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On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding Paperback – August 1, 2003
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Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The greatest gift of many in this book is the recognition of the forgotten founders. Novak reports on one of the greatest educators of American History John Witherspoon as well as George Mason, James Wilson and Charles Carroll. The most dramatic of the forgotten founders was the story of Joseph Warren and his heroics at Bunker Hill. Warren said prior to Battle of Bunker
Hill, "You are to decide the important questions upon which rest the happiness and liberty of millions not yet born." (p.124)
This book was very well documented. The footnotes are excellent. The book would have benefited from an Index worthy of this excellent book.
George Washington was deeply religious. The text observes that "Washington does not call religion `optional'. The word he uses is `indispensable." As Commander of the Continental Army he "gave orders that each day begin with formal prayer, to be led by the officers of each unit." I'd hate to guess the outcome if the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff tried that one today. The text states that "The founders did not think the constitutional government they were erecting could survive without Hebrew-Christian faith." and continues on page 129 "Virtually all the signers of the Declaration and Constitution were churchgoing men."
Chapter Five is titled "TEN QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FOUNDING". The author answers and discusses ten critical questions. Question four asks, "When did things go wrong?" On page 112 Novak notes ".Read more ›
Novak, the George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy and Director of Social and Political Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, makes a strong case for both wings working together. But today the wing of Faith is the one too severely clipped to work as it should.
For instance, most people today believe that the Enlightenment was more critical to the American Founders than the Old Testament. The historical record shows that it was the Old Testament that was far more important than the Enlightenment.
That's because the Founders held a "Hebrew metaphysic," which included the concepts of time having a beginning and an end, and of final judgment in the hereafter for human actions in this life. The Founders agreed with the Hebrews, that time is linear, not cyclical, as the ancient pagans believed. And the Declaration refers to God as "the Supreme Judge of the world."
This "metaphysic" - a mix of theology and philosophy - gave the Founders a wonderful nomenclature in which to express political ideas. The Founders wisely shunned specific theological terms, such as Savior, Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and used instead the imagery of the Old Testament. In this way, they charted a course for common ground. This book should be required reading in college political science programs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good refutation of the assertion that Judeo-Christian values had little impact on America's founding and values.Published 17 months ago by Fred in Texas
Hmm..... a little too opinionated. A lot of it was interesting, and even true, but it was clearly biased. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Ruthie
Balanced and informative, Novak's approach to the founding of America is a fresh and needed voice, especially for pastors and church leaders.Published on July 13, 2014 by R. Joline
Recommended to me by former Senator Leiberman of CT and it is every bit as interesting and informative as he said. Read morePublished on January 4, 2014 by Irv Blank
This used book was delivered promptly and was in the condition promised. I had read it before and wanted to own a copy, then discovered that it is out of print. Read morePublished on September 4, 2013 by Tom
Michael Novak's On Two Wings sets out to correct the way the story of the American founding has been told in recent times. Read morePublished on November 3, 2009 by John M. Balouziyeh
In a word, BRILLIANT!!!! We seem to be surrounded today by people who have wrongly interpreted the intentions of the nation's founders regarding religion. Read morePublished on March 29, 2008 by Monty L. Rainey
This was given as a gift to someone so I've not read the book, but I knew the person was very interested in getting a copy.Published on September 5, 2007 by Karen Wood