Saturday, March 2, 2013

In God We Don't Trust

From the Introduction of the book, In God We Don't Trust by David Bercot
    In the pages that follow, I will be pointing out many situations in which our forefathers failed to trust in God.  But please don't imagine that I'm some anti-American, left-wing secularist.  I'm very conservative spiritually, economically, and socially.  I believe in the inspiration and infallibility of the Scriptures.  And I count it a privilege to be an American citizen.
    However, the point is this:  if we cover over and glorify the sins of our forefathers, then we and our children are never going to learn to truly trust in God.  Rather, we'll imagine that so long as we put "In God We Trust" on our coins, we're on the right track.
Check here for a book review by Mike Atnip.


Tom Van Dyke said...

Mr. Bercot is an Anabaptist, a political theology on the whole hostile to the Religious Right. There's a "two kingdoms" theology, based on Romans 13,

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

The american revolution violating that Biblical injuction bigtime, of course.

Old School Presbyterian daryl G. Hart is perhaps the theology's most able defender. He's always @ war with the politically active Right and cogent and principled in bringing the pain.

(I have a pet theory that if you scratch a 2Ker [Two kingdoms], you're likely to find a Democrat, but that's just a theory. ;-P)

BTW, I found this amusing from Mike Atnip's review:

Author David Bercot has spent the last nine years researching the facts. Doubtless, the book has a few factual errors. Those of us who have read or written history (whether secular or church history) know that sometimes the sources are not clear, or even sometimes conflicting, in their details. But the factual details of, say, the Boston Massacre are not Bercot’s focus. His point is this …

Shades of David Barton. When we approve of the author's message, we forgive his errors getting there. If not, not. So it goes.

wsforten said...

I have not read Bercot's book. Do you know if he gave any consideration to James Wilson's Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament or to his Speech Delivered in the Convention for the Province of Pennsylvania, Held at Philadelphia, in January, 1775? Wilson's explanations seem to eliminate the justification for the claim that the Revolution violated Romans 13.

Tom Van Dyke said...

BTW, WS, I know you dig Locke--I did

awhile back. [About the last project Locke was worked on before his death was a study of Paul's epistles.]

On what is "lawful authority," Locke says Paul the apostle "is wholly silent, and says nothing of it," because for Paul or Jesus "to meddle with that, would have been to decide of civil rights, contrary to the design and business of the Gospel"---which of course was the business of salvation, of preparing for the next world, not this one.

Locke notes that it was Paul's intention and prudence, that such "sauciness, sedition or treason" was, in those times of Roman "insolent and vicious" rule, a "scandal to be cautiously kept off the Christian doctrine!" [The exclamation point is Locke's.]

Jason Pappas said...

Interesting he took “trust” to mean “obey" (see the review.) I’m not familiar with origin of the phrase and its use by the founders. Oddly enough, I took “trust” to mean believe in His Providence, his watchful eye. But I admit I never studied the issue. Anyone know the “original intent?”

Jason Pappas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason Pappas said...

Looks like the phrase was from the Civil War and added to the Union currency:

It was argued that the nation (i.e. The Union) need this as "This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed."

The article doesn't mention that the Confederate Constitution reads: "... invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God ..." in the Preamble. Clearly both sides were claiming the God was on their side.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Lincoln, 2nd Inaugural, the "malice toward none, with charity for all" speech:

Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other.

Not that Lincoln could resist a swipe at the Rebs, charity and malice not withstanding:

It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged.

...which to me rings of "But Brutus says he was ambitious, and Brutus is an honorable man..."

Art Deco said...

Mr. Bercot is an Anabaptist, a political theology on the whole hostile to the Religious Right. There's a "two kingdoms" theology, based on Romans 13,

The German Baptist Brethren I know tend to be

1. Not intensely political;

2. All Democrats of the Jimmy Carter stripe.