By GEORGE FLOROVSKY
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Extra info for Christianity and Culture (Volume Two in the Collected Works of Georges Florovsky)
Out of them, and on their authority, he proceeds to the "recovery" of the past. His procedure depends upon the nature and character of his information, of his sources. What are these sources? What makes a certain thing a source for the historian ? In a certain sense, almost everything, omnis res scibilis, can serve as a historical source, provided the historian knows how to use it, how to read the evidence. But, on the other hand, no thing at all is a historical source by itself, even a chronicle, or a narrative, or even an autobiography.
The very possibility of any historical knowledge seemed to be compromised by the skeptical exploits of the learned. It seemed that even the Bible could no longer be retained as a book of history, although it could be kept as a glorious paradeigma of the eternal Glory and Mercy of God. Moreover, even if one admits that Christians are, by vocation, historians, it can be contended that they are bound to be bad historians, or unreliable historians, since they are intrinsically "committed" in advance.
On the one hand, there was a biological pattern of growth and decay, the common fate of everything living. On the other hand, there was an astronomical pattern of periodical recurrence, of circular motion of heavens and stars, a pattern of "revolutions" and cycles. Indeed, both patterns belonged together, since the cycles of the earth were predetermined and controlled by the circles of the heavens. Ultimately, the course of history was but an aspect of the inclusive cosmic course, controlled by certain inviolable laws.