Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Immanent Frame on Lillback and Beck:

Here. A taste:

A theologian and church historian, Lillback currently serves as president of Westminster Theological Seminary, a pillar of conservative Presbyterianism since its founding by J. Gresham Machen in 1929.

Once unknown outside of evangelical and Presbyterian circles, Lillback has made a name for himself as a defender of “America’s historical Judeo-Christian roots.” As head of the Providence Forum, he has authored several works on the nation’s religious heritage, including Wall of Misconception, Lessons on Liberty, and the Washington book. Board members for the Providence Forum include John Templeton, Jr. and Francis Irénée du Pont.

In 2007 Lillback spoke at a celebration of Jamestown’s quadricentennial sponsored by Vision Forum Ministries, an organization led by Doug Phillips, son of Constitution Party founder Howard Phillips. According to Lillback, “It was wonderful to see that, four centuries later, Americans are still celebrating the Christian worldview of Jamestown’s founders.” The same year he participated in an event at the National Constitution Center with Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and John DiIulio.

How did a seminary president become Amazon’s bestselling author? On Tuesday, May 18, Lillback made an appearance on the Glenn Beck Program with Jerry Falwell, Jr., chancellor of Liberty University. Though the focus was on the roots of social justice, Beck took the opportunity to plug Lillback’s George Washington’s Sacred Fire. Lillback thanked him for the exposure.

When Lillback called Beck “the best publicist in town,” he was on to something. On a March program, the broadcaster spoke of creating a virtual Glenn Beck University, promising to feature “some of the brightest minds in America.” In recent weeks, the FOX News personality has helped to publicize a version of America’s founding largely rejected by academic historians.

Among those rejecting the Christian America storyline are Lillback’s co-religionists, historians Mark Noll, Nathan Hatch, and George Marsden. Well-regarded scholars with strong evangelical commitments, this trio published The Search for Christian America back in 1983, arguing that “a careful study of the facts of history shows that early America does not deserve to be considered uniquely, distinctly, or even predominately Christian, if we mean by the word ‘Christian’ a state of society reflecting the ideals presented in Scripture. There is no lost golden age to which American Christians may return.” While acknowledging the influence of religion in colonial America, they also criticized the misuse of faith during the American Revolution.

There are a lot of good hyperlinks in the reproduced passage that I didn't include. Check them.

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