My new book Franklin on Faith is almost ready to be published next month, and one of the quotes that I address is Franklin's claim that the doctrine of imputed righteousness is "abominably ridiculous and absurd in itself." Here is the full statement by Franklin along with my explanation of how the Christians of that day would have understood his comments:
What do these mysterious Authors mean here, by these Words, Justification by his (Christ’s) Righteousness, or as they elsewhere call it his imputed Righteousness to justify us in the Sight of God? Do they mean, that the Almighty transfers the personal and perfect Righteousness of Christ to Men, or that he infuses it into them, and looks upon it, as the same thing with their own actual Obedience to his Law, and that in him they fulfil the Law?
As I've shared my research on Franklin's faith with more and more people, one particular quotation has consistently been presented as evidence that Franklin never became a Christian. This quotation is taken from Franklin's Autobiography in which he made the following statement about George Whitefield:
"He us’d indeed sometimes to pray for my Conversion, but never had the Satisfaction of believing that his Prayers were heard."
Here is what I have written about this quote in my upcoming book Franklin on Faith:
I have had several people ask me how I plan to vote on the amendments that will be on the Alabama ballot this Tuesday, so I decided to write down some of the research that I've done. My policy with constitutional amendments is to evaluate them at face value with no consideration for which party originally proposed the amendment or which political groups may be supporting it. A constitutional amendment is, for all intents and purposes, a permanent change in our states supreme law and should therefore be very strictly examined for any hint of error. With that being said, let me share how I plan to vote on this years slate of proposals.
Bill Fortenberry is a Christian philosopher and historian in Birmingham, AL. Bill's work has been cited in several legal journals, and he has appeared as a guest on shows including The Dr. Gina Show, The Michael Hart Show, and Real Science Radio.
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"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." (Proverbs 9:9)