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Religious Liberty in Pluralist America

Brandon O’Brien shares Isaac Backus’ story and what it means for American Christians today

George P Wood on July 30, 2018


Religious liberty has emerged as a particularly contentious issue in American public discourse, especially in light of President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. But religious liberty didn’t become controversial overnight. Indeed, if history is any guide, religious liberty has been a controversial issue in the United States since its founding.

In today’s episode, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks to Brandon J. O’Brien about Isaac Backus, a Baptist who led the fight for religious liberty during America’s founding era. Backus’ example is both inspiring and instructive, shedding light on what religious liberty means in a contemporary, pluralist America.

O’Brien is director of content and distribution for Redeemer City to City in Manhattan, author of Demanding Liberty, a new biography of Isaac Backus published by InterVarsity Press, and coauthor with E. Randolph Richards of Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes and Paul Behaving Badly.


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