The Deist Revolution

I echo pretty much everything my colleague Tommy Kidd wrote in his recent column What is Deism?, but I would add a footnote. Perhaps the most important contribution the Deists made to religious thought was in terms of understanding the Bible, and in sparking the movement that became known as higher criticism. So much “higher” [Read More...]

What Is Deism?

The claim that any of the Founding Fathers were deists generates pushback among certain conservatives. This helps to account for the firestorm of controversy (which I covered for WORLD Magazine) over David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies and the book’s subsequent abandonment by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Barton argued that until late in life, Jefferson was an orthodox, Trinitarian [Read More...]

Slavery: America’s Original Sin?

[This week's post is from my archives at Patheos.] The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has a touring exhibit entitled “Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty.” At the front of the Smithsonian display stands a life-size statue of Jefferson, backed by a panel listing the known names of about 600 slaves who worked for Jefferson [Read More...]

Can North Carolina Make Christianity Its Official Religion?

North Carolina legislators recently made an ill-fated attempt to introduce Christianity as the state’s official religion. The move was precipitated by an ACLU lawsuit against the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, a board notorious for allowing people to utter Jesus’s name in prayers at their meetings. The establishment proposal generated a predictably breathless response from the left. [Read More...]

Should a Candidate’s Faith Matter to Paleo Evangelicals?

In last week’s column, “Paleo Evangelicals as Reluctant Republicans,” I argued that there are many conservative evangelicals who do not feel quite at home with today’s Republican Party. Some have undoubtedly balked at wholesale commitment to the Republican Party’s general election nominees in ’08 and ’12 because they were not evangelicals. John McCain had some [Read More...]

Ross Douthat’s Vanishing Christian Center

In a recent New York Times column titled “Divided by God,” and more generally in his book Bad Religion, Ross Douthat laments the disappearance of the 1950s-era mainline Protestant/Roman Catholic establishment, a Christian center that once “helped bind a vast and teeming nation together.” Now, according to Douthat, we have become a “nation of heretics…in which most people still [Read More...]


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