Counsel of Chalcedon
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History Study: The Declaration of Independence and the American Enlightenment Part 2

Much has been made of the colonists usage of John Locke (who has been labeled a Deist by many). Doesn't the fact that Locke is so prominent in the writings of the founding era prove that the generation of the 18th century was far more open to deism than we are willing to admit! A number of things must be noted:

First, Locke was emphatically not a Deist in the common sense of the term. James Bulman makes this point plainly: "Locke's philosophy by no means required a Deistic interpretation: Locke himself certainly not holding any such interpretation! ... For all his insistence on reason, Locke subjected his reason to the Bible; because the Bible is altogether reasonable, while his capacities were faulty ... Locke said, I shall presently condemn and quit any opinion of mine, as soon as I am shown that it is contrary to any revelation in the Holy Scripture.... he affirmed the Scriptures to have been dictated by the infallible spirit of God."