“I simply admit that I have written some rather distasteful things for the purpose of frightening Christians away from the insanity of war, for I observed that the largest part of the evils of the Christian community take their origin from the wars which we have seen for all too many years.” ~ Erasmus
In the first of my articles on Erasmus (“Erasmus on the Evils of War”), I wrote a brief introduction to Erasmus and his works on war and peace that should be read to better understand what Erasmus has to say here about Christianity and war.
Erasmus had much to say regarding Christianity and war. This is especially relevant today considering the level of Christian support for the U.S. government’s wars and military interventions.
Tags: church history, Erasmus, ethics, history, philosophy, theology, war
I will be participating in a debate this Saturday at 7:00 pm EST (November 16, 2013) at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia. The debate is hosted by the Wilberforce Society, and the topic is “Government and Marriage.” More specifically, should the government define marriage to be between one man and one woman? I’ll be defending the negative — that government should not have that power. It should be a really fun event. My fellow debater will be Dr. Allan Carlson of the Howard Center For Family, Religion, and Society. I am confident that we will all be able to learn from each other.
If you’re in the area, feel free to join us (I think it is open to the public). The debate will be held in the Student Lounge of the Barbara Hodel Center, located at 10 Patrick Henry Circle, Purcellville, VA 20132.
I am uncertain at this point if the debate will be recorded and/or streamed live, but stay tuned to this post and I will update with additional details as they come.
Lastly, please pray that I can present the best case for why we cannot trust the government to be any better a steward or regulator of “marriage” than they are a steward of our economy, health, or security. As always, thank you for your support of the efforts of LibertarianChristians.com!
UPDATE: I am told that the event will be live-streamed, click here at 7pm EST on November 16 to watch. Hopefully the recording will be made available following the event…
Tags: Blog News, debate, family, marriage, philosophy
“Since we see that there is hardly ever any respite from wars, which normally arise from the ambition or anger of princes and thus are usually fought for the worst reasons, in my writings I frequently frighten people away from warfare, and in doing so I follow the example of the ancient Doctors of the church.” ~ Erasmus
The Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus (c.1466-1536) was one of the most prolific writers in history. It has been said that in him we see the union of classical scholarship with Christian piety. The eclectic nature of his writings is quite remarkable. Since 1974, the University of Toronto Press has been in the process of issuing “an accurate, readable English text of Erasmus’ correspondence and his other principal writings in an edition of 89 volumes.” New and used copies of most of the available volumes can be found on Amazon.
In a letter written in 1500, Erasmus correctly related the significance of his writings:
Please explain to her [Lady Anna van Borssele] how much greater is the glory she can acquire from me, by my literary works, than from the other theologians in her patronage. They merely deliver humdrum sermons; I am writing books that may last for ever. Their uneducated nonsense finds an audience in perhaps a couple of churches; my books will be read all over the world, in the Latin west and in the Greek east and by every nation.
In a letter written in 1515, Erasmus explained that he wrote in order to serve “some useful purpose.” One of the most useful purposes of Erasmus’s writings is the insight he gives on war and peace. As the translator and annotator of one of Erasmus’ Colloquies wrote: “His writings had little or no direct political effect. Nevertheless as a propagandist for peace he produced some of the best and most widely read arguments on war and peace, and they are still worth reading.”
Tags: church history, Erasmus, ethics, history, philosophy, theology, war
Today I received an email from the Christian Post to comment on a recent speech by Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics scholar Jay Richards. Apparently, Mr. Richards argues that Libertarians need a theistic framework to make sense of their free-market, small government worldview. I was asked the following questions:
Does LibertarianChristians.com know how many libertarians are Christian, versus how many are not? Also, would you agree with Mr. Richards’ assertion that libertarianism does not make sense from a materialistic worldview?
Unfortunately, I did not view this message until after the writer needed a response (his article is now posted here), but I did have a nice conversation with him over the phone and I sent him the following short response:
It is very hard to say exactly what percentage of libertarians are Christians, but it is significant that even though there are clearly very diverse personal beliefs within the movement that we often work together for the mutual goal of promoting liberty. Very few atheist libertarians are of the “militant atheist” variety (in my experience).
Although I have not listened to the specifics of Jay Richards’s speech, I would generally argue that you don’t HAVE to be a Christian for libertarianism to make sense. Part of the beauty of libertarianism is that it conforms to natural law, and scholars have long argued that natural law has an objective truth to it that requires no appeal to a religious source. Now, as Christians, we have a revelation from the one who created all things, and this revelation shows us not only natural law but also the person of God through Jesus Christ.
Anyway, there’s something to ponder for the weekend. Thanks for listening.
So, LCC readers, what do you have to add? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to share this post around with your friends. I hope we will have a good set of responses here for the writer to consider in the future.
Tags: christian libertarianism, Christian worldview, libertarianism
This article was jointly written by Doug Stuart and Jessica Hooker.
“…libertarianism is a values system of its own, and it’s an alternative, not a complement, to the values system that is Christianity.”
Such is the thesis of Elizabeth Stoker’s ongoing series on Christianity and libertarianism. She makes a strong case against what she thinks is an incompatibility between libertarian philosophy (as she understands it) and Christianity (as she understands it).
Stoker and these LCC authors share a common lineage. Like her, we grew up in “right-wing” homes, both distinctively Christian. While many of our beliefs were inherited from our parents, there was not a time when we didn’t believe for ourselves what the Bible said. Likewise, our families’ political ideology (staunch Republican) influenced the way we thought about politics for years. Over time Stoker became a hardcore leftist, while our journeys brought us to respect and embrace libertarianism. In some ways, we share a common dislike for the “right-wing” political ideology.
Stoker stated at the beginning of her first post, “The Curious Case of Christian Libertarians”, that she did not intend to shame or poke fun at anyone. Neither do we.
She wanted to share why she believes “the central concerns of libertarians are fundamentally different from the central concerns of Christianity.” Good for her.
She has written a succinct explanation of her position.
Now, it’s our turn. Read More→
Tags: charity, christian libertarianism, elizabeth Stoker, ethics, libertarianism