Tuesday Jun 07, 2022

Abraham Lincoln, Theologian

In this episode we turn to the great emancipator—not that he started out with that intention. From the covenant between the States in one Union to the painful perception of necessary bloodshed for the North as well as the South on account of its collusion, Lincoln out-Jeffersoned Jefferson, invoking the equality of all human beings according to the Declaration over against the evasion of the slavery issue in the Constitution. And yet, young Lincoln has about as much regard for orthodox Christianity as Jefferson did. What was that brought about such different results in conscience and action? What did Lincoln perceive of God that others could not, as he expressed so powerfully in the Second Inaugural?


1. Lincoln, Speeches and Writings (Library of America). See in particular: 1860 Speech at the Cooper Institute, 1861 First Inaugural, 1862 Annual Message to Congress, 1862 Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day, 1863 Gettysburg Address, 1865 Second Inaugural

2. See Dad’s essay, “Lincoln’s Theology of the Republic According to the Second Inaugural Address,” The Cresset (May 2002: LXV/6) 7-14

3. Guelzo, Mr. Lincoln and Redeemer President

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