I recently met with a candidate for public office in Texas who had a number of questions about how to think about the connections between Christianity and libertarianism. We had a great conversation, and by the end of it I had recommended at least seven or eight books for more information. I said I would put together the list with links and send it via email, and then I realized that this was actually a pretty nice reading list in general. Here’s what I recommend reading to start one’s education in Christian theology and libertarian political theory. Some I will explain in detail, some I won’t, but any of these are worth having on your bookshelf.
Christian Libertarian Books
Christian Theology of Public Policy, by John Cobin – A great way to start is to read John Cobin’s short course here on LCC, but his book is a must-have for Christian libertarian thinkers. His other book, Bible and Government (read the LCC review here), overlaps some material bust is worth reading as well. (UPDATE: LCC readers can get a special deal on Cobin’s books direct from Cobin himself.)
On Civil Government, by David Lipscomb – Few people in the 19th century had a radical vision like David Lipscomb. His critique of statism from a Christian standpoint is classic. This book is a bit difficult to find sometimes but you can get the text for free here. Laurence Vance has it in stock in his classic reprints series, look for number 117.
Religion and Capitalism: Allies, Not Enemies, by Edmund Opitz – Another great book to help back up your defense of the free market from a Christian perspective. Also a bit difficult to find. (I managed to purchase a SIGNED copy on eBay once, though…)
Christianity and War, by Laurence Vance – War is the health of the state, and the enemy of mankind. Laurence demolishes every “Christian” argument for war you’ll ever hear.
Foundations of Economics: A Christian View, by Shawn Ritenour – Every Christian ought to understand some economics, and Shawn’s book is a great way to get a thorough understanding. This one is not for the uninitiated.
The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy, by Thomas Woods – This book is especially useful for Catholics, obviously, and I highly recommend it.
General “Must-Read” Libertarian Books
For a New Liberty, by Murray Rothbard
Our Enemy, the State, by Albert Jay Nock
Healing Our World, by Mary Ruwart
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, by Thomas Woods
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism, by Robert Murphy – I really like these aforementioned Politically Incorrect Guides because of how they serve as a jumping off point for so many super things to learn and consider.
Rollback, by Thomas Woods
The Law, by Frederic Bastiat