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Interview: James B. Rose, For Mary-Elaine Swanson’s John Locke: Philosopher of American Liberty

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James B. Rose is the spokesperson for the late Mary-Elaine Swanson, who authored John Locke: Philosopher of American Liberty. A forerunner in the field of American Christian Education, Rose is also an author in his own right. He resides in Redding, California.

What is John Locke: Philosopher of American Liberty about?

The founding fathers of America are often presented as atheists, or at best a bunch of deists, along with all those political philosophers who influenced them—Locke being chief among them. Unfortunately, many Christian thinkers have been influenced by these views, writing that Locke exalted reason above revelation and saw the laws of nature as more valuable than the laws of nature’s God. Swanson clearly shows that Locke was no deist, rationalist, or secularist, but Christian in his profession and Biblical in his worldview.

Mary-Elaine Swanson has done an invaluable service for this and subsequent generations by resurrecting awareness and presenting an accurate knowledge of John Locke and his reasoning through an uncensored view of his life, writings, and incalculable influence on America. This book will help Americans understand the importance of Locke’s thinking for American constitutionalism today.

What inspired this book?

Nearly 30 years of association, instruction, and encouragement from the example of Miss Verna M. Hall (the foremost historian of America’s Christian history and government) inspired Swanson to write this book. The author remembered how, with gentleness, intelligence, and a comforting cheerfulness, she would address a fear or resolve a question with questions and counsel that made you conscious of “Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” (I Cor. 1:24)

Swanson’s own love of history was constantly renewed as she listened to her articulate, in a clear, commanding and most inspiring way, the Christian view of God, man and government and the evidences of God’s Hand in our history.

What is one thing you hope readers will take away from this book?

For one thing, it is hoped the reader might rediscover and understand the historic and Biblically reasoned roots of the vocabulary of liberty which John Locke and the Founding Fathers used to articulate and advance Constitutional liberty–words and phrases such as conscience, self-government, property, law and liberty, natural law, natural right, Law of Nature, rights, revolution, toleration and voluntary union, among other terms. Contemporary textbooks and news commentators unlearned in the historical standards of reference once used to define and maintain individual liberty, reveal the degree to which we are ignorant of the influence (and blessings) of the Bible on American political thought.

How is this book different from others on the market?

Perhaps one distinctive of this biography is that the author was committed to write and reason from available primary sources on or written by John Locke as well as an unashamed conviction in God’s Providence–the “Providential approach” to history.

Where can readers purchase a copy of John Locke: Philosopher of American Liberty?

Readers may purchase the first editions of the book from Nordskog Publishing or Amazon.com.

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About Cheryl C. Malandrinos