Despite Erroneous Material, Family Research Council Features David Barton at Event for Pastors

Once upon a time, Family Research Council promoted a video which featured a tour of the U.S. Capitol led by self-styled historian David Barton (see the original here). This Capitol tour video was filled with historical errors. Four years ago, 33 Christian historians and social scientists detailed those errors to FRC in a letter: April 23, 2013Dear Tony Perkins, Kenyn Cureton, & J.P. Duffy:Knowing of your desire to offer truthful and accurate information to the public, we the … [Read more...]

The Franklin Prayer Myth that Refuses to Die: The Liberty Counsel Edition

I have come to believe that some historical myths will never die.In this Liberty Counsel edition, Mat Staver and Matt Barber reinforce their mutual misunderstanding of this story, making the delegates to the Constitutional Convention prayer warriors. As I have documented previously, Franklin proposed daily prayers but the Convention delegates did not vote favorably on his motion. In fact, daily prayers were not thought necessary by most of the delegates.Staver and Barber began by … [Read more...]

Some Myths Refuse to Die: AFA and Ben Franklin’s Prayer Request at the Constitutional Convention

The myth of a prayer meeting at the Constitutional Convention just refuses to die.Earlier this week, the American Family Association's Reason and Company show opined favorably on Melania Trump's reading of the Lord's Prayer. In the process, Abraham Hamilton III said starting at 40 seconds in that Franklin's effort "led to a three day prayer meeting at the Constitutional Convention." He added, "So we have a long history of recognizing the God of the Bible in our country." WatchNo. … [Read more...]

Open Letter to the Bartons from a Christian Historian

Writing at the Pietist Schoolman blog, Grace College history professor Jared Burkholder penned an open letter to Tim and David Barton in response to the Bartons' claim that Christian historians don't rely on primary sources (see these links for more on the Bartons' claim). The letter begins: Dear David (and now Tim) Barton,Maybe you can clarify something for me. Why do you continue to insist that because you read primary sources you have a unique voice when compared to professional … [Read more...]

Eric Metaxas Blows Off Historical Errors in His New Book

With Ann Coulter on his Monday radio show, Eric Metaxas seemed stunned that historians would critique his new book, If You Can Keep It. Coulter warned people that her new book would likely contain errors and Metaxas jumped off of that comment to complain that people have written essays about the errors in his book. Listen:He acknowledges that he got religious liberty in the colonial period wrong but implies he could change a sentence around to make it accurate. He glosses over his error b … [Read more...]

Eric Metaxas Says His History of Religious Liberty Has Been Misrepresented

Responding to Rachel Held Evans on Twitter, Eric Metaxas claimed his position on religious liberty during colonial times has been misrepresented.@rachelheldevans My position on this has been misrepresented. OF COURSE we had horrible instances of such things. I'd never deny it. — Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) July 14, 2016I'd like to know how his position has been misrepresented. Please, Mr. Metaxas enlighten us with passages from your book.  John Fea from Messiah College, Tracy McKenzie … [Read more...]

A Critical Review of Eric Metaxas’ Book If You Can Keep It

The Daily Caller posted my review of the book. Regular readers will see that I draw on my prior work for much of it. In any case, go over and check it out.Daily Caller...I conclude: Although the frequency of errors does not match David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies which was withdrawn from publication by Thomas Nelson in 2012, I can’t recommend the book and believe Metaxas and the publisher should publicly address the problems identified here and by other reviewers such as evangelical his … [Read more...]

Eric Metaxas, You Know the Constitutional Convention Didn’t Have Daily Prayers, Right?

In his new book, Eric Metaxas features the June 28, 1787 motion for daily prayer made by Benjamin Franklin at the Constitutional Convention. Earlier today, he tweeted out this message with a link to an excerpt of his book, If You Can Keep It. Did they teach you this in school? Ben Franklin exhorted the Constitutional Convention to pray to God for His help. https://t.co/9iAD2532nA — Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) July 4, 2016Based on the way Metaxas tells the story, I can't tell if he kn … [Read more...]