December 20, 2013

More on the Reformed Libertarian Vision

By In Blogs

Often times this site seems to be quite helter skelter, unorderly.  At least in my mind.  One minute I’ve got a rugged defense of Gordon Clarkian propositional revelation, the other I’m lambasting the foreign policy of the United States.  One minute I’m reviewing a book on Baptistic Covenant Theology, and the next day, I can’t seem to complain loud enough about Paul Krugman.  I heartily defend the Calvinist doctrine Limited Atonement and then I defend Ron Paul against his critics.  This is probably what one should expect by maintaining a site dedicated to Reformed Theology and Rothbardian libertarianism.

And perhaps we can’t get much beyond this until I am nailing down the future of the site.

It would be great to do two main articles per day: one on the “Reformed Side” and the other on the “Libertarian Side.”  I think I am almost ready to do this.  First I had wanted to define what it looked like to be a libertarian based on a Christian worldview.  I just have to figure out how to set it up on the main page.  I will need to create one feed for each subject so that it looks clear.  I think by having the site better organized, I can convince more people to stick around and read more.

Next, I will need to stop reading so much and starting writing.  I have read 7 books in the last two weeks.  Rule: when you write about something, know what you are talking about. Application: read read read.  Then write.

I’ve read read read.  Time to write.

When I started this site, I was unclear on some things.  Now I have a better idea on those things.  Problem: the more I learn, the more I need to learn.  I am a perfectionist.  Thus, my tendency is to never stop to write until I have first read everything.  Problem: I can’t read everything.  Thus, I need to be confident to write.  Then pray for humility to accept where I was wrong.

I will tell you where I am abundantly clear: That I am a Confessional (Reformed) Baptist. I subscribe to the 1689 London Confession of Faith.  I hold to a Baptist Covenant Theology.   This is best expressed at this website: http://www.1689federalism.com.  The issue of credobaptism vs paedobaptism is chiefly about one thing: the nature of the covenants.  At first I did not want to take too much time to talk about my Baptist distinctives.  I wanted to stick with the more broad term “Reformed.”  I thought that the Presbyterians would put off.  But they can handle it.  I have faith in them.  I am convinced that the nature of the New Covenant is best described by saying that all who are members of it are saved.  This is central to my theology.  Thus, it must be made clear.  The Presbyterians disagree with me here.  I do not have a problem with that.

I will tell you where else I am abundantly clear: That I subscribe to the Austrian School of Economic theory.  Mises was the greatest economist.  His entire school of economic thought was praxeological, it was deductive.  It all rested on Kantian epistemology.  The method of economics for Mises was aprioristic.  Rothbard was the second greatest economist.  Everything within the science of economics was aprioristic for him too.  His most ultimate foundation was the empiricism of Thomas Aquinas though.  If they can disagree on the ultimate foundation, but agree on the method, then I submit that I too can do the same.  The science of economics, I agree, is entirely aprioristic.  However, in my view the first principle that “humans act purposefully” is based not on Kant nor on Aquinas, but on the Word of God.  My philosophy is robustly Christian.  As a Misesian economic student, my adherence to laissez faire capitalism is total.

Lastly, I am a property-rights libertarian.  God has imputed rights to each individual.  The State must not interfere with these rights.  It would be immoral for it to do so.  The problem that this presents for the State is enormous.  For the State lives off of what it takes from individuals and it thrives off of interfering with the rights of the people.  This is its modus operandi, the way it functions.  By virtue of its very anatomy the State is harmful to property rights and all the logical extensions of property rights as well.  So many Christians want to point out that the State is ordained by God.  I agree.  But this does not necessitate the exclusion of our take on the anatomy of the State! Oh that Christians would recognize the nature of the State!  Perhaps the Christian wants to justify the State’s existence.  Fine. But why not start by first properly understanding it?  I have talked about God’s ordaining the State here.

What is the vision of The Reformed Libertarian?  There are three things:

1. To demonstrate and defend the historic Reformed and Protestant faith.

2. To stand for individual liberty (of the Rothbardian and Hoppeian flavor) in our society of statism and authoritarianism.

3. To put forth a unity between the Reformed faith and libertarian polity.

What is the purest and brightest liberty of all?  The liberty that is to be found in the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He is our hope.

 

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com