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Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers Paperback – August 1, 1995

4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

John Eidsmoe rights the faulty historical record and correctly brings us back to the roots that made America great . . . clearly demonstrates that our constitutional liberties are a direct result of our founders' moral and religious convictions which were based on a belief in a God who created heaven and earth as well as on the fixed and unchanging absolutes of God's Word.
Robert Skolrood, National Legal Foundation

Legally accurate yet easy to understand . . . presents the truth about our founding fathers and their strong Christian roots that is missing from most textbooks and reference books written during the last fifty years. Every student of American history, ministers, and public speakers should read this book. . . .
Tim LaHaye, Family Life Seminars

Combines an interesting presentation with fine scholarship and a critical m message . . . should be read by anyone interested in the Constitution or Christianity.
Wendell Bird, constitutional attorney

Knowledge of our Christian heritage is an important weapon in the current fight for religious freedom in America. Eidsmoe has given us an entire arsenal of new and important evidence substantiating the Christian roots of our government.
Mike Farris, Home School Legal Defense Association

Balanced and lucid . . . clearly documents the pervasive Christian influence on the lives and thought of those who wrote our Constitution. I recommend it highly as a corrective to the almost totally secular portrayal of the Constitution found in so many textbooks today.
Paul Vitz, author

John Eidsmoe holds five degrees in law, theology, and political science. He currently serves as professor of constitutional law and related subjects at the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, Faulkner University, Montgomery, Alabama, where he received the Outstanding Professor Award in 1993. A constitutional attorney and lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, he has also taught church history and other subjects in various seminaries and has produced a twelve-part video series titled The Institute on the Constitution. His other books include The Christian Legal Advisor, God and Caesar, and Columbus and Cortez.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 474 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (August 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801052319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801052316
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jean-Francois Virey on October 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
«If the founding fathers were to see the hostile contempt with which modern thinkers treat Christianity, I believe they would consider it strange, offensive and self-destructive.» - John Eidsmoe.
An «ordained minister of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren» who «holds five degrees in law, theology and political science» and «serves as a professor of constitutional law», John Eidsmoe is one of the most articulate and learned defenders of the conservative, Christian conception of the U.S. Constitution.
In *Christianity and the Constitution*, published in 1987, he tries to correct the picture of America's founders, founding and foundational principles propagated by secular scholars whom he considers guilty of deliberately ignoring and suppressing the evidence of the crucial importance of Christianity in American history.
The book is divided into three parts. Part I covers the ideological background of the creation of the US system of government, evaluating the respective influences of Calvinism, Puritanism, Deism, Freemasonry and science, and presenting the main ideas of the political thinkers who influenced the founders - Locke, Montesquieu, Blackstone, Grotius, Pufendorf, Vattel, and other defenders of the Natural Law tradition.
Book II, representing about three fourths of the total volume of the book, examines the religious beliefs of thirteen major founders, as revealed in their lives and writings. Eidsmoe's selection - Witherspoon, Madison, Washington, Hamilton, Jay, Gouverneur Morris, the two Adamses, Patrick Henry, Roger Sherman and those two religiously unorthodox figures, Jefferson and Franklin- is unbiased, containing as it does six Federalists and seven Republicans, and «representing a geographic cross section of New England, Middle Atlantic and Southern States.
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Format: Paperback
*Christianity and the Constitution* is a sober, careful overview of the historical and intellectual foundations of the Framers of the US Constitution, particularly in regard to how the Christian worldview influenced their view of man, his nature, the role, purpose and scope of government, etc.
Eidsmoe copiously documents his work from the primary materials and related scholarly secondary materials. His case is substantive and conclusive. Were *all* the Framers devout Christians? No. Were most of them Christians? Yes. More importantly, it is documented that the intellectual and philosophical foundations of their worldview and the American culture in general was overwhelmingly Protestant Christian, and this weighed heavily in their work.
Regarding a "reviewer" asserting, and I quote, "Indeed, it was a concession by Jefferson which allowed the word God into our Constitution. Many may feel this is a wonderful book, but that does not mean that it is accurate," one can't help but sense the irony in their statement and their comment regarding accuracy.
[a] Thomas Jefferson had nothing to do with the writing or ratification of the US Constitution--he was in France at the time on a diplomatic mission, so he didn't offer "concession" pro or con regarding the inclusion of the word "God" in the Constitution;
[b] The word "God" does not appear in the US Constitution.
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Dr Eidsmoe (also a retired USAF Lt. Colonel) provides a type of scholarship that have become (lamentably) rather rare these days. His authoritative book on Christianity's historic influence on America's political foundations (in general), and on specific features of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights (in particular), uses the rather unusual approach, namely: relying solely upon the primary documents that are the best evidence concerning his topic -- i.e., the actual writings of the founding fathers and of those who actually lived with them -- in effect, Dr Eidsmoe uses the kind of documentary exhibits and eye-witness testimony that would be admissible in a court of law, as opposed to the politically fashionable HEARSAY that all-too-often gets punted back and forth in textbook pulp nowadays. As a professor of American Political Foundations I routinely use his book as THE textbook for my courses; -- I also serve as a judge and have adjudicated several constitutional issues (including First Amendment issues) in reliance upon his impeccably accurate scholarship; -- I also serve as a political history lecturer (in Western Europe and in Central America) and have repeatedly cited Dr Eidsmoe's work as the "last word" on the historical matters he has analyzed in this valuable book. In addition to the historical summaries in his book, Dr Eidsmoe also provides very interesting mini-biographies on more than a dozen of America's most influential founding fathers. Lastly, Dr Eidsmoe's book provides appendices that are very helpful to readers who want to "read the original text" of key historic documents. This scholary-yet-easily-readable gem of accuracy-promoting research and user-friendly analysis should belong to every historian, lawyer, judge, patriot, and anyone else with a true interest in America's [real] legal history. ><> JJSJ
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