Thursday, October 31, 2019

Warren Throckmorton: "Rick Joyner: Everything in the Constitution Comes from the Bible"

Check it out here. A taste:
For years, David Barton has promoted the false notion that everything in the Constitution comes from the BibleTwo summers ago, I read James Madison’s entire notes on the Constitutional Convention looking for the elusive biblical roots of the Constitution only to come up empty.  
Now self-appointed prophet Rick Joyner has taken up this message. ...
... As noted, I read through the notes on the entire Constitutional Convention looking for the biblical influences on the Constitution. Surely, if the framers meant for the Bible to be the foundation of the Constitution, they would have cited it in their debates. Even if they didn’t use chapter and verse, there would have to be some reference to phrases from the Bible for these claims to be true. In fact, there were few references to the Bible or Christianity. There were far more references to Greek and Roman democracies, prior governments, British law and common sense. For the hearty souls who wish to take that same journey, I humbly recommend the series and the endeavor to read Madison’s notes on the 1787 convention. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Law & Liberty: Founding Deists and Other Unicorns

More from Law & Liberty on Mark David Hall's new book. A taste:
We need to know what the word plethora means before we can say we have a plethora of piƱatas. So, too, we cannot consider whether or not America had a Christian founding without having an idea of what the phrase Christian founding actually means. At the start of Did America Have a Christian Founding?, Mark David Hall rightly analyzes the question his book asks. What determines whether or not America had a Christian founding? Hall considers a variety of options. Did the members of the founding generation identify themselves as Christians? Almost everyone did, with the exception of about two thousand Jews. But that doesn’t tell us much. People can be bad believers, or they can be good Christians self-consciously founding a secular regime. Sincerity of belief can be difficult to judge. Appealing to people’s practices only gives us a partial view. And there’s a theological issue, too. At what point does a historical figure become a non-Christian due to his privately held unorthodox beliefs, even if he publicly identifies himself as a Christian?

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Hall: "How Old Does a Monument Need to Be?"

From friend of American Creation, Mark David Hall, writing at the Law and Liberty site. As it concludes:
As I show in my recently published Did America Have a Christian Founding?an originalist understanding of the Establishment Clause does not require governments to scrub religion from public spaces.  The erection of building and monuments containing religious language, images, and symbols is, to borrow from Chief Justices Warren Burger’s opinion in Marsh v. Chambers, “deeply embedded in the history and tradition of this country.”  When buildings and monuments are erected should not be, from an Establishment Clause perspective, decisive. 
Civic friendship and prudence should inform decisions about the use of religious symbols today.  America is far more diverse than it was 100 years ago, so it would be inappropriate for a government to erect a massive cross to honor U.S. military members from different faiths. On the other hand, it is both constitutional and fitting to include crosses, stars of David, and other religious symbols in the 9/11 Memorial. The Establishment Clause does not require a religion-free public square, no matter how many times the Freedom From Religion Foundation insists that it does.
Also check out the dialog between Dr. Hall and Dr. Ellis West in the comments.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Thomas Jefferson and Antilegomena

There is a Catholic fundamentalist writer named Timothy Gordon who has a book out that explores the intellectual heritage of America's founding and Roman Catholicism. It's done from the perspective that seeks to credit Roman Catholicism for many of the good ideas that we see in America's founding.

(He has an open invitation to plug his work at American Creation.)

I have seen Mr. Gordon accurately (in my opinion) use the terms "Protestant" and "Enlightenment" together where Protestantism precedes Enlightenment. As a term: "Prot-Enlightenment." From an historical perspectives, the thought movements are associated with various periods of time. You have in this order: Renaissance, Reformation (Protestant), Enlightenment.

And the political theology of the American founding was a nice "fit" somewhere between "Protestantism" and "Enlightenment." Hence we have David Holmes terming the theology "Christian-Deism." And Gregg Frazer, "theistic rationalism," which is a hybrid midpoint between Protestant Christianity and strict Deism.

With Protestantism, all individual believers were priests who could read the Bible and decide for themselves how to understand it. With Enlightenment, they could go further than the initial reformers did and continue to disregard ground the original reformers and Roman Catholics have in common, like the Trinity, Incarnation and other doctrines.

The reformers and Catholics dispute which books of the Bible themselves are inspired. The Catholic Bible has 73 books, the Protestant 66. There is tremendously complex history on how the Bible came to be and why Protestants and Catholics differ. The Catholics call the seven disputed books "deuterocanonicals," the Protestants call them "Apocrypha."

Those disputed books are part of the Old Testament. Catholics and the reformers agree on the 27 books that make up the New. But even in compiling the books of the New, there was debate and dispute. Just as there were disputed books of the Old, so too with the New. They call disputed New Testament books Antilegomena.

From the Wiki link:
The antilegomena or "disputed writings" were widely read in the Early Church and included the Epistle of James, the Epistle of Jude2 Peter2 and 3 John, the Book of Revelation, the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Apocalypse of Peter, the Acts of Paul, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache.[2][3] 
During the period of Enlightenment, theological unitarianism became en vogue among some liberal theologians. But that's not a new idea. It goes back all the way to Arius and the Council of Nicea. Likewise, when Thomas Jefferson read books in the canon like the Book of Revelation and concluded it wasn't inspired, this had been done before with the Antilegomena.

But Jefferson did, seemingly, go beyond mere "dispute." As he put it:
[I]t is between 50. and 60. years since I read it, & I then considered it as merely the ravings of a Maniac, no more worthy, nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams.
Though, I have seen some "orthodox" believers criticize and reject books of the deuterocanonicals in a similarly harsh manner.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Michael Knowles Defends George Washington at George Washington University

In a speech sponsored by the Young America's Foundation and disrupted by angry protesters, conservative commentator Michael Knowles defends George Washington, particularly the mascot "George the Colonial," at George Washington University.

If you have time, I encourage you to watch the speech in its entirety.

In posting this, I find it a crying shame that American culture, especially with respect to higher education, has gone so far off the rails that we now need speakers to defend the honor and heroism of the father of our country. And it's pathetic that such a defense must be mounted at the university that bears our the NAME of our nation's father.

For those interested, I wrote on this subject myself in an Open Letter to GWU Students over at my blog on the American Revolution & Founding Era.

Sad days for our culture and our country.