After listening to a couple videos by David Barton on the founding of
On the one hand, Barton does us a great service, reminding us of the pervasive influence and motivating force that Christianity had upon our founding fathers. He has gathered many quotations from these men, demonstrating that the Triune God of the Bible, not a generic and Deist god, was the Deity to whom they looked throughout the revolution. They saw (as do I) God’s providence at many points in the war, such as discovering
On the other hand, Barton does some exaggerated or lop-sided reporting as well. To call
Also, Barton ignores Enlightenment and Deist thought which was just making inroads into the founders’ intellectual world at this time. There is no mention of
There is much good in Barton’s material worth seeing and recovering as a culture, and I applaud Barton for his work. As with almost anything, Wallbuilders is edifying and also has some potential pitfalls. (See Morris, above, and “The Theme is Freedom” by M. Stanton Evans for a similar perspective with less pitfalls, in my humble opinion.) While seeking to honor the religious heritage of our nation, which we should do, we can easily wind up with these unhelpful thoughts:
While I'm grateful to God to live in this prosperous and free land, let’s appreciate our whole Christian heritage, which extends back well beyond 1776. See “Trial and Triumph” by Richard Hannula for more.
“My country, right or wrong.” If we cannot be self-critical personally or about our own nation, we cannot obey Matthew 7:1-5.
No, that nation was
“America is the world’s last, best hope.”
No, Jesus is. God does use earthly means to disciple the nations to His Son, and I believe He has done so through many American servicemen and missionaries throughout our history, and we honor for them for that especially today. But let us reserve ultimate glory, credit and honor for the One who sets up and tears down the nations at His pleasure. Soli Deo Gloria!