October 20, 1997 | Richard Sherlock
This study offers a new, more political, view of the intentions, structure, and meaning of Locke's masterpiece The Reasonableness of Christianity. It argues that Locke's work is not to be viewed as another in a long line of seventeenth century works purporting to offer a "rational" basis for the Christian religion. Rather Locke's purpose is to reinterpret Christian doctrine in order to make it "safe" for liberal regimes. Locke's Jesus is not the Divine mediator nor focus of God's revelation to humankind. Rather he is a moral teacher who provides the religious imprimatur for the virtuous behavior of the masses that liberalism requires.