A glimpse into Reagan's faith


On the PCAnews website, there's an article by Paul Kengor, author of God and Ronald Reagan, about how Reagan's personal faith emerged in his speeches and letters:

In a March 1978 letter to a Methodist minister who expressed doubts about Christ's divinity—and accused Reagan of a "limited Sunday school level theology"—Reagan responded:

"Perhaps it is true that Jesus never used the word "Messiah" with regard to himself (although I'm not sure that he didn't) but in John 1, 10 and 14 he identifies himself pretty definitely and more than once. Is there really any ambiguity in his words: "I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me?"… In John 10 he says, "I am in the Father and the Father in me." And he makes reference to being with God, "before the world was," and sitting on the "right hand of God."…

"These and other statements he made about himself, foreclose in my opinion, any question as to his divinity. It doesn't seem to me that he gave us any choice; either he was what he said he was or he was the world's greatest liar. It is impossible for me to believe a liar or charlatan could have had the effect on mankind that he has had for 2000 years. We could ask, would even the greatest of liars carry his lie through the crucifixion, when a simple confession would have saved him? … Did he allow us the choice you say that you and others have made, to believe in his teachings but reject his statements about his own identity?"

A politician who is just trying to adopt a veneer of religiosity for political convenience would not write a letter trying to persuade someone of the deity of Christ -- why risk offending a voter? This letter displays deep knowledge and the deep love of a Christian toward his Savior.

Reagan's critics, unwilling to debate the issues, would attack his intelligence, creating a false public image that has even seeped into the consciousness of his admirers. The publication of his private letters and his radio broadcast notes, memoirs by close aides like Peggy Noonan and Peter Robinson -- all have served to refresh our memories of his intelligence, his clarity of expression, his firm convictions, and his warmth and grace, even toward his detractors. We read things like this, from the period just before his 1980 campaign, and we remember why conservatives were so energized at the thought of him serving as our president.

Read the whole thing.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 30, 2004 8:56 PM.

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