Saturday, February 25, 2012

Be the People by Carol Swain

This book is written with efficiency, entertainment, and a false view of the American people in mind. The author falls into the error of arguing from the part to the whole. Christians are called to glorify God in their secular callings, and public office presents a wonderful opportunity for this. But the "whole" that is wrong in her view is that God's call is not meant especially and exclusively for Americans.

The Founding Fathers accepted the Christian-Deistic worldview, with many of them professing Christianity. But they were not setting out to make a theocracy (a government led directly by God), but a democratic republic, as made popular at the time by Thomas Paine's Common Sense. They certainly accepted the moral law of Christianity, and this can be found in their letters and documents, but they were not seeking to make a nation of the faithful.

I believe that this book provides an interesting outlook into a worldview that is flawed but popular, and it can be instructional to many different readers. It provides a quick overview of the Christian mindset behind the Founding, even though that reading is mistaken at times. I found the writing style to be enjoyable, but I would not recommend it as a reliable source for that time period, or as advice for the present day.

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