The Libertarian Christian Podcast

Join the LCI Team each week they explore, debate, and analyze the issues that are directly relevant to the intersection of Christianity and liberty. Always thoughtful, frequently controversial, and never boring (trust us), it is our hope and prayer that The Libertarian Christian Podcast serve as a valuable resource to the Church for years to come. Episodes are released every Monday. Be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher to get each episode as soon as it launches!
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Sep 18, 2017

The Libertarian Christian Institute was a big supporter of the book Called to Freedom, released in February of this year and featuring a foreword written by our own Norman Horn. Doug and Nick were joined at the Young Americans for Liberty National Convention (YALCON) in July by two of the authors, Elise Daniel and Jacqueline Isaacs, and conducted this impromptu interview in the hallway. We discuss their journeys as Christian libertarians, some key themes of the book, their insights on the current state of libertarianism in the Church, and find out how the book is being received. Both theological and warmly autobiographical, Called to Freedom is a great resource for anyone struggling to reconcile what it means to be both Christian and libertarian.

Sep 11, 2017

Today is the sixteenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Over the last couple of months, we've interviewed three leading foreign policy experts about what has transpired in U.S. foreign policy since that fateful day, what lessons were learned (or not learned), current issues in U.S. foreign policy, and the outlook for contemporary foreign affairs. In this episode, we are joined by:

  1. Robert Pape, Professor at the University of Chicago and Director of the Chicago Project on Security and Threats
  2. Lawrence Wilkerson, Professor at William & Mary and former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell
  3. Ron Paul, Chairman of the Ron Paul Institute and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives


Sep 4, 2017

In July, Doug Stuart and Nick Gausling attended the Young Americans for Liberty 2017 National Convention on behalf of LCI. This episode is our talk from the LCI breakout session, plus some additional Q&A recorded at the LCI booth. We cover some key points in how to engage and reach Christians with the message of liberty, and also answer some common (and some not so common) questions. Though originally delivered to college students who are active proponents of liberty on their campuses, this information is useful to anyone wondering how to better advocate for liberty to Christians.

Aug 28, 2017

Nearly every libertarian has heard the classic objection, “But who would build the roads?” This question is so common that it has become a point of ridicule by libertarians to mock weak arguments for why libertarianism supposedly can't work in practice (as if the state's nearly-endless track record of failures hasn't proven its method dysfunctional).

In this episode, renowned libertarian Christian economist Bob Murphy joins us to discuss the economics and practical functions of society in the absence of the state. Beyond roads, Murphy walks us through how anything --- even national defense and the law itself --- can work better when fully-privatized. You might say that where this episode is going, we don't need roads...

Aug 21, 2017

As part of our summer lineup, we're revisiting several of the most popular and informative talks given at Christians for Liberty conferences in previous years. Though instead of just reposting those talks, we've filled them with some extensive supplemental commentary, so even listeners who have heard the original talks with get all new material.

In our final Annotated Talk for the summer, we work through Jason Rink's analysis of the ways in which nationalism, hyper-patriotism, and state devotion are forms of idolatry. Pervasive in much of contemporary American Christianity --- and elsewhere throughout Church history at various times --- worship of the state clashes with God's command that we worship Him alone. Yet in our songs, symbols and even reverence for historical figures and documents, a healthy appreciation for ones' country can quickly become an idol. We probably won't be closing out this episode with any karaoke to Lee Greenwood music.

Aug 14, 2017

Theologians have struggled for almost the entire history of the Church to analyze and explain the violence attributed to God in the Bible, particularly the Old Testament. As libertarian Christians, this issue is often raised regarding the compatibility of libertarianism and Christianity. Some ancient theologians resolved the conundrum using allegorical interpretation. Many others have argued along the lines of the sovereignty of God and the enigma of certain elements of the divine plan. In this episode, theologian and pastor Greg Boyd gives us his take on the issue as described in his new book Cross Vision (a layman's edition of his larger academic monograph, Crucifixion of the Warrior God). If you're not a fan of this episode, you can try to allegorize it.

