A Libertarian Defense of Spanking

Click for more in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

This is my long overdue conclusion to the series I started back in the summer about spanking. Work has been terribly busy lately, and I have been very tired and not had a lot of energy to write. Plus, I’ve been doing a lot of debating on Facebook lately which is of dubious merit, and that has sapped a lot of my juices on this issue. Add to that the fact that I did NaNoWriMo this year, and my writing momentum for this blog has almost vanished. Oh well. I did post my critique of Dr. Clauson, and that seemed to have gotten things going again!

Well today, I want to complete my series on spanking. I’ve written two parts already in which I defend the practice of spanking from the Biblical Worldview. Today I want to tackle this from a different angle. I want to defend against the allegation that comes from certain Libertarians, Stefan Molyneux being the most prominent, that spanking is a violation of the Non-Aggression Principle, and therefore it is immoral.

In order to do this most effectively, I want to divest myself of the Biblical worldview temporarily. It’s not because I don’t think the Biblical worldview has anything to say on this, nor is it that it I don’t think it is an authoritative – or the authoritative – voice on the subject. In fact, I won’t really be leaving it behind at all. I just won’t be appealing to it, but to certain truths supported by it that are held by my opponents in order to be most practically persuasive.

So for the sake of pragmatism, I want to argue this case from a strictly anarcho-capitalist worldview, which is the worldview held by many prominent Libertarians such as Larken Rose and Stefan Malyneux.

Continue reading A Libertarian Defense of Spanking

Libertarianism and the Christian: An Uneasy Relationship? – A Response to Bereans at the Gate

Dr. Marc Clauson, professor of History and Political Science at Cedarville University, wrote a blog post for Bereans at the Gate back in September that I have been long overdue in rebutting. In his article he used the case of Belle Knox, the famous Duke porn star, to ponder the question of whether Divine Command Theory provides any insight into what civil law we ought to derive from the Bible. This is the rebuttal I have been promising Dr. Clauson for some time now. I wrote this in the second person, because I was addressing it to him, originally with the intention of posting it on his blog as a comment, but when I realized it was almost 6,000 words, I figured I didn’t want to take up so much real estate, and I also figured it would be good for the edification of all. I urge you to read his article before trying to digest this.

I should also mention that Dr. Clauson is an Elder in my church for whom I have great respect, so please do not read any hostility or divisiveness of any kind into this. I also recognize that I’m punching above my weight class here. Oh well…

Dr. Clauson,

I disagree with your position, primarily because I don’t think you quite understand Libertarianism. You characterize Libertarianism is being about maximizing personal freedom at all costs. You don’t seem to interact with the fundamental nature of government. You appeal to Divine Command Theory to give us limits that must be placed on freedom, but you don’t sufficiently defend why government must be the vehicle used to do this. In the end I agree that there are limits to our freedom, but the question before us needs to be, does government have the legitimate, Biblical role of enforcing those limits? I see several flaws in your argument.

Continue reading Libertarianism and the Christian: An Uneasy Relationship? – A Response to Bereans at the Gate

Clay Jars, Vines and the Cultural Collision

So apparently, David Haseltine of Jars of Clay has come out as supportive of same-sex marriage via Twitter. Here’s a few soundbites:

Queue the controversy! Michael Brown posted a lengthy response to his comments at Charisma News. My reaction on Facebook was:

Sigh, as usual, we can’t seem to realize that there are two different issues at play here. What homosexuals do or call their relationships have no substantive effect on us. Us not attacking them for their behavior would not be to condone it. Why is this even a debate?

Oh yeah, because of that thing called government that possesses a monopoly on coercive aggression and has declared that we may not use the word “marriage’ without their express consent sought before hand. This issue isn’t really about marriage or homosexuality. It’s about the first amendment. The proper Biblical position is to oppose government licensing and definition of any marriage, returning that role to the church where it belongs, and to commit to only perform Biblical weddings.

Interestingly, Charisma’s article has prompted Haseltine himself to try to clarify himself, so it appears that there’s more to this story, though I haven’t read all of the particulars of it, because I’m not actually here to discuss Haseltine. I mention him because he’s a hot topic, and because he marks the next advance in an ongoing trend in which the enemy is sinking his teeth into the church’s stance on Biblical Authority. It comes in the wake of Al Mohler’s book rebutting Matthew Vines’ assertions that the Bible does not actually teach that Homosexuality is a sin, and it is this issue that I actually want to interact with.

If you’ve read much of my blog, you may know where I’m going, but please stay tuned anyway. This is one of those issues where I feel stuck in the middle, but not really. I don’t side with either Mohler or Vines. I have to confess that I’ve not read Mohler’s book yet, nor have I even had a chance to read through this quasi debate between them, but I’m familiar enough with Mohler that I can guess his position. (by the way if it seems like I pick on Mohler, I can’t give an explanation. I don’t particularly dislike him on a lot of things, but several of his statements lately, such as…., have required comment. Actually, I haven’t commented on that one, have I? Oh well…. Add it to the To Write list….)

