Welcome to the second episode of The Libertarian Christian Podcast, and the first episode in which we’ll start to dive into some serious analysis. The mainline marketing gurus advise to ease into things without rocking the boat, so we thought it would be good to jump in with a non-controversial topic, like ‘Should civil government even exist?’ The liberty movement spans a broad range of thought on this issue, but most libertarians would roughly be classified as either advocates of a very small, limited civil government (minarchy) or advocates of some form of stateless society with no civil government (anarchy). What should libertarians think of this issue, and how does Christian theology come into play? Find out, in Episode 2 of The Libertarian Christian Podcast.

Ep 2: Anarchism and Minarchism in Christian thought



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Show Notes

Historical references, ancient to contemporary (representative samples; by no means exhaustive)

Exegesis, theology, and hermeneutics

Doug Stuart

Doug Stuart holds a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Seminary and is a regular contributor to LibertarianChristians.com. He currently lives with his wife and three children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he enjoys home brewing, coffee roasting, reading, and aviation. He is a life group leader and deacon at an evangelical church, where he has also taught classes on film and culture, evangelism, faith and economics, and non-violence.
  • Dr. Jamin Hübner

    The sarcasm on marketing and the topic question made me laugh so loud I scared Jessica (my wife) while she was eating breakfast. Perfect way to start the day.

  • I was surprised that you mentioned C.H. Spurgeon. It is true that no one much considers his views regarding the state. I suspect the reason for that is that he was really not terribly consistent in his thought about most subjects. He was an orator/entertainer more than a philosopher/theologian. Sort of the Teddy Roosevelt of the particular Baptists.

  • LOL Thanks Jamin!

  • Adam Brice

    I’m a libertarian leaning pastor in a denomination filled with people who hold what you label the “statist” position in this podcast. However, I was somewhat disappointed in two regards about this episode. 1.> The lack of serious attention to Rom 13. I felt like it was dismissed rather than addressed. No libertarian Christian position will ever get off the ground without dealing seriously with Rom 13. There’s a reason everybody talks about this passage. It’s perhaps the fullest and clearest treatment of the state in the New Testament. I don’t think a position that doesn’t explain this passage in some detail will ever be considered biblically sound. 2.> I felt like the comments about the “statist” position most of my friends hold were not at all accurate, a bit of a strawman. Some examples: a.> It was implied that God’s ordaining governments means all governments are equally valid somehow. I don’t know anyone who thinks this. God’s ordaining is permissive. He allows even lousy governments (like Nero!) to exist for his ultimate and sometimes mysterious purposes. b.> It was implied that God’s ordaining these governments means we can’t oppose them in any way, but in fact just the opposite is the case. BECAUSE they are ordained by God, they are ultimately accountable to God, and therefore part of our RESPECTING their authority is to speak against then (like John the Baptist did to Herod) when they perpetrate evil and injust acts. Even Calvin supported the right to rebel against injust governments. 80% of the colonists were Calvinists when they started the American revolution which was known as the Presbyterian revolt in England. Obviously they didn’t understand their acceptance of God’s ordaining government to mean blind toleration of injustice. You don’t have to agree with thie view of government, but you do have to state it accurately if you’re going to argue against it responsibly. If I may humbly suggest, I think you have some work to do in this area yet. You might check C.E.B. Cranfields article “The Christian’s Political Responsibility” for a really careful discussion of Rom 13 and the Christian view of government in general from the “statist” position. I hope my criticism is taken constructively. I really do want your podcast to succeed. There’s precious little out there in terms of resources for libertarian Christians.

  • Hey Adam. Yeah, I’m sorry we didn’t get deep into the exegesis of Romans 13, instead we kind of just referenced prior work. Some day we will do a full show on Romans 13. For now, though, take a look at my New Testament theology of the State articles, Part 1 and Part 2:
    http://libertarianchristians.com/2008/11/25/new-testament-theology-1/
    http://libertarianchristians.com/2008/11/28/new-testament-theology-2/

  • Adam Brice

    Thanks. I’ll check out those articles.