A Heart on Fire by Charles J. Chaput

I am not exactly sure Chaput was trying to accomplish with this work A Heart on Fire. It felt more like an advertisement or long magazine article for his lengthier work, Render Unto Caesar (which I have not read and really do not plan to read).

Chaput uses less than two dozen pages chastising America and reinforcing the idea that this country is well down the slippery slope of oppression. The freedom of religion and press are already, according to Chaput, compromised and we are only days away from total intimidation from the outside.

He points to the founding fathers and the society of America during the country’s birth. Christianity was not subjected to specific areas of society; Christianity was the fabric that held society together. America had a sense of humanity, a sense of right and wrong, and a sense of faith. Chaput sees these objects of faith slowly deteriorating from the outside and inside.

I believe this book is another classic case of historical American romanticism. Chaput seems ready to canonize the founding fathers. He situates them up on an unearthly pedestal; they were Christian men who understood they were creating a Christian nation. However, the founding fathers were far from perfect. They were greedy, adulterous, sexist, and brutally racist just like our nation is today. They may have been great political theorists and economists, but they were sinners with many flaws. I love history. I definitely think we should study our history. I do not want to make the same mistakes again, but we cannot look at our founding fathers as some mortal angels that gifted us a country.

True Christ followers will always be forced to outskirts of society. Christ promised that. A humble faith does not work well with the necessary evil of governmental power. True societal change comes from bottom not the top.

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