Jon Rowe has an excellent post up about deism, Christianity and the founders. He and I have talked a bit about this lately and it’s something he’s been writing about a lot. In particular, about the different types of deism, the different types of Christianity, and the ways in which the views of the founders are often oversimplified by those seeking to enlist the founders on their team in the religious battles. His post is well balanced in that regard, and so is the article he references from, of all places, First Things. That article was written by Avery Cardinal Dulles of Fordham University, and he has admirably avoided many of the distortions that are so common in the revisionist histories of Christian apologists like David Barton.
Dulles examines the evolution of deism and takes great care to separate the different types of Christianity as well and explain how liberal Christianity, particularly that espoused by Locke and Newton, paved the way for and to some extent blended into deism to produce what Rowe has called “theistic rationalism”. Both articles are very much worth reading.