Ben Franklin and George Whitefield Debate the Purpose of Education | @ThomasSKidd @TGC https://t.co/jIDGKmKXY5
Fundamentalism, Feminism, and Other Curse Words: Teaching Controversy with Civility https://t.co/g58tPieEXS @AndreaLTurpin @USReligionBlog
Christians, in an Epochal Shift, Are Leaving the Middle East - @WSJ https://t.co/vFTab78dpk
the smell of strawmen burning – @ayjay on arguing with Rusty Reno https://t.co/vFATcbyaS0
'Sad, but Not Unhappy': J.R.R. Tolkien's Sorrowful Vision of Joy – Ralph Wood https://t.co/KIzplAw1zV
Ten anti-Catholic calumnies refuted - Piers Paul Read on Rodney Stark's Bearing False Witness https://t.co/dB65XxubsM @StandpointMag
Five Things You Should Know About Reinhold Niebuhr | Elesha Coffman, @CTmagazine https://t.co/LmZJaOdFHO
Alternative Scriptures: Which Old Testament? https://t.co/ZisrCfHHYS Philip Jenkins, @anxious_bench
Should Donald Trump Be Removed from Office? | Thomas Kidd @TGC https://t.co/gRwqnyasNd
Thomas Kidd talks about 'Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father' with the @mattklewis podcast https://t.co/riLBUxxHZb

ISR’s Thomas Kidd, Booklist Online Review of new book– Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father

booklistonlineBenjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father. 
Kidd, Thomas S. (author).
May 2017. 288p. illus. Yale, hardcover, $32.50 (9780300217490). 973.3.ben-franklin
REVIEW. First published May 1, 2017 (Booklist).
 
Debating the Founding Fathers’ faith is a sturdy American indoor sport. So a biography of the most celebrated Founder oriented around his religious opinions should fly off library shelves. And Kidd proffers a very fine book about America’s first international celebrity. Drawing on Franklin’s many pamphlets and newspaper essays on religion, his correspondence with his most religious close friends—his sister Jane Mecom and the spearhead of the Great Awakening, evangelist George Whitefield—and the remarks of other acquaintances, Kidd argues that Franklin was, from very early on, a deist who believed in benevolent divine Providence. He disliked doctrine, especially the Calvinist predestination in which he was raised, preferring the Christian morality of good works. Having first read the Bible in toto by age five, he had its words at the tip of his tongue; his writing and speech teem with biblical citation and allusion. When he disputed with doctrinaire Christians, he used reason, never deprecation. Of humble heritage, he avoided mounting his high horse. He pioneered “a distinctly American kind of religion,” Kidd says, a “doctrineless, moralized Christianity,” in which “virtually all beliefs became nonessential” and God calls all to do good. Consider this lucid, economical, nonacademic work of scholarship a new cornerstone of Franklin studies.— Ray Olson