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Lincoln's Christianity by Michael Burkhimer
10-12-2015, 08:57 AM (This post was last modified: 10-12-2015 08:25 PM by Gene C.)
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Lincoln's Christianity by Michael Burkhimer
This must be a difficult subject to write about because if you think Lincoln was a great and good person, you want him to have the same or very similar views about religion that we have. You see that approach in many of his biographies that touch on this subject. That's OK if you acknowledge it, but in my opinion Mr. Burkhimer falls into the same pattern in sections of his book.

Michael Burkmimer does a good job of showing how Lincoln's religious beliefs developed over his life
Herndon's comments about this aspect of Lincoln's life make this a challenge as many people have not, and do not want to agree with what Herndon said and wrote. Burkhimer deals with this by quoting several people who were close to Lincoln, especially during the White House years. He quotes from a letter by William Stoddard who worked in the White House as an assistant secretary. Stoddard who in a letter dated 1870 "acknowledges Lincoln may have been skeptical as a youth but insist the Lincoln Herndon knew was not the Lincoln of the White House." Stoddard is interesting because "He was also invaluable for the White House staff, not least because he was one of the few people that could get along with the President's wife"

I do feel this book has two significant short comings in two of the six chapters. The chapter on Lincoln's second inaugural speech lacked much depth and he spends almost an entire chapter on Lincoln and the "Q Theory" of the gospels. Q is a hypothetical first century text on the life of Christ that some more liberal biblical scholars believe is the basis of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Unlike the books of the New Testament, No copy of Q has ever been found. Burkhimer spends to much attention on Lincoln and the non-existing Q text, and it is doubtful Lincoln had ever heard of the "Q Theory"

For these reasons, I do not highly recommend this book.

Written in 2007, the book has about 150 pages, with lots of footnotes.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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Lincoln's Christianity by Michael Burkhimer - Gene C - 10-12-2015 08:57 AM

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