Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Comparison of the Biblical and Libertarian Philosophy of Government

What is the source of liberty?

Is liberty based on the principle of self ownership?

By what authority do we take the life of a murderer? a homosexual fornicator?

While Christians and Libertarians often agree on many things in the practice of government, we do so from a vastly different foundation because we have a markedly divergent view of authority.

See where we differ and why in this side by side comparison.

Samuel Rutherford, Author of Lex Rex

John Locke, Two Treatises of Government


Chuck said...

But what about Rushdoony's Christian Libertarianism?--Chuck

Peter Allison said...

Chuck, that was behind my statement "While Christians and Libertarians often agree on many things in the practice of government...". In many ways a Biblical government does look a lot like a Libertarian one in many ways - and I think that was the point Rushdoony was making. In fact an advanced Biblical culture would be even more free than the Libertarian ideal. It's the foundation that is radically different. For more detail on the difference between Biblical liberty and the Libertarian ideal of liberty see

Chuck said...

Bojidar M. writes that libertarianism, undergirded by the only presuppositions which can make sense of libertarianism i.e. Christian ones, is Biblical government.
I can talk that way, or I can and do talk the way you do e.g. "I'm aligned with libertarians, but I can't be one of them."
Thanks for clarifying your meaning.

Peter Allison said...

Biblical presuppositions are the only ones that make sense of anything. All other philosophies and presuppositions are internally inconsistent and thus irrational.

But the fact that Christian presuppositions are the only ones that make sense of libertarianism doesn't change the teachings of libertarianism and make them biblical. The Libertarian foundation is radically different from the Christian's. For them, the individual is sovereign. For us God alone is sovereign. The radical divergence of these different foundations becomes apparent at certain critical intersections. For example, G. Edward Griffin, a leading libertarian voice today, would argue that if a third person approached a lifeboat for two, the two on the lifeboat two would be morally justified in pushing that third person away causing him to drown in order to preserve the lives of the first two. This is not Christian, but it is consistent Libertarianism.