A Review of "The Nexus of Faith and Freedom"

By:  T. Dan Tolleson
A Review of "The Nexus of Faith and Freedom"

"The Nexus of Faith and Freedom by Wesley Allen Riddle illustrates how Americans can escape from the spiritual and political confusion of modern times. Reviewed by T. Dan Tolleson

In early America, ordered liberty was understood to require a lively cooperation, or nexus, between Christian faith and American freedom. In recent times, however, this understanding of American liberty has been fading from national awareness. To help restore ordered liberty, Wesley Allen Riddle wrote The Nexus of Faith and Freedom — a compilation of his weekly newspaper columns previously published between 2000 and 2010 — in which he illustrates how, with God’s help, Americans can escape from the spiritual and political confusion of modern times by reinvigorating our faith-inspired, and faith-preserving, institutions of freedom.

During the last two centuries, ordinary common sense has deteriorated to such an extent that Riddle refers to his straightforward columns as “good ole American horse sense,” in recognition of the simple but refreshingly dependable awareness that horses have always naturally exhibited. At the same time, for the deeper edification of his readers, Riddle weaves into his columns ideas from Western Civilization and British antecedents of American thought, thereby making select writings from our past, as well as analyses by numerous scholars, more readily accessible to the reader. Riddle — a West Point graduate, veteran of Desert Storm/Desert Shield, Oxford University graduate with a Master of Philosophy degree focused on American history, and now Professor of Government at Central Texas College — organizes his “horse sense” columns into four parts.

In Part I (chapters 1-10) — “God’s Country” — Riddle illustrates how Christian faith guides American liberty. For example, in Chapter 1 (“What the Founders Intended”), Riddle observes, “The way our nation’s Founders patterned their lives and had their efforts crowned with success despite adversity is the way most generations in American history have also done it. That is, they considered how Jesus would have done things in similar circumstances.” From his review of our nation’s Founders, Riddle is able to show they believed that “God is the Author of American liberty, plain and simple. Nothing is more basic to an understanding of American history than knowledge of the centrality of our Creator in defining America.” God’s authorship of American liberty has profound implications. For example, “Secession from Great Britain was the logical consequence of a religious conclusion, namely that rights come from God to the people” — not from government to the people.

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The Nexus of Faith and Freedom, by Wesley Allen Riddle, Mustang, Oklahoma: Tate Publishing, 2012, 382 pages, softcover.

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