President’s Day

Thomas Kidd has a nice piece on George Washington for his birthday over at The Gospel Coalition:

If Washington’s personal faith remains shadowy, his public employment of religious rhetoric was constant and heartfelt. As the war’s tide turned toward the Americans, despite all the bungling and hardships of the Continental Army, the general became more convinced that God had chosen him as the man to lead America, Moses-like, out of British captivity.

Some might see Washington’s providentialist rhetoric as manipulative, but in Chernow’s biography it seems genuine. The exhausted Washington, presenting his military resignation before Congress at the end of the war, brought the chamber to tears as the insisted that only “a confidence in the rectitude of our cause, the support of the supreme power of the union, and the patronage of heaven” sustained him and the army through the hellish war. His voice breaking with emotion, he commended “our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God.”

Read the rest here.

What the Founders “Really” Thought About the Bible

(Amazing) Historian Daniel Dreisbach, author of Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers, wrote a guest piece at fellow (amazing) historian Thomas Kidd’s blog, offering a condensed summation of his more detailed presentation in his book (can’t wait to pick it up off the “To Read Next” pile).

“The Bible,” Adams responded promptly, “contains the most profound Philosophy, the most perfect Morality, and the most refined Policy, that ever was conceived upon Earth. It is the most Republican Book in the World, and therefore I will still revere it…. [W]ithout national Morality,” he continued, “a Republican Government cannot be maintained.”

Adams…was not alone among his contemporaries in making this remarkable claim. John Dickinson, the acclaimed “penman of the Revolution,” for example similarly observed, “The Bible is the most republican Book that ever was written.” Such sentiments were common in the political discourse of the age.

Read the rest here.