Saturday, January 30, 2016

Berean Research on David Barton

See the proper hardcore Protestant evangelical fundamentalist view of David Barton's research and the American Founding here. A taste:
Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) announced that David Barton has been given his own TV show which first aired January 8. ...

Well this is interesting.  Glenn Beck will be a guest on the show?  Beck’s a member in good standing of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Um…Mormons reject the Trinity, as in the T in TBN. Do Jan & Sons not know that Mormons contend they’re the true remnant of the Christian church — the one true church?

Since Mormonism denies central doctrines of the faith it’s not Christian by any stretch.  In fact, Mormonism is considered a theological cult or a sect.  Don’t be fooled by the rumor that has been circulating for several years, fueled by David Barton, that Glenn Beck is a Christian and that he’s saved.  If this is true, then why would Beck keep the news from his friends and fans?  Moreover, a truly regenerate Christian would understand that he must cut all ties with the LDS Church and join a church where the true gospel of Christ is preached.

But Glenn Beck hasn’t cut ties with his church.  Instead he promotes Mormonism.
Yes that which believes Mormonism is "not Christian by any stretch" should also see the political theology of the American Founding as "not Christian by any stretch."

16 comments:

jimmiraybob said...

"So it’s mystifying how David Barton, a man who obviously has a researcher’s mind, does not understand..."

Once one realizes that Barton does not have a researcher's mind* and is about the pursuit of political dominion of the profane the mystery evaporates. Credit where credit is due - Barton does understand.

*except in the sense of pouring through materials looking for any morsel that can be massaged and shaped to serve his ends.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Once one realizes that Barton does not have a researcher's mind*

*except in the sense of pouring through materials looking for any morsel that can be massaged and shaped to serve his ends.



This is true. Also true of some of our readers, whose knowledge of our subject is only google-deep as far as it's useful in attacking America's Christian origins, and attacking the religious right. Like Barton, they are quickly satisfied with their truth, but not the truth.

I find the devoted Barton-bashers far more disturbed than Barton himself, those who publish entire books attacking his work, rather than spending all that effort on something constructive and lasting rather than polemical and transitory. Barton is small potatoes, and will be forgotten sooner rather than later.

And FTR, bereanresearch.org also seems to spend a lot of effort hating on the Catholic Church

http://bereanresearch.org/catholicism/

as well as bagging on the Mormons. Not that it's probative, but it is amusing, playing the fundamentalists against the evangelicals.

jimmiraybob said...

Which lies closer to virtue, deception or exposition of deception? Or are they on equal footing depending on the cause?

jimmiraybob said...

Speaking of books on the subject, visitor to the blog, Chris Rodda's Volume 2 of Liars for Jesus is now out.

http://www.amazon.com/Liars-Jesus-Religious-Alternate-American/dp/1523284137/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454335647&sr=1-2&keywords=liars+for+jesus

Tom Van Dyke said...

Heh. Speaking of devoted Barton-bashers far more disturbed than Barton himself

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JtVosVMxVE

jimmiraybob said...

Hey, speaking of crazy uncle David, here he is accusing professional historians of being hacks.

"Barton blames the ignorance surrounding Jefferson on the refusal of professional historians to review original documents instead of second-hand sources."

Stoopid professional historians.....

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2016/01/30/david-barton-claims-professional-historians-dont-use-original-documents-and-thats-why-they-attack-his-work/

Tom Van Dyke said...

Anonymous jimmiraybob said...
Hey, speaking of crazy uncle David, here he is accusing professional historians of being hacks.

"Barton blames the ignorance surrounding Jefferson on the refusal of professional historians to review original documents instead of second-hand sources."


Well, I agreed with you he lacks "a researcher's mind." But he's quite correct that many professional academics are hacks. As are many of his critics, for instance, say, the one in question above who didn't know what's actually in the Jefferson Bible. Their interest in the subject is constricted to their own political agenda of attacking the Religious Right via Barton's errors.

