How often have you heard it stated on TV, in the press, or by an acquaintance that the wall of separation between church and state are words taken right out of the US Constitution? In fact, the First Amendment to the Constitution - what is popularly referred to as the establishment clause, the only part of the US Constitution that even deals with religion and faith contains no reference whatsoever to a wall of separation, or, for that matter, any sort of wording including the phrase separation of church and state. The only words in the US Constitution concerning this topic are found in the First Amendment, where it is written: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof... That s it. Yet these sixteen words have been elaborately interpreted by some as having a meaning that has no basis in the founders intentions or historic record. Where then has this mountain of contention come from, resulting in a wall of misconception between church and state, and indeed between God and government? The phrase wall of separation was coined by Thomas Jefferson in his private 1802 letter of response to the Danbury Baptist Association, wherein he reaffirmed the federal government s intention to protect the public s rights of conscience to believe and practice their faith without fear of interference from government. Several prominent citizens rights organizations will contend that this purported wall is being routinely breached by people of faith, yet others will assert that any action by the government to impede an individual s right to pray in school or at a public event, to display a Christmas tree in public or to say one nation under God in the Pledge of Allegiance is itself a violation of the First Amendment. In Wall of Misconception, Dr. Peter Lillback examines our nation's historic understanding of and the founding fathers intention in the relationship of our Constitution to matters of faith, ethics, and morals, taking into account the historical and biblical context as well as the concept s relation to today s culture. This is both the layman's and professional's definitive guide to the separation of church and state and, indeed, the separation of God and government.
Peter A. Lillback
Peter A. Lillback, Ph.D., is the president of The Providence Forum, the non-profit scholarly organization committed to preserve, defend and advance the faith and values of America's founding and founders. He is also the president of Westminster Theological Seminary, one of the world's leading institutes of higher reformed theological education. He has also been Professor of Church History at Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Philadelphia. Dr. Lillback holds degrees from Cedarville University (B.A.), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.), and Westminster Theological Seminary (Ph.D.). He is the author of the USA Today, Washington Post, and #1 Amazon.com national bestseller "George Washington's Sacred Fire," representing the culmination of 20 years of primary-source research and scholarship on the life of George Washington.
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Format: Book (Hardcover)
Publisher: Providence Forum Press
Date Published: Oct 01, 2007
Dimensions: 6.25 x 9.25 x 0.75 (in)
Weight: 15.50 oz