Aug 7, 2017

As part of our summer lineup, we're revisiting several of the most
popular and informative talks given at Christians for Liberty
conferences in previous years. Though instead of just reposting those
talks, we've filled them with some extensive supplemental commentary,
so even listeners who have heard the original talks with get all new

This week, we review Norman's talk in which he walks us through some
of the foundational biblical arguments for Christian libertarianism,
interspersed with commentary and discussion on everything from the
practical elements of civil disobedience to intellectual property law.
You should feel free to copy and redistribute this podcast; just don't
try to use Acts 4 to say you're doing it because of socialist
'redistribution' (we cover that topic, too)!

Jul 31, 2017

Brian Zahnd is a pastor from Saint Joseph, Missouri, whose own thought journey mirrors that of many libertarian Christians: away from neoconservatism and nationalism, and towards skepticism of empire and the pursuit of peace. Though he doesn't self-identify as a libertarian and we have some differences, Zahnd's work does have substantial overlap with LCI's as it relates to militarism, nationalism, and how we view the kingdoms of the world.

Today, Zahnd joins Doug and Jason as they discuss these themes. We also talk about his forthcoming book, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God.

Jul 24, 2017

As part of our summer lineup, we're revisiting several of the most popular and informative talks given at Christians for Liberty conferences in previous years. Though instead of just reposting those talks, we've filled them with some extensive supplemental commentary, so even listeners who have heard the original talks with get all new material.

This week, we begin with Doug Stuart's “Things That Make for Peace.” If you like listening to the Libertarian Christian Podcast, just wait until you hear us comment on our own material! If you can't stand listening to the Libertarian Christian Podcast, then turn off cable news first; it's a lot harder to hear us otherwise.

Jul 17, 2017

One of the most common questions asked to libertarian Christians is what we think about LGBTQ, gay marriage, and other related issues. Libertarian political philosophy only addresses the matter up to the point of state involvement: because these things constitute voluntary actions, they should not be regulated by law. In short, the libertarian position on marriage and voluntary relationships is simply that government should have nothing to do with it. However, as Christians, there is much more to be said about the theological issues at play, as well as the people affected by them.

Dr. Preston Sprinkle joins us on this episode to discuss. In the last several years, Sprinkle's influence as a theologian has increased dramatically, and he recently launched The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender which is specifically devoted to research, analysis, and pastoral application pertaining to the complex and challenging matter of LGBTQ persons in the context of the Christian faith. What should Christians think about these matters? How should we relate to Christians who are struggling with same-sex attraction or gender identity? What about those who don't profess Christianity at all? Sprinkle helps us think through these questions and more in this important and timely episode.

Jul 10, 2017

C.S. Lewis is undoubtedly one of the most influential Christian thinkers of the past 100 years, and despite his death being more than a half century ago, his work contains many insights which apply to contemporary trends in philosophy, politics and society just as much as they did in his own time.

Today, we are joined by one of the modern liberty movement’s most well-known and effective leaders: David Theroux. David is the founder and president of both The Independent Institute and the C.S. Lewis Society of California, and he presently serves on the LCI Advisory Board. In this episode, he guides us through a scholarly, practical discussion of C.S. Lewis’ work (with an emphasis on natural law) and how it applies to both the philosophy of liberty and present-day societal issues. Unless you’re stuck in a wardrobe, you won’t want to miss this.

Jul 3, 2017

It's Independence Day once again, when hundreds of millions of Americans will celebrate a history most of them know very little about. One of the high holy days of what has become American civic religion, it's very probable that the Founding Fathers would greatly lament what it has become. However, what Americans have done to the Fourth of July pales in comparison to the far more important issue of what countless Christians have done to Romans 13.

