History of Religious Liberty: From Tyndale to Madison by Michael Farristhis post may contain affiliate links.
American advocates of freedom did not believe in religious liberty in spite of their Christianity, but explicitly because of their individual faith in Christ, which had been molded and instructed by the Bible. The greatest evidence of their commitment to liberty can be found in their willingness to support the cause of freedom for those different from themselves.
The assertion that the Enlightenment is responsible for the American Bill of Rights may be common, but it is devoid of any meaningful connection to the actual historical account. History reveals a different story, intricately gathered from the following:
– Influence of William Tyndale’s translation work and the court intrigues of Henry VIII
– Spread of the Reformation through the eyes of Martin Luther, John Knox, and John Calvin
– The fight to establish a bill of rights that would guarantee every American citizen the free exercise of their religion.
James Madison played a key role in the founding of America and in the establishment of religious liberty. But the true heroes of our story are the common people whom Tyndale inspired and Madison marshaled for political victory. These individuals read the Word of God for themselves and truly understood both the liberty of the soul and the liberty of the mind.
History of Religious Liberty: From Tyndale to Madison