I had the pleasure of attending for the first time FEEcon this month. I met several interesting people, from fellow attendees to some of the speakers, including the president, Lawrence W. Reed. He spoke about the influence of his Christian faith on his work at FEE in his opening keynote speech, which highlighted a new ebook FEE has published called, Are We Good Enough for Liberty?

While there, I observed a few conversations between LCI’s Doug Stuart and other attendees where Doug had asked if it was possible for a Christian to be a libertarian. The responses were all in the positive,[1] but were primarily that Christianity and libertarianism don’t contradict each other. Still, for many of us, it’s not that libertarianism is merely one of many political options, but that libertarianism is a philosophy that emerges from the theology we ascribe to. Libertarianism has a firm theoretical basis in Christian theology.

But what does this mean? Does it mean that we ‘do’ libertarianism in a distinctly Christian way? Does it mean economics is different for us than it is for non-Christians? Does it simply provide a different perspective on the philosophy? Gary North seems to think Austrian economic theory is missing out on a Christian contribution to economics, and for my next series of articles, I’ll be evaluating North’s book, Christian Economics in One Lesson.

Who is Gary North?

Gary North is an interesting character among libertarian thinkers. He considers himself a radical libertarian in terms of his opposition to government intervention, but he favors traditional-conservative cultural values, to the point of supporting capital punishment for things like homosexuality, adultery, blasphemy, and the like. [2]

North’s odd take on Calvinism as supporting a theocratic reconstruction of the state with an otherwise anarcho-capitalist society certainly calls to question whether Christians (particularly Calvinists, like myself) can be legitimately libertarian. [3] But let’s set aside his politics for the moment.

North clearly is a proponent of Austrian economic theory.
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Kerry Baldwin

independent researcher, author

B.A. Philosophy, Arizona State University. My writing focuses on libertarian philosophy and reformed theology and aimed at the educated layperson. I am a confessionally Reformed Christian orthodox Presbyterian in the tradition of J. Gresham Machen (1881 – 1937)