Dr. Larry Arnn’s book, The Founders’ Key, has one of the longest subtitles I have ever read. But don’t let “The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It,” scare you away. This lengthy and intimidating title for such a small book (less than 130 pages) does a disservice to Dr. Arnn’s hardback thesis.
Dr. Arnn’s concept is simple: the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution are inextricably linked, and such a bond should never be severed. Much of the first portion of the book is sent identifying the handiwork from America’s political past by those who have sought to alienate one or the other in an effort to advance their own agendas. Some of Arnn’s targets include John Dewey and Franklin Roosevelt, but he makes sure to include modern politicians as well, specifically pointing out what he sees as some of Nancy Pelosi’s many shortcomings.
Arnn’s point doesn’t end with negative assessments. In essence, Arnn is calling on the American people to recognize that the current political trends have taken us away from what the Founders originally intended. This is not new rhetoric, but it is not false rhetoric either. If America is to sustain itself, some semblance of its original principles must be maintained, and Arnn believes this can only be done through a return to a constitutional government:
Although it will take time to recover a constitutional government, a start can be made now, and significant results can be achieved soon. We have to recover the meaning of certain principles, and we have to recover the methods of constitutional rule as they are exemplified by the best practices form our past, (p. 119).
Arnn is rejecting the notion that the Constitution is archaic, and he does so eloquently.
While the book is a fine piece of academic thesis work, if does not pass for the average bookstore read. Arnn’s work is solid, but his use of footnotes may be overbearing for some. The page count lacks in many respects as well. While a long book does not make a good book, a book of 217 pages should have more than 120 pages of original work. The resources in the back are solid, but they don’t support the suggested retail price of $19.99.
This technical complaints aside, the book is a solid read. It’s simple message speaks to a culture that is currently dissatisfied with a government full of politicians who appear to care very little about their constituents. However, his message sometimes borders of the idolatrous. The subtitle alone suggests there is something Divine about the Declaration and the Constitution, but such a view borders of the worship of America rather than the God whom she claims to trust.
Dr. Arnn’s book serves as needed reminder that separating God and politics is nonsense. Unfortunately, it simply doesn’t pack the necessary punch needed to refresh the American people of the God who makes America either great, or not.