Christian Book Previews Home
Christian Book Previews
Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
240 pages
Apr 2005
W Publishing Group

God and the Oval Office: The Religious Faith of Our 43 Presidents

by John McCollister

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Was the United States a secular or a religious experiment? What does the faith of our presidents say about our country?

John C. McCollister provides a peek at each of our forty-three presidents' faith using their own words in God and the Oval Office. Most of them said a great deal about God, though some were nearly silent. For the silent ones, the author draws on the comments of their close friends and families. He records background information, a vignette of the president's life and service, a portrait, and a list of the highlights of the president's administration.

McCollister writes in a friendly, readable style that makes the book useful for students as well as adults. He provides the presidents' statements about their faith with few editorial comments, not trying to force their religious experience into his own mold. He analyzes some of the events in their lives which may have helped shape their views. At the back of the book he provides an overview of church affiliation.

Dr. McCollister has an impressive background, including a doctorate in communication. He has served as a pastor and a university professor. He has written nineteen books. Pastors, school libraries, and homeschoolers will find this book useful. Most readers will find it enjoyable. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Here is a rare look at the religious faith of each of America's forty-three presidents

In her more than 200 year history, the United States of America has had only forty-three presidents. Each brought his own politics, personality and brand of religion to the White House. While almost a third of them belonged to either the Episcopalian or Presbyterian church, others practiced denominations as varied as Congregationalist, Disciples of Christ, Quaker, Reformed, Roman Catholic, and Unitarian. Even the eight commanders in chief who claimed no official affiliation, were intensely spiritual men.

George W. Bush has made no secret of the place God and religion play in his presidency. John F. Kennedy will always be known as the first Roman Catholic president. But neither Thomas Jefferson nor Abraham Lincoln ever joined a church. And though some presidents worshipped publicly, some only in private, they all realized that the Constitutional guarantee of “freedom of religion” never meant freedom from religion.