.
“AC — A Historical Account of Alexander Campbell” may be viewed in its entirety on GBN on March 10, 2015 at 8:00pm EST. If you cannot view the network in your area, you can still watch the program live on their website at www.gbntv.org.
Reprinted with permission, Gospel Advocate, February 2015, p. 11. To subscribe to the Gospel Advocate or Christian Woman, call 1-800-251-8446.
To see the premiere announcement by Gospel Broadcasting Network, go here.