On this special Fourth of July episode, Dr. Jamin Hübner returns to lead a discussion on the context, exegesis, and theology of Romans 13. We discuss the historical background of the text, the history of Judaism and early Christianity on state relations, the practical and theological arguments of Romans, and how the ancient Christians understood it. Statist nationalism and a reflexive “my country, right or wrong” attitude find a sharp rebuke here, but so do the patriot-revolutionaries who would seek to overthrow the state. Instead, Romans 13 calls us to the deeper third way of Christ: one that recognizes the intrinsic evil of the state and requires us to not take part in its evils, while at the same time commands that we refuse to participate in sedition and violent revolution. The apostolic command is to pursue peace and the gospel, trusting that King Jesus will ultimately put all power, rule and authority under His feet, and that Resurrection Sunday is our real Independence Day from the tyranny of sin, Satan and death.

Jun 26, 2017

One of the most common issues raised by non-libertarian Christians about libertarian thought is marriage licensing. Because the family unit is essential to social order, the argument goes, Christians should allegedly support state regulation of what constitutes 'marriage' and who is allowed to 'marry.' But state power is a sharp and dangerous sword; what happens when the proponents of such a plan no longer have the political capital they once did, and that sword is turned against them? This is precisely what has happened to socially conservative Christians in recent decades.

Stephanie Slade, libertarian Christian and Managing Editor at Reason Magazine, walks us through the history of how it was Christians who set the very legal precedent on state regulation of marriage (and other social issues of conscience) which are now being wielded against them by non-Christians. For generations, Christians chose to 'live by the sword' of using state power against their opponents, and now that they are in the minority, the sword is turned on them. Only by upholding liberty for all issues of conscience, including those we think are wrong, can this tragic cycle of trying to shape society by legislation be halted.

Jun 19, 2017

Today we are joined by Shane Claiborne, an internationally-recognized author, speaker, and activist, and perhaps the leading western Christian voice for the New Monastic movement. While Shane does not identify as a libertarian, there are many aspects of his thinking which overlap with libertarianism.

In this episode, we discuss capital punishment in Christian ethics. Libertarians are divided on the issue, as are Christians. How does capital punishment relate to state power and human rights? Why are there more minorities executed than white people? Most importantly, how does Christian theology inform our thinking on this matter? Shane offers his insights in this fascinating discussion.

Hopefully the only thing that gets put to death in this episode is un-Christlike thinking.

Jun 12, 2017

In our first ever debate on the Libertarian Christian Podcast, author Keith Giles returns to debate author/activist Mark van Steenwyk on Two Kingdoms theology and Christian involvement in formal politics. As he explained in our earlier interview, Giles holds that formal politics is not a proper task of the Christian life. Van Steenwyk counters that Christians must be involved in direct political activism so as to undermine oppression and promote God's justice in the world. Nick serves as moderator and asks some critical questions of both debaters.

We haven't heard of anyone advocating for a Three Kingdom theology, but if you're such a person and are offended that your position didn't get any press here, you might consider lobbying the FCC to implement the so-called Fairness Doctrine, but as much as we'd like to see Christian libertarian thought get air time on MSNBC we still wouldn't recommend that course of action.

Jun 5, 2017

Isaac Morehouse is longtime contributor to and friend of the Libertarian Christian Institute, and today he joins us to discuss his organization, Praxis. As its very Misean name suggests, Praxis is about action; specifically, it's about helping people to gain practical experience and skills which matter in real world business situations.

For years, conventional wisdom has pushed on innumerable hapless Americans the idea that everyone must go to college --- even if they have no clear path for what line of work they intend to enter and must take on massive debt --- and that only this will prepare the individual for career success. As economic realities overtakes this flawed narrative, countless people find themselves over-credentialed and under-skilled, holding a degree but possessing few skills that employers actually care about. Praxis is in many ways bringing back the old apprenticeship model, in which participants learn practical skills on the job which prepare them for future endeavors.

