Of all the things one could claim about America’s Founding Fathers, among the least controversial is to assert that their bold experiment in democracy also brought about expanded civil liberties—most notably for religious freedom.
But what inspired this achievement? More to the point, just what sort of personal faith did these men adhere to, and how did it affect them?
In the campaign to ratify the U.S. Constitution, one argument advanced by proponents of the document is that it would create a stronger federal government better equipped to defend the nascent republic from foreign belligerents.
The prescience of this thesis is borne out in Ian W. Toll’s book, Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Foundation of the U.S. Navy.
Note:This was originally posted December 24, 2012.
By Dave Dentel
When a good friend agreed to introduce me to classic science fiction I had long ignored, I didn’t realize how quickly his generosity would deliver a brilliant pay-off.
Robert A. Heinlein’s 1941 tale delves into the nature of both religious and materialistic inquiry.Also worth reading: “How Star Wars Ruined Sci Fi”
Already I’ve encountered a Heinlein story with surprising insight into one of my favorite nonfiction topics—the intersection of science and faith.
While it’s no fable of intelligent design, Robert A. Heinlein’s 1941 tale “Universe” certainly delves into the nature of both religious and materialistic inquiry. In fact, the adventure aspect of the story serves as a backdrop for exploring how human beings comprehend reality and their purpose in it.
Indeed, the point of “Universe”—which employs a now-familiar narrative about multiple generations of space colonists inhabiting a massive and drifting ship—is that these travelers are lost not only in physical space but also in how they perceive their cosmos.
Note:This was originally posted in 2006. Dennett’s book was one of the first I read as research for my own work,The God Imperative.
To anyone familiar with his career, it’s no surprise that Darwinist philosopher Daniel C. Dennett has a problem with religion. What is surprising, however, is the ardor with which Dennett delivers what Richard John Neuhaus of First Things characterizes as a “mugging of religion” in his latest book, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon.
The faith and church founded by Jesus Christ not only is global in its reach, but is intertwined with the histories of the various continents. These facts are borne out by Martin Marty’s brief but insightful book, The Christian World.