At the Christian libertarian FAQ page, J. asks:

Are there any notable 20th century Christian libertarian scholars or philosophers? After John Locke, every major libertarian thinker from Hayek, to Von Mises, to Rand, to Nozick, to Friedman, and onward seems to have been atheist or agnostic. Are there any exceptions?

Often Christian scholars are less visible than their secular counterparts because they do not hold high positions in government or at large public universities but rather are church leaders, missionaries, or professors at Christian colleges.  Their views as Christians may overshadow their libertarianism since politics is only one part of a Christian worldview.

Many Christians hold to some variety of limited government and could be considered libertarians in that sense.  However, as Christians are less commonly supportive of abortion, for example, their libertarianism is at variance with that of, say, Murray Rothbard.

Some of the more prominent 20th Century Christians who hold to political beliefs which could be described as libertarian include:

  • Edmund Opitz – Congregationalist Minister, Senior Staff Member at FEE
  • Hans Sennholz – Economist in the Austrian School, Professor at Grove City College
  • Gordon H. Clark – Christian Philosopher, Professor
  • J. Gresham Machen – Theologian, Professor, Orthodox Presbyterian Church
  • Ron Paul – Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Presidential Candidate
  • John Howard Yoder – Mennonite Theologian, Christian Pacifist

Others deserving a mention include John W. Robbins and Rousas John Rushdoony, although Rushdoony was a proponent of theonomic reconstructionism rather than libertarianism per se.

Furthermore, there are a number of Christians associated with think tanks such as the Mises Institute, Cato Institute, and Independent Institute, including Jeffrey Tucker, Tom Woods, Robert P. Murphy, Lew Rockwell, Gary North, William Grigg, Ryan McMaken, David Theroux, and Doug Bandow. Others that should be mentioned include Chuck Baldwin, Steven Yates, Laurence Vance, and our own Norman Horn.

Check out the rest of the Christian Libertarian FAQ here.

Doug Douma

Doug Douma is a Christian focused on advancing Biblical views as Truth on all topics into the mainstream discussion. His areas of interest include Christian philosophy, ethics, and Austrian Economics. He works as an engineering manager at an aerospace company near Austin, Texas.
  • Jeff

    Lew Rockwell made your list twice. :)

  • Whoops, that was my mistake in editing. Thanks, I’ll correct it!

  • Joseph K. McCall

    Thanks for this list.
    I was introduced to Edmund Opitz a couple years ago- his work was a great companion for me in my first steps of understanding libertarian thought.

    I gotta say though, as a person who doesn’t hold to TULIP, and how much of my theology has led me to libertarian thought, I’m always shocked how many Calvinists are libertarians haha

  • I could have also answered with… “Well, he deserves DOUBLE MENTION!” :-)

  • David J. Theroux

    Actually, most all libertarian scholars historically have been Christians and those who are not are all at best utilitarians who have simply embraced the the same fallacious Zeitgeist epistemology responsible for the moral relativism and collectivism/statism that have dominated the thinking of western elites for 200 years. Today, there are thousands of Christian scholars who support the ideas of liberty.

  • Ryan Rickard

    Though I am not sure that he used the label, and I know his son is certainly NOT a libertarian, Greg Bahnsen should be in the conversation. His Christian Reconstructionism walks and talks very ‘libertarian’, though nuanced to say the least.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget Robert Sirico, Lord Acton, Doug F. Newman, and many others.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget Gerard Casey, William L. Anderson, Doug F. Newman, and other Christian libertarians

  • Al

    One great Christian philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas

  • David

    As a fairly young Christian Libertarian who was raised initially by three-point Arminians who later became five point Calvinists, I’m kind of iffy on the predestination thing and don’t really know what my beliefs are. I don’t see why that should matter to being a libertarian though. If anything I would think that Calvinists should all be libertarians. I mean, if God chooses who goes to Hell, why ruin their lives even further by outlawing their vices? What would be the point? Of course, there’s an economic and foreign policy stance provided by libertarianism as well that people may or may not agree with but its the social part that is most often and consistently tied to religion. Albeit not by me, it doesn’t really matter. Laurence Vance’s article “We need an atheist President” is pretty spot on as far as I’m concerned.

  • Frank_in_Spokane

    Hear, hear!

    “There are people who call themselves ‘Christian libertarians,’ and I think that qualification is very important because basically what they’re saying is, ‘We believe in a Christian approach to social theory, and we think that the Bible promotes maximal freedom for the individual, or a free market,’ or what have you. And in that sense, you can call me a Christian libertarian. I am a defender of the free market. I think it’s very important to defend the free market. I also believe you can only do that in a Christian farmework.” ~ Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen, in a talk entitled “God’s Sovereignty vs. Individual Sovereignty,” given at Hillsdale College (date unknown)

  • nctenther

    Dont forget Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms

  • Patrick Sanders

    Shawn Ritenour – Foundations of Economics: A Christian View