Saturday, July 26, 2008

Van Dyke on "Judeo-Christian" Faith:

We've much discussed the religion of America's key Founders. Tom & I agree that it wasn't "orthodox Trinitarian Christianity." Some labels thrown around include "theistic-rationalism," "Christian-Deism," "unitarianism." Here Tom argues for simply "Judeo-Christianity":

You see, our first four or five presidents believed in the Bible more or less, but didn't believe Jesus was God or died for our sins or is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, whatever that is. But they believed that the Bible wasn't total bunk and that man was created in God's image like it says in Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 9:6.

That meant that man was endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights, blah, blah blah. But it was still a statement that the human race, for all its intellectual fortitude, hasn't managed to get around yet. Whether truth, myth, or illusion, the idea founded the greatest nation in history [IMO], and is imitated around the world through the present day.

There's more. I agree with Tom. I would just remind folks that this "Judeo-Christian" creed is, unlike orthodox Christianity, a fairly broad faith. Indeed, Jefferson perfectly believed in this creed, yet, in no uncertain terms rejected "[t]he immaculate conception of Jesus, his deification, the creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurrection and visible ascension, his corporeal presence in the Eucharist, the Trinity; original sin, atonement, regeneration, election, orders of Hierarchy, &c."

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