Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gary Smith on George Washington's Faith:

Though I don't often see eye-to-eye with Grove City College on many cultural issues, I agree with what Dr. Gary S. Smith of that college concludes on Washington's faith:

I conclude therefore that Washington’s faith is better explained by the label “theistic rationalism” than by deism, Unitarianism, or Christianity. This theoretical construct combines elements of natural religion, Christianity, and rationalism, with rationalism predominating. It holds that God is unitary and active in the world and asserts that revelation complements reason. Since he directs human affairs, prayer is effectual. Because deists deny God’s active involvement in the world, the value of prayer, and the Bible as God’s revelation, the concept of theistic rationalism better describes Washington’s views than does the term deist, Unitarian, or Christian.


Smith, no doubt has been influenced by Dr. Gregg Frazer.

5 comments:

Robin Edgar said...

If George Washington was even remotely connected to Unitarianism you could be quite sure that Unitarian*Universalists aka U*Us would have long ago claimed him as a "famous U*U". . .

Jonathan said...

That's why "theistic rationalist" is a better term than "Unitarian." Washington, like Jefferson and Madison, and unlike Adams, had no connection to the Unitarian Congregational Church. However, their religious philosophy embraced theological unitarianism and theological universalism. This philosophy was held not just by Unitarian Congregants, but also by dissidents in the Anglican, Presbyterian, etc. etc. churches.

Tom Van Dyke said...

But isn't a monotheistic, providential God uniquely Abrahamic? And by that, we would mean Judeo-Christian, since I doubt the Founders knew much of Islam, and if they did, they would not have been very congenial with it..

As I've previously opined, there's a pervading resonance with the Bible and its God that cannot be measured, boxed, and put off to the side.

Robin Edgar said...

Well today's Unitarian*Universalists aka U*Us have put God off to the side. In fact the fundamentalist artheist minister of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, Rev. Ray Drennan, preached Sunday services in which declared God to be a "non-existent being" and opined that belief in God "seems primitive". . .

Freudian Slip said...

Reading that, there is not a doubt in my mind that Dr. Gregg Frazer is the main influence here, good call!
Matt