I actually watched Vines’ video a while back and wanted to post a rebuttal, but never got around to it, and now that Mohler has come out with his own, I figure the time is right to put it out there. I think this needs to be written and this is the time to do it, because there is a third side to this debate; one that is hardly ever argued; one that is actually Biblical.

In the interest of full disclosure, and for the purpose of context, here is Vines’ lecture in full. Be warned. This is an hour long. You might want to pop some pop corn first, and definitely have your Bible handy. I would also encourage you to get and read Mohler’s book at some point, or at least read through the debate I posted above.

Continue reading Clay Jars, Vines and the Cultural Collision

Property Rights on a Tropical Island

Click for more in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Welcome back to my ongoing series in which I interact with the ideas put forth by Adam McIntosh in his article series at The Kuyperian Commentary. In Part 1, I discussed the large degree of agreement there is between us. In Part 2, I interacted with his critique of the Non-Aggression Principle. In Part 3, I discussed the task of separating the Biblical Laws into civil and non-civil categories. I realize this last article was quite a bit rambly, clocking in at 4,000 words! I will need to write more on this subjecxt as I hone my arguments and approach. So if you were a bit confused or unsatisfied, stay tuned for more in the coming months.

Today, however, I want to interact with his Tropical Island analogy.

Continue reading Property Rights on a Tropical Island

Dividing Moral Law from Civil Law

Click for more in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

This is the third installment of my counter series to Adam McIntosh, a man I have been picking on for a couple weeks now. If you are unfamiliar with his work, please visit The Kuyperian Commentary.

This article focuses on the second of my three critiques of McIntosh, which is that he provides a rubric for dividing between civil and moral laws that I believe to be incorrect. McIntosh says

God distinguishes between sins and crimes. If a command is given without an attached punishment, then it does not constitute as a civil law. It’s a moral law that you should obey but not a law that civil rulers are to regulate.

I plan to interact with this in today’s installment and to show where I think he is wrong, and to suggest a better rubric for dividing between criminality and private morality. In fact as we do, we may find out that McIntosh doesn’t really disagree with me, but we’ll have to see.

Unfortunately for you, the reader, I have to take a slightly windy path to get there. I do apologize. Please stick with me. There’s a gold star in it for you if you do.

Continue reading Dividing Moral Law from Civil Law

A Christian Defense of the Non-Aggression Principle

Click for more in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

This is the second installment in my series responding to the series by Adam McIntosh posted at The Kuyperian Commentary. This article specifically deals with the second part of his analysis, “A Christian Critique of the Non-Aggression Principle.”

My first installment focused on the massive amount of agreement I have with McIntosh. However, I must now turn my attention to the points of disagreement. I have three.

First, I believe he is too quick to dismiss the Non-Aggression Principle. Having exposed Rothbard’s philosophy as being unsurely founded on Natural Law, he seems to set the Non-Aggression Principle aside and disregard it’s legitimacy and the importance of its application.

Second, I disagree with the very brief glimpse he gave into his rubric for extracting Biblical instructions for determining what sins should be considered criminal, and what sins should not. This is the crux of my disagreement with Theonomists, Minarchist or Statist, and I must clarify. If you read my series on a Biblical Theology of Civil Government and Human Authority, you will know that I left this as an open end. I intend to close it in this series.

Finally, I believe he suffers from a faulty understanding of property rights, as demonstrated by his contrived island example. I intend to provide a thorough analysis of his island analogy and demonstrate how property right solves every single one of the proposed problems he raises.

And if you can make it through all of that, I intend to round the series out by going back to the issue of public vs private law enforcement, and explain my idea for how we might solve the problem of funding the criminal justice system without stealing from citizens and without going full on anarchy.

I really do hope you stick around.

In this article, I intend to rebut his dismissal of the Non-Aggression Principle. You may have noticed that I gave a very brief synopsis of his critique in the first installment. I kept it so brief because Part 1 was running rather long, and I didn’t want to drag it out any further. So perhaps it would be good to start this rebuttal with a recap of his argument.

Continue reading A Christian Defense of the Non-Aggression Principle

Biblical Government: Anarchy, Minarchy, or Statism? A Response

Click for more in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

I ran across a series of articles lately on a blog called “The Kuyperian Commentary.”

The Article in question is titled “Biblical Government: Anarchy, Minarchy or Statism?” and was written by Adam McIntosh, a former missionary kid, and currently a pastoral intern in Southern Illinois. It is my intention over the next series of articles to interact with the ideas McIntosh presents in his article. Before, I get into it, though, I would encourage you to read the entire thing for yourself. It’s a bit long – a five parter – but it’s well worth it, and you’ll have a much better context for what I am going to say.

Continue reading Biblical Government: Anarchy, Minarchy, or Statism? A Response