Welcome to the Reformed Libertarian. This site represents a long-term attempt to investigate, discover, and development the relationship between our Reformed Christian faith and the systematic and logically consistent property-rights based political theory known today as libertarianism.
In our time, we believe that liberty in social life is an important doctrine worth defending. And we are resolute in our stance that the Christian world at large has not done enough to emphasize the importance, both on theological and socio-economic grounds, of liberty.
In this light, our goal is to provide content having to do with political and economic theory, politics and social developments, and goings on within the greater Christian world, such as it is. Thanks for stopping by!
We are working to complete these pages and they will be live soon!
While often well-intentioned, we believe that this is not the solution.
One of the most needed and trending areas of our attention.
Does marriage rely on the state? Is it within the purview of the Church?
In defense of negative rights, what that means, and why we believe it.
Our position on the hotly debated two-kingdom vs.neo-Kuyperian debate.
A Reformed Libertarian classic! Here’s what we think about this passage.
As far as our research and readings have indicated, we are the first to intentionally and specifically choose this phrase as our defining label. We purchased the domain in 2011.
It’s a difficult and contentious effort to “truly” define Reformed. We are adherents of the 5 solas of the Reformation, we believe that God relates to men via his covenants, we believe in the Doctrines of Grace (5 points of Calvinism), we are confessional and adhere to at least several of the major Reformed confessions including WCF or the LBCF.
The definition of libertarianism is the legal theory (which has political ramifications) which holds that no man may initiate aggression, or threat to initiate aggression, against the property of another human being, lest he engage in criminal behavior. That is to say, under the libertarian legal theory, a criminal is defined as one who breaches the above described “Non-Aggression Principle.” For the libertarian, that which is illegal is determined in terms of private property ownership and therefore not all things that may be categorized as immoral, unethical, sinful, and so on are necessarily criminal.
The Reformed libertarian agrees with all of this and thus in this way, we don’t differentiate “our type” of libertarianism from a “regular one” when it comes to the meaning of libertarianism.
What we are trying to communicate, however, with our phrase, is that when we look at the foundation or justification of the above meaning of libertarianism, we source it within the context of a Christian worldview, the epistemology and moral theory of which is distinct from other potential foundations for libertarianism.
For instance, there are utilitarian libertarians (Mises), Natural Law libertarians (Rothbard), Kantian libertarians (Hoppe). There are others as well. But what libertarians have in common is not their worldview, not their justification of knowledge, and not their personal lifestyle preferences. Rather, they have in common their agreement with the libertarian paragraph above. Rothbard and Hoppe are not two types of libertarians, and neither are we a distinct type. But we might refer to distinct arguments to build the foundation for defending the first paragraph.
We are not theonomists. We also define theonomy very strictly and connect it with the movement headed by figures RJ Rushdoony, Greg Bahnsen, and Gary North. Theonomy is the view that the civil laws that governed the members of the Mosaic covenant are still binding on all peoples today. Contra this position, we RLs take the view that these civil laws were done away with when the Mosaic covenant itself was done away with.
We make a distinction between those actions that are sinful (in discordance with the moral commandments of God– His preceptive will) and those actions in society that can be justly responded to with coercion. In summary of our view, a sin is ultimately a matter of the heart/mind and only God can judge it, while a crime is a socially objective violation of another human being’s property right.