Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Search for Christian America: History’s Echo Essay -- Christianit

In The Search for Christian America historians Mark A. Noll, Nathan O. Hatch and George M. Marsden address the recent insurgence of desire to return to the American nation’s â€Å"Christian Heritage†; a call to revisit the solid and revered foundations of the colonial period (15). This premise frames the authors’ two-part thesis: first, that America was never a Christian nation and secondly, that the very concept of a Christian nation, after the time of Christ, can be harmful to Christian action and effectiveness within society (17). This assertion, and the evidence which surrounds it, proves that Christians find great value in elements of the founding. When considering the reason behind this assumption the authors suggest many possibilities: love of a glorious myth, preaching and identification with the Mosaic prophecy, a â€Å"city on the hill† mentality, and or nationalistic necessity (108-116). However, these points still with standing, the author s do not fully develop the possibility that Protestants doctrinally resonate with the ideals of the founding. The authors do assert that many use the past as a mirror simply reflecting one’s already established views: â€Å"by a subtle and often unconscious process we pick out . . . those strands which reinforce our point of view† (145, 148). This paper will attempt to bring these two concepts together: asserting that the ideals of the founding, mainly liberty, freedom and individualism, are mirrored in Protestant doctrine itself, providing an echo American Christians can identify with, allowing reverence to be felt toward the founding and urgency to drive the search for Christian America. Toward the end of the text the authors set out to explain the difficulties and the necessity of â€Å"openi... ...ce of similar values or familiar echo, only uphold â€Å" a high regard for our country and its heritage. But . . . not, in the words of the Psalmist (118:9), ‘put confidence in princes’ instead of taking ‘refuge in the Lord† (102). Bibliography Luther, Martin. â€Å"The Appeal to the German Nobility.† In Documents of the Christian Church, edited by Henry Bettenson, 192-197. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. --------------------Concerning Christian Liberty. Vol. XXXVI, Part 6. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909–14. Bartleby.com, 2001. www.bartleby.com/36/6/. (accessed Jan. 21, 2012). Calvin, John. "John Calvin: Institutes of Christian Religion." Translated by Henry Beveridge, Esq. Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics. http://www.reformed.org/master/index.html?mainframe=/books/institutes/. (accessed Jan. 21, 2012).

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