Are there any notable Christian libertarian scholars?

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.

LCI posts articles representing a broad range of views from authors who identify as both Christian and libertarian. Of course, not everyone will agree with every article, and not every article represents an official position from LCI. Please direct any inquiries regarding the specifics of the article to the author. 

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