Set Free: Restoring Religious Freedom for All
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We've Remembered Our First Freedom, Until Now.
Religious freedom is one of the most important freedoms that the American experiment has given the world. Sadly, many have forgotten not only the importance of our first freedom but also that its roots are founded in biblical principles that call us to champion religious freedom for all. As a result of our inattention, the religious liberties we take for granted are now being challenged. Our response at this critical time in history will have a significant and lasting impact on the direction of the United States.
In Set Free, editors Art Lindsley and Anne R. Bradley explore the biblical underpinnings of religious freedom and how those biblical roots have been understood throughout history, the essential role of religious freedom in promoting human flourishing, and why this precious freedom must be restored at all costs, for people of all faiths, not just our own. With contributions from Christian theologians, historians, and public policy analysts, Set Free provides readers with a firm understanding of Christianity's unique and essential contribution to religious freedom.
Published by Abilene Christian University Press (Nov. 12, 2019; 272 pages)
Os Guinness, John S. Redd, Jr., Barrett Duke, Hugh C. Whelchel, E. Gregory Wallace, Daniel L. Dreisbach, Art Lindsley, Joseph Connors, Anne R. Bradley, Jennifer Marshall Patterson, Mark David Hall, and Stanley Carlson-Thies
"Religious liberty is the root of every other human right and duty. Without soul freedom, there can be no freedom at all worthy of the name. This First Freedom is grounded in the imago Dei reflected in every human being and in the gospel of Jesus Christ itself. Set Free guides the reader through the importance of religious liberty with an eye to developments in the culture around us. This book is worthy of deep reflection and conscientious consideration."
-- Russell Moore, president, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
"Here is a collection of superb essays speaking to one of the most pressing moral and civil issues of our time. Religious freedom, once taken for granted in our culture, is increasingly under threat today, at home as well as abroad. Set Free is a welcomed resource in a struggle all persons of conscience must embrace for eternal vigilance is still the price for religious liberty."
-- Timothy George, research professor at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and general editor of the 28-volume Reformation Commentary on Scripture
“Set Free is a must-read for those who care about the linkage between religious freedom and human flourishing. It is refreshing to see an outstanding group of scholars use Biblical principles, history, ethics, and empirical analysis to examine the role of religious freedom and its importance as a source of personal liberty, sound institutions, and human progress.”
-- James Gwartney, Professor of Economics, Florida State University
"Many Americans treat political, economic, and religious freedom separate, and separable, things. Some defend political and economic freedom while ignoring religious freedom. Some ardent religious believers are dismissive of economic freedom. And even some Christians believe the idea of religious freedom is the product of the secular enlightenment. This important book shows why these ways of thinking are deeply mistaken and ultimately self-destructive. Religious freedom is our first freedom, and it is deeply rooted in Scripture and Christian history. No society that ignores it can long enjoy freedom in the political and economic spheres."
-- Jay Richards, Research Assistant, Professor in the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute
"In a world of increasing incivility in the public square, it is essential that people of goodwill embrace religious liberty. After all, no one has the ability to force another human being to believe anything that he or she does not believe. The liberty of conscience is in desperate need of affirmation in our day. Toward this end, Set Free is an important read. The book grapples with the relevant issues and should help the reader engage others in a thoughtful and civil manner."
-- Paul A. Cleveland, Ph.D. Professor of Economics and Finance, Department of Business, Birmingham-Southern College
"Religious freedom is under assault to various degrees throughout the world and this timely book, with contributions by leading experts, explains the principles, reasoning, and laws that underpin America's unique understanding of religious freedom. It explains why religious freedom is the foundation of our free society; how it is not limited to the confines of one's home or the four walls of a building; and the significance of 'reasonable accommodation' for religious practice in a religiously pluralistic society like our own. Set Free offers an important primer for defending the precious right of religious freedom for all Americans."
--Nina Shea, Director, Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, Former Commissioner, US Commission on International Religious Freedom
"Religious freedom is more than America's first freedom, it is God's gift to humanity, a beacon of hope, and a blessing for all faiths in every corner of the world. People that care about preserving and protecting religious freedom domestically and abroad should read this book and become more than articulate about its history, its Biblical foundations, its importance to all other freedoms, and the looming dangers of losing it."
-- David Nammo, Executive Director and CEO, Christian Legal Society