Did America Have a Christian Founding? Separating Modern Myth from Historical Truth

Mark David Hall. Thomas Nelson, $26.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4002-1110-4
Hall (Great Christian Jurists in American History), senior fellow at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, argues in this persuasive study that the founders of the United States of America were not deists, but rather leaned on their Christian beliefs to create constitutional order. Though the Constitution never mentions God specifically, Hall suggests that the document bears distinctly Christian elements, such as the phrase “in the year of our lord” and the prohibition of work on Sunday. Hall then argues that the Bill of Rights is rooted in the Christian belief of original sin, which acknowledges that people will inevitably make mistakes, so inherent rights must be protected against trespassers. Through a meticulous reading of the founders’ own works, Hall explains how the separation of church and state did not originally mean a total separation, citing the early history of religious support by the state, such as the government funding of chaplains in Congress and in the military. Hall also tracks early conflicts that defined the current understanding of separation of church and state, such as the rejection of religious tests for federal officials. Hall’s trenchant analysis will pique the curiosity of any reader interested in the religious origins of American government. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/23/2019
Release date: 10/01/2019
Genre: Religion
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 240 pages - 978-1-4002-1111-1
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