Gregg Frazer, Author, The Religious Beliefs of America's Founders: Reason, Revelation and Revolution

Thinking in Public

September 10, 2012

Mohler: This is Thinking in Public, a program dedicated to intelligent conversation about frontline theological and cultural issues with the people who are shaping them. I'm Albert Mohler, your host and president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

The question of the religious convictions and the theological ideas of America's founding generation continue to reverberate in very contemporary controversy. And no one's better able to help us to interpret that controversy than my guest today, Professor Gregg Frazer, who is a professor of history at The Master's College in California. Professor Frazer holds a Ph.D. degree from Claremont Graduate University.

Professor Frazer, welcome to Thinking in Public.

Frazer: Thank you; glad to be here.

Mohler: Your new book, entitled The Religious Beliefs of America's Founders: Reason, Revelation and Revolution, published by the University of Kansas Press, seems to be a particularly well-timed book, given so many of the controversies that have emerged in evangelical circles even in just the last several weeks. But a project like this goes way back, in terms of your planning and interest. How did you come to write this book?

Frazer: Well, I've been interested in the subject of the religious beliefs of the founders for over 30 years. As I actually explain in the preface to the book, some 35 years ago, I was sitting in an audience listening to Peter Marshall and David Manuel talk about the light and the glory and trying to make a case for United States being established as a Christian nation, and, as an historian, I just didn't think it sounded right. I thought that there were significant problems, and that launched me into 30 years really of studying this. And then when it came time to do a doctoral dissertation, that's what I ended up doing as my doctoral dissertation, and that launched into, eventually, the book.

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