Not all civil religion is a threat to civil society, nor should civil religion be discouraged in all circumstances. But when civil religion invites a sense of national exceptionalism that undermines prudent Augustinian limits on state power, it threatens civil society and ordered liberty. This article presents historical and theological background of Reformed Protestantism or “Calvinism” in America and evaluates its virtues and vices in the development of Anglo-American political theology and civil religion. The great challenge of America can be summarized in terms of the covenant theology of Reformed Protestantism. Does America enjoy the same covenant relationship as the church, an everlasting and unconditional covenant? Or is America in a relationship with God governed only by general providence and a conditional covenant? These were theological questions that eventually . . .
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