Lincoln's Battle with God: A President's Struggle with Faith and What It Meant for America

Lincoln s Battle with God A President s Struggle with Faith and What It Meant for America Abraham Lincoln is the most beloved of all U S presidents He freed the slaves gave the world some of its most beautiful phrases and redefined the meaning of America He did all of this with wisdom c

  • Title: Lincoln's Battle with God: A President's Struggle with Faith and What It Meant for America
  • Author: Stephen Mansfield
  • ISBN: 9781595553096
  • Page: 359
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Abraham Lincoln is the most beloved of all U.S presidents He freed the slaves, gave the world some of its most beautiful phrases, and redefined the meaning of America He did all of this with wisdom, compassion, and wit Yet, throughout his life, Lincoln fought with God In his early years in Illinois, he rejected even the existence of God and became the village atheist.Abraham Lincoln is the most beloved of all U.S presidents He freed the slaves, gave the world some of its most beautiful phrases, and redefined the meaning of America He did all of this with wisdom, compassion, and wit Yet, throughout his life, Lincoln fought with God In his early years in Illinois, he rejected even the existence of God and became the village atheist In time, this changed but still he wrestled with the truth of the Bible, preachers, doctrines, the will of God, the providence of God, and then, finally, God s purposes in the Civil War Still, on the day he was shot, Lincoln said he longed to go to Jerusalem to walk in the Savior s steps.What had happened What was the journey that took Abraham Lincoln from outspoken atheist to a man who yearned to walk in the footsteps of Christ In this thrilling journey through a largely unknown part of American history, New York Times best selling author Stephen Mansfield tells the richly textured story of Abraham Lincoln s spiritual life and draws from it a meaning sure to inspire Americans today.

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    About "Stephen Mansfield"

    1. Stephen Mansfield

      Stephen Mansfield is a New York Times bestselling author and a popular speaker who is becoming one of the nation s most respected voices on religion and American culture He is also an activist in a variety of social causes.Stephen was born in Georgia but grew up largely in Europe due to his father s career as an officer in the United States Army After a youth filled with sports, travel, and mischief, he was recruited to play college football but turned down the opportunity when a Christian conversion moved him to attend a leading Christian college.He earned a Bachelor s degree in history and philosophy and then moved to Texas where he pastored a church, completed two Master s degrees, hosted a radio show and began acquiring a reputation as a popular speaker of both depth and humor He moved to Tennessee in 1991 where he again pastored a church, did relief work among the Kurds in Northern Iraq, served as a political consultant, and completed a doctorate.It was during this time that he also launched the writing career for which he has become internationally known His first book on Winston Churchill was a Gold Medallion Award Finalist He also wrote widely acclaimed biographies of Booker T Washington and George Whitefield as well as a number of other books on history and leadership In 1997, the Governor of Tennessee commissioned Mansfield to write the official history of religion in Tennessee for that state s bicentennial.In 2002, Stephen left the pastorate after twenty fruitful years to write and lecture full time Not long afterward he wrote The Faith of George W Bush, which spent many weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and won numerous national awards The book also became a source for Oliver Stone s internationally acclaimed film W, which chronicled Bush s rise to the presidency.This international bestseller led to a string of influential books over the following eight years Stephen wrote The Faith of the American Soldier after being embedded with U.S troops in Iraq He also wrote about the new Pope in Benedict XVI His Life and Mission His book The Faith of Barack Obama was another international bestseller and was often a topic in major media during the presidential campaign of 2008 To answer the crumbling values of portions of corporate America, he wrote The Search for God and Guinness and soon found himself speaking to corporate gatherings around the world.Stephen continues to write books about faith and culture recently on topics like Sarah Palin, Oprah Winfrey and America s generals but beyond his writing career he has founded The Mansfield Group, a successful consulting and communications firm, as well as Chartwell Literary Group, a firm that creates and manages literary projects Together with his wife, Beverly, Mansfield has created The Global Leadership Development Fund, a foundation that sponsors leadership training and networking around the world.In recent years, Stephen s popularity as a speaker has nearly eclipsed his reputation as a bestselling author He is often to be found addressing a university gathering, a corporate retreat or a fundraising banquet and stirring his audience with the humor and storytelling that have become his trademark.Mansfield lives primarily in Nashville, Tennessee, with his beloved wife, Beverly, who is an award winning songwriter and producer For information, log onto MansfieldGroup.

    108 thoughts on “Lincoln's Battle with God: A President's Struggle with Faith and What It Meant for America”

    1. Lincoln’s Battle with God will disappoint two kinds of readers: secularists and Christian nationalists, both of whom want to claim America’s sixteenth president as wholly their own. He is neither, however. As Stephen Mansfield writes, “The silencing of Lincoln’s faith by the secular and the exaggerating of Lincoln’s faith by the religious have given us a less accurate and a less engaging Lincoln. We are poorer for the distortions.” Indeed we are, which is all the more reason to appre [...]

