It's important to note when we say "America's Christian heritage" we aren't saying that the United States is currently a "Christian nation." What we are trying to affirm is that the principles on which our country was founded were rooted in a Christian worldview, and that many of the men who aided that founding were godly Christians who desired God's glory above anything else. The books in this category are meant to explore and celebrate this heritage.
Because God no longer deals with nations on an eschatological level does not mean that He no longer deals with nations. He is still the architect and arbiter of history, and to deny His presence in the history of our nation (or any other) is to truncate His power. Of course, many will raise the concern that there were deists among the founding fathers, that drunkenness and immorality were prevalent during the Revolutionary period, that American politics were marked early on by greed and lies.
These are all true—but so too is the fact that men like James Madison, John Adams, Roger Sherman, George Witherspoon, and countless others were motivated by an abiding love of Christ to establish a nation on Christian ideals rather than the secular humanism that marked the constitutions of other nations at the time. And for every heretic Thomas Jefferson cutting passages out of his Bible, there was a James Monroe waiting to inform each political debate with those very words of God and to guide the population toward righteousness and brotherly love.
But why is this rich past important now? Like all history, it's important to know where we've been in order to understand where we are. Yet there's an even more important reason to study the Christian elements and figures in our nation's founding:as believers, it is our task as citizens to influence our country away from sinfulness and toward the redemptive truth of our faith in Christ. While we can pursue this task without knowing all about the godly individuals who came before, understanding what they wanted to and did accomplish will help us in our own struggle against ungodliness, as well as our hopeful proclamation of Christ's righteousness and glory.
NOTE: Most of the material in this section is not intended for use directly by children, but for adults who want to become familiar with the Christian history of the United States in order to pass that information on to their kids.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
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