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Libertarianism and Christian Strategy

Here is a quote from my most recent article:

Libertarianism exists in the world of ideas, it confronts man at the intellectual level– what the world needs is intellectual confrontation. To achieve a free society, the libertarian must primarily preach liberty, not put better people in power. The government will always be a reflection of the opinions held by society’s members and to cater to popularity is to protect, not overcome, modern man’s awe of the state.

Following this, a member of the Reformed Libertarian Facebook group asked:

How is this functionally different from dominionism? Let me demonstrate:

“Christianity exists in the world of ideas, it confronts man at the intellectual level– what the world needs is intellectual confrontation. To achieve a free society, the Christian must primarily preach repentance and the gospel, not put better people in power. The government will always be a reflection of the opinions held by society’s members and to cater to popularity is to protect, not overcome, modern man’s awe of the state.”

I guess what I’m asking is, what is the fundamental difference between a libertarian society and a Christian one? Or, perhaps more to the point, how could you possibly hope to sustain a libertarian society apart from the work of the gospel in the hearts of men?

Here is the response:

Your question is a little confused, I think. Firstly, I certainly agree, and have stated often, that Christianity, being an ideology, has the same strategy as libertarianism: persuasion and argumentation. It too confronts man at the intellectual level. This isn’t per se dominionism.

Second, the aim of the gospel is to save men eternally, not to create a free society. Preaching repentance has as its primary goal the eternal salvation of man, not the freedom from tyrants.

Libertarian societies are sustained when men adhere to property rights and free markets, regardless of whether many people are saved. As the history of Christianity shows, many men can be saved whilst contradicting the libertarian doctrine of political freedom. Adherence to the gospel does not promise a free society, unfortunately. Christian men still sin via statism.

Published in C.Jay Engel