Sunday, June 25, 2006

Washington's God by Michael and Jana Novak - Reviews and Commentary

Acquired by way of a gift from a good friend, Michael and (daughter) Jana Novak's Washington's God, an investigation into the religious faith of the father of our country -- and, it would appear, that he was something more than a deist.

I have a number of books I am attempting to plow through at the moment, but expect I will not be able to resist cracking this open in the coming week. I have been anticipating this book ever since I heard about it. I expect it will be a compliment to Novak's excellent study of the religious faith and disposition of our founding fathers: On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding (Encounter Books, April 2003).

From the publisher's description:

Washington has long been viewed as the patron saint of secular government, but in Washington's God, Michael Novak and his daughter, Jana, reveal that it was Washington's strong faith in divine Providence that gave meaning and force to his monumental life. Narrowly escaping a British trap during the Battle of Brooklyn, Washington didn't credit his survival to courage or tactical expertise; he blamed himself for marching his men into certain doom and marveled at the Providence that delivered them. Throughout his career, Washington held fast to the conviction that America's liberty was dependent on our faithfulness to God's will and our trust in Providence.

Washington's God shows Washington not only as a man of resource, strength, and virtue, but also as a man with deeply held religious values. This new presentation of Washington-as a man whose religion guided his governance-will bring him into today's debates about the role of faith in government and will challenge everything we thought we knew about the inner life of the father of our country.

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