    2. I like just about any book about Lincoln, so I can't say that I didn't like this book. It was just disappointing.I felt as though Mansfield definitely leapt to conclusions too quickly and jumped through a lot of hoops to classify Lincoln's religious beliefs without concrete evidence. He will write something like, "historians doubt [X] is true" but then proceed to take [X] as fact. At one point (152) he argues plainly that Lincoln believed in "God as creator, as ruler of the worldHe believed in t [...]

    3. The sixteenth president of the United States is dearly beloved by conservatives and liberals alike. He is known for his exemplary leadership, uncompromising character, and love for liberty. Yet his approach to God and the Christian life is something that is either assumed or neglected altogether. Either option shows a certain amount of naivety and must be challenged. Stephen Mansfield’s book, Lincoln’s Battle With God: A President’s Struggle With Faith and What it Meant for America address [...]

    4. Mr. Mansfield's argument in this very well written book can be summed up using his own words found on page 186 "He had hated God, had felt tortured and rejected by him, like Job of old. Utimately and through a process of years, Lincoln came to see God as good and just. He learned to rely on his comfort, trust in his guidance, and stand in awe of his perfect judgments. He may even have learned to love God as a heavenly Father far beyond any earthly father he had known."In my opinion Mr. Mansfield [...]

    5. I found this book interesting without being confrontational. It was nice to hear Lincoln's varied opinions of a god. The most interesting thing I noticed was that in all of the quotes Mr. Mansfield sourced, Lincoln never referred to Jesus Christ. He referred to a deity in many ways but not by any name in this book.The author was thought provoking and and truly seemed to give a fair analysis of Lincoln's beliefs."When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion." - Abra [...]

    6. A marvelous book focusing on the spiritual journey of Abraham Lincoln, from an athiest to a skeptic to a believer, whose developing faith affected the nation and helped his understanding of the Civil War. Lincoln is such a complicated subject but this appears to be a honest and unbiased portrait. "We want conclusions rather than processes, and we want conversions rather than religious journeys. The search for Abraham Lincoln's faith disappoints only if we begin that journey assuming there will b [...]

    7. I've always known that Lincoln was our best president, and this book only further confirmed it. Lincoln was a great character--very complex, conflicted, and even contradictory at times.This book had a very speculative feeling to it. A lot of different arguments were presented. But I think this reflects in a very honest way, how Lincoln research is. And this in turn says something about the man himself, who never really stated anything outright about his inner self.I learned a lot of things I did [...]

    8. Mansfield's book on Abraham Lincoln's faith is an interesting read. Following Lincoln's faith from his rejection of God in his youth to his final words about walking in the footsteps of Christ, this book looks at Lincoln's spiritual journey and makes some informed guesses at what the president was thinking and how he changed in his beliefs about God. While I was not convinced (and I'm unsure whether or not the author was convinced) that Lincoln was a Christian at his death, based on this book I [...]

    9. Relying on excerpts from Lincoln's speeches, letters, and conversations recounted by Lincoln's friends and associates, Mansfield makes a case for President Lincoln's transition from a nonbeliever into a man who puts his faith in God and the teachings of the Bible. Mansfield's writing reminds me of reading a graduate thesis, very workman like and documented. All in all an interesting read. Lincoln's personal experiences with death and the burden of the Civil War support Mansfield's conclusion tha [...]

    10. A fascinating book. I've heard/read a lot about Lincoln, but little about his faith (or lack there-of). Although non-Christians and Christians alike claim him for their side, he seemed really conflicted most of his life. His early life was one of rebellion as he was brought up in a very strict Christian home with a very domineering father that Lincoln did not like. "I'm chosen and you're not!". This soured him toward religion. His early adulthood was one of avowed atheist and mocked religion and [...]

    11. Lincoln's Battle with God, by Stephen Mansfield, portrays the young adult Lincoln as having become disillusioned with and skeptical of the fundamentalist Christianity of his father. Subsequent experiences of deaths of sons, personal suicidal depressions, and the frustrations of the civil war tempered his anti-Christian sentiments. Conversations with leading learned ministers of the time helped to lead him to an opening of a belief in a divine providence and an afterlife. His journey mirrors the [...]

    12. Interesting approach to religious biography. Does a masterful job of marshaling the evidence for Lincoln's progressing from religious skeptic to man of faith. Also contains some interesting facts about period revivals and the popularity of spiritism. Paints a clear picture of Lincoln as a brilliant, but compassionate human being.

    13. Excellent book about the struggles and life of Abraham Lincoln. I feel I've gotten to know our 16th president better, and have a greater admiration, respect, and appreciation for all he did for our country. I do not agree with those who feel Mr Lincoln was not a christian, simply because he did not profess it and was not baptized. Mr. Lincoln certainly "walked the walk". Many profess to know Christ, they "talk the talk" - but that is as far as it goes. It was these Christians who turned Abraham [...]

