Sunday, February 5, 2017

More Drama From Barton, Fea and Throckmorton

This is John Fea's account. And here is Warren Throckmorton's.

This is from Throckmorton's:
In September 2015, I challenged Barton to produce evidence for his claim and demonstrated that for one to claim Locke cited over 1500 Bible verses, one would have to count every verse in the book of Proverbs because Locke mentioned that book once.
Barton, apparently, is going to rise to the challenge by parsing through John Locke's words and attempt to credit the Bible in places where Locke might not explicitly cite a verse and chapter or where a prior academic might not footnote such to the Bible. Mix and match, throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks.

I don't trust Barton for any special insights here. For that, Daniel Dreisbach has a new book out which we will be learning more about later.

I've long made the point: The Bible, specifically, but not limited to the King James version has had a profound impact on American culture and language that continues to this day. We could make a similar point about other Western nations, and translations, etc.

Barton, as I see it, will try to spin a tale about how much more biblically literate the past was as compared to how badly secular we are now. For a really illuminating exercise, we should take Barton's method and use it to analyze some kind of what is understood to be a modern secular document. And I would bet we would be able to come up with loads of references that we could trace to the Bible.

And with that I will continue to keep fighting the good fight.


Lee said...

Fea's piece quotes Barton on how the D of I based upon Locke yet is also "build out of the pulpit." There may be a reason for it. Among the most educated colonists, the Congregational ministers kept abreast of current scientific and philosophical thought. And their sermons and controversial writings about Christian dogma show it--especially regarding Isaac Newton and John Locke. Perry Miller's biography of Jonathan Edwards see a great deal of influence from Locke. And this less well known book makes the same argument. If the D. of I. is list of sermon topics, the indirect source just might be the Rev. John Locke.

Tom Van Dyke said...

As usual, Barton read something somewhere that had a viable truth. He ran with it and ran it into the ground. Then the liberal scholarly establishment pounces, as always with ideological battles, seeking error rather that whatever truth is there.