I'm not a "pox on both houses" type, but in this case it fits.

jimmiraybob said...

To be wrong about something or to have a different understanding than yours does not constitute hackery.

Besides, Barton rips "professional historians," not some professional academics, as not using original documents (primary sources?) which is a clownish claim. Do "professional historians" also incorporate secondary sources? Of course, but generally critically and in context.

Tom Van Dyke said...

To be wrong about something or to have a different understanding than yours does not constitute hackery.

That door swings both ways. Unfortunately for the truth, precious few read Barton for themselves: They know him only from the errors his critics feature to the exclusion of what he may get right, and their own contentions about how he is "wrong" when he simply takes a view that runs counter to "Godless Constitution" secularism.

Although his errors are often howlers, and the "Jefferson Lies" project is an abortion, Barton's overall thesis is rather modest, if one reads it for himself.

http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=23909

jimmiraybob said...

Barton's many, oh so many, "errors" are designed to deceive and are used for secular political purposes. Many people, including Christians*, call this lying. If you want to go through life as an apologist for his deception while attacking those that try to correct the lies.....errors, that's up to you.

In the mean time, here's some fresh "error" for you to polish:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2016/02/03/bartons-bizarre-lie-about-justice-breyer/

* And I'm sure that many sincere Christians taken in by his deceptions would like to have a shot at freeing themselves from the error - false prophets, so on and so forth.

The Rational Right said...

I hesitate asking someone to do my own "google deep" homework for me, but have any professional historians weighed in on Barton. I would think they (or should I say their graduate research assistants) are too busy writing books for each other to bother.

Jonathan Rowe said...

I don't think there are any professional historians who will defend him. I have heard some say off the record that most of what he uncovers is correct. But some of the bone headed errors that his enemies focus on damage his credibility.

Also it was mainly a group of Christian conservatives historians and political scientists, committed to religion & public life and against modern notion of separation, who tried to do an intervention on him because they saw him as damaging the cause.

The intervention didn't work, btw.

jimmiraybob said...

TRR,

I don't think that a deep Google search is needed. John Fea (Messiah College), Gregg Frazer (Master's College), and Thomas Kidd (Baylor University) have all weighed in. A search of John Fea's blog archive is a good start [thewayof improvement (dot) com]. The following page is good:

http://thewayofimprovement.com/2013/02/18/gregg-frazer-responds-to-david-barton/

All three of the above professional historians are Christians and have made appearances in the comments here.

Another resource is the archives at Warren Throckmorton's place [patheos dot)com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/]. Throckmorton coauthored with Michael Coulter Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims about Our Third President. Throckmorton is a Professor of Psychology (Grove City College) and Coulter is Professor of Political Science (Grove City College).

And, non-profession historian but with a researcher's mind, Chris Rodda has done good work that seems to have been the precursor to wider awareness.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Blogger Jonathan Rowe said...
I don't think there are any professional historians who will defend him. I have heard some say off the record that most of what he uncovers is correct. But some of the bone headed errors that his enemies focus on damage his credibility.


That's about right. Most of his errors are on trivia; his enemies harp on them to the exclusion of his larger thesis, and the great number of things he manages to get right--their purpose is not to clarify the truth, but to destroy him and get at the Religious Right.

On the whole, people are dumber for having read not only him, but his critics as well.

jimmiraybob said...

If Barton and his political antics and historical malfeasance makes the religious right vulnerable then why doesn't the leadership drop him and run with a more accurate and conservative history and scripture and the Gospel message?

Many critics of Barton's work go to extensive lengths to research his claims and provide thorough and extensive rebuttals that leave the reader better informed historically. According to at least one Barton apologist, that makes the reader of the more accurate historical narrative stupid. Nice conservative representin' there amigo.

Tom Van Dyke said...

It's funny that "historians" get apoplectic about a small-timer like Barton puffing up America's Christian heritage but when our left-wing president falsely injects Islam into our history, it's crickets.

"Here’s another fact: Islam has always been part of America."

What a crock.