    14. Like many other facets of the 16th President's life, Mansfield argues that Lincoln's religious views evolved over time. The author maintains that Lincoln moves from being an outright skeptic early in his life, to a more modest point of view after his 3 year old son Eddie died in Springfield, to being a full-fledged believer in the divinity of Jesus Christ by the time of his Presidency. Most scholars concur that his views evolved, though very few would agree to the extent Mansfield insists, and e [...]

    15. Wow! This is a must read and perhaps I should rate it 5 stars. I wished the book was longer. Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was an atheist at one point in his life? His spiritual growth and development are fascinating; his character is amazing. I think it is important to know how his faith and prayer moved the course of the nation. I love him with all my heart.

    16. Very good discussion about the role religion played into Lincoln's life and how it shaped his time in Springfield and Washington, DC. A great read for anyone who wants a unique take on Lincoln's life!

    17. Americans have a strange relationship with thanksgiving. Make that, Thanksgiving, with a capital T. Prior to Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation of October 3, 1863, public observances of thanksgiving were intended to mark specific events – a military victory, a good harvest, perhaps sheer survival in a new land. Lincoln’s proclamation was made in the middle of the most horrific war our country had known up to that time – and has yet known. It’s a contradiction Stephen Mansfield captures mov [...]

    18. I don't normally like biographies or history or anything remotely close to nonfiction books on political figures. But I had "Lincoln's Battle with God" in ebook format, untouched, and after watching "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" (spoiler: he was not a vampire hunter in real life), I was looking for a book to read and was pulled to this one. I loved it mainly because I learned so much about Lincoln in an engaging way. I expected dry historical material - not because of the author, it was just [...]

    19. Mansfield provides. Plethora of sources and writes clearly, concisely, and shows a mastery of the subject. I appreciate that he leaves you to draw your own conclusion, which isn't a spoiler because he more or less points to this in his introduction. But he lays out sufficient evidence that you can think of Lincoln's faith what you want -- at least now you have more data to think that way.My only qualm is with the layout/format. I blame the publisher on this, but Mansfield does his best to keep t [...]

    20. I've long wanted to read an historical account of Abraham Lincoln's spiritual life, and this book was just what I was looking for. Mansfield is a balanced historian who is not quick to jump to conclusions based on questionable anecdotes, but has laid out a carefully researched account of the process that Lincoln went through to grow from being an aggressive religious skeptic to being a genuine spiritual seeker of Biblical truth. Despite what a reader of this book might desire, Mansfield refuses [...]

    21. "The silencing of Lincoln's faith by the secular and the exaggerating of Lincoln's faith by the religious have given us a less accurate and a less an engaging Lincoln. We are poor for the distortions."Stephen Mansfield's newest book Lincoln's Battle With God: A President's Struggle With Faith and What it Meant for American is, in my opinion, a book about two things: Abraham Lincoln's struggle with a faith and about the place of faith in the writing of history. On both counts I find Mansfield's w [...]

    22. Mansfield made his case. His conclusions were sound and justified. Lincoln's faith in God was significant, and may have been the major, at least a major, role in his decisions and direction as President. Lincoln thought Jesus someone special, if not God, Savior, at least. Depth of research was not exhaustive or even extensive, but it followed his spiritual development in life.

    23. Interesting perspective on Lincoln's mindset and personality.Well written, thought provoking. The author provides a fair assessment of multiple sources and accounts of Lincoln and his faith.

    24. An insightful look into Lincoln's growing relationship with God and the development of Lincoln's faith throughout his life. Realistically deals with the changes of thoughts and ideas in relationship to God through life-experiences.

    25. Great Book on Lincoln's Spiritual JourneyI'm grateful to Mansfield for the sources he provides in his book on Lincoln's spiritual journey. I enjoyed reading the personal and witness accounts of Lincoln's life. Excellent addition to my library.

    26. I enjoyed this book. It shows the struggle with faith that Lincoln had. It gave me insights into Lincolns spiritual life that was refreshing and insightful.

    27. Fascinating perspective on Lincoln’s journey of faith. Would definitely read more by this author as I think his approach is fair and without a hidden agenda.

    28. Americans have been infatuated with Lincoln’s religion since his death. Was he a Christian, was he an atheist? Was he an atheist turned Christian? What did he say about God, the Bible. and religion? Truly, the questions will never stop. Nearly 150 years later, historians and history buffs are still not convinced what Lincoln’s views on God were.Into this debate comes Stephen Mansfield, a “popular historian” who has written about other important Americans such as George W. Bush and Barack [...]

    29. The common perception of Abraham Lincoln is that he was a man whose lifelong, deeply held Christian faith gave him the courage to prosecute a long and bloody war to right one of mankind’s greatest wrongs: slavery. The facts, however, tell a different story about Lincoln’s long journey, a journey that, although it ultimately may have arrived at the same destination, involved numerous sidetracks and obstacles along the way.As Stephen Mansfield notes in Lincoln’s Battle with God (A President [...]

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