Friday, July 7, 2017

Mark David Hall: "A Calvinist Deist Polytheist Skeptic?"

Mark David Hall reviews Thomas Kidd's book on Ben Franklin's religion here. A taste:
Franklin may well have adopted radical religious ideas as a youth. But by the early 1730s he seems to have moved toward a “reasonable” version of Christianity that emphasized the necessity of living virtuously and that did not insist on doctrinal specifics. He delineated his core religious convictions in his autobiography:
That there is one God who created the universe, and who governs it by his Providence.
That He ought to be worshiped and served.
That the best service to God is doing good to men.
That the soul of man is immortal, and
That in a future life, if not in the present one, vice will be punished and virtue rewarded.
From a traditional Christian perspective, the problem with this list is not so much the tenets themselves (although some would quibble with the third point) but what is left out. At best, Franklin was uninterested in pondering doctrines such as the trinity, incarnation, or atonement. For example, in a 1790 letter to Yale president Ezra Stiles, Franklin admitted to having “some doubts as to [Christ’s] divinity: though it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it.” He concluded that it is “needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the Truth with less trouble.”

Like Thomas Jefferson, Franklin thought that the Bible contained good moral advice even as he rejected the traditional Protestant doctrine that it is the “only rule for faith and practice.” ...

1 comment:

christabel Jerry said...

Am Christabel, am delighted to share with you how I became rich and famous just within 14days.
I have heard people saying you can become rich and famous by joining the Illuminati society but I never believed because I thought the society were only for musicians like Jay Z, Michael Jackson and other.
On a certain day I was on the internet I saw the official email address and Whatsapp number of the great Illuminati society online assistant agent responsible for registration. I contact him and he gave me guarantee that I will become rich once I join the society of Illuminati and that I will receive all my benefit after two weeks of registration which include a car, house, $1,000,000 to start up life and a monthly salary of $50,000 and a Golden box.
This is how i now become a millionaire in two weeks.
if you want to say good bye to poverty for life contact the online assistant on or Whatsapp (+234)9028287911