DOUBTING THOMAS deals with a well-worn subject. The faith—or the lack thereof—of Thomas Jefferson. While much ink has already been spilled over this subject, the truth is
there are some little known facts we hope to bring to light in this fresh study.
We want to make a confession of our personal beliefs about Thomas Jefferson right from the start. Neither of us wants to make Jefferson into something he was not.
We do not hold the opinion that by the end of his life he would be able to give the kind of evidence for authentic faith that we would seek today of members of
our congregations. We know that most evangelicals who have read biographies of Jefferson to this date probably would have the same feeling. So we honestly do not
have a goal of making him one of us.
However, we believe only part of the story has been told and this book presents evidence—new evidence—that most have not heard about. Although our standards
lead us to think of him late in life as a confused seeker more than a confirmed believer, it is entirely possible that he was a committed Christian in the first half of
his life. And we have to acknowledge that the pastor of his local Episcopal Church in the last seven years of his life accepted him as a member in good standing (as did
Jefferson’s previous pastors). These men knew him by his life without knowing his private writings.
All of this leads us to believe that Jefferson is also misunderstood and his views all too often misrepresented which usually makes him repugnant to many Christians.
The quotes that are most often repeated today are in fact things that people in his lifetime never heard from him. They were found later as unsent letters or else were
sent to a few people in confidence with the understanding that they would never be published. In other words, Jefferson never attacked orthodox Christian beliefs