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Caller...I conclude: Although the frequency of errors does not match David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies which was withdrawn from publication by Thomas Nelson in 2012, I can’t recommend the book and believe Metaxas and the publisher should publicly address the problems identified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. — Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) July 4, 2016Based on the way Metaxas tells the story, I can't tell if he kn … [Read more...]

On July 4, 1826, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson Died – Happy Independence Day!

With slight editing, this post is reprinted from prior posts on Independence Day. Last year it was the culmination of my Daily Jefferson series.Happy Independence Day!In addition to being Independence Day, this is the day that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826. On this day in 1826, former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who were once fellow Patriots and then adversaries, die on the same day within five hours of each ot … [Read more...]

In His New Book, Eric Metaxas Whitewashes George Whitefield on Slavery

In his new book If You Can Keep It, Eric Metaxas provides an overview of early American history in order to remind us what is special about America. In the process, he provides a pithy formula for national success, but he makes significant historical errors and glosses over important facts. One such fact is the involvement of evangelist George Whitefield in introducing slavery to Georgia.In his chapter on Whitefield (which appears to be summarized without attribution from Thomas Kidd's … [Read more...]

Eric Metaxas’ New Book: On Tolerance for All Denominations and Religions in Colonial America, Part Two

In his new book, If You Can Keep It, Eric Metaxas writes on page 70: Since the Pilgrims came to our shores in 1620, religious freedom and religious tolerance have been the single most important principle of American life. If only.As I pointed out in two previous posts (link, link), Metaxas makes the argument that the Pilgrims provided a model of religious tolerance which was incorporated by the Founders into formation of America. In contrast to his claim, I wrote about the persecution of … [Read more...]