Isaac --- who we like to think of the Christian version of James Altucher --- talks to us about his journey creating Praxis, the lessons he's learned, how the job market is shifting, and what people can do to capitalize on these things. We won't send you any decorative certificates for listening to this podcast, but you'll probably pick up some useful knowledge.

May 29, 2017

On today's episode, we are joined by libertarian Christian economist Art Carden to tackle one of the most pressing and divisive issues in contemporary American politics: immigration. President Trump's stance on this issue was one of the key factors that propelled his victory in last November's election, but since then many of the hard-line promises he campaigned on have not come to fruition. This has caused some in his base to criticize him heavily, while others are thankful for this change (whatever the cause may be).

It's no secret that even libertarians are split on how to think about immigration, and particularly its relation to property rights. Carden walks us through the economics of immigration, but also engages us on the theological-philosophical and ethical dynamics at work in how we think about borders, property, labor, and community. You could build a wall to keep this discussion out of your thinking, but we'd encourage you to take a more 'cosmopolitan' approach by listening to the episode.

May 22, 2017

On this episode, the always insightful (and frequently controversial) biblical scholar Dr. Pete Enns joins the show to talk to us about the journey of faith, trusting God, how to disagree with other Christians, pitfalls in biblical interpretation, and much more. Those familiar with Enns' work typically have a strong opinion either for or against him. The listener is of course free to reach his or her own conclusions, though we will say that a number of us at the Libertarian Christian Institute --- even those who strongly differ from Enns on some points --- have greatly appreciated and benefited from his material over the years.

Sooner or later, we all go through uncertain times in the Christian life. Who among us hasn't felt scared, uncertain, or confused, and unable to voice our thoughts from fear of being made into a church pariah? One permeating theme of Enns' work is that biblical faith is about trusting in God and moving forward even during these times; another is that being faithful to the Scripture requires us to come to it on its own terms, not ours. And all of this has tremendous relevance for how we relate to other believers in a way that honors Christ and unifies the Church, rather than furthers division.

If you feel compelled to deconstruct this episode, please consider doing a grammatical-historical word study of the transcript first.

May 14, 2017

Several weeks ago, Pope Francis escalated his political and economic rhetoric with a direct attack on libertarianism. Jeffrey Tucker, one of the liberty movement's most influential thought leaders and himself a Roman Catholic, was told by his publisher that it seems as if the Pope's comments were aimed at his book A Beautiful Anarchy (recently released in Spanish to strong sales). Jeffrey delivered a written response to the Pope on the website of the Foundation for Economic Education, and today he joins us for an in-depth discussion.

Does Pope Francis have an accurate understanding of libertarianism? In Roman Catholic theology, are the Pope's comments on such subjects considered binding, or is he speaking outside of his competency? Does the Catholic Church have a history of supporting the western classical liberal / libertarian tradition? Is the libertarian emphasis on individual rights consistent with authentic community? Jeffrey answers all these questions and more, and shares his much-needed message to the Pope (and all Christians) for why if he wants to uplift communities and human dignity, he should support liberty and free markets.

Join us on this fascinating episode as we bring Roman Catholics and Protestants back together for the very first time since 1517!*

*(Unlike the history discussed in this episode, this comment is not at all factual).

May 8, 2017

In this episode of the Libertarian Christian Podcast, Norman, Doug and Nick venture into the metaphorical woods with a discussion of things we've been thinking about lately relevant to faith and freedom. We start off with aritificial intelligence and robotics, jump over to Russiaphobia and the New McCarthyism, round the corner with Rene Girard and Hank Hanegraaff, and close out with some practical application on prioritizing issues.

Several segments didn't make it into the final cut, including three white men talking about racial tensions in modern America (it wasn't any good; trust us). As for what did make the cut, here's your obligatory college campus trigger warning: “If you're a Marxist, neocon, socialist, crony capitalist, Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian, male, female, or human being, you may find something here marginally offensive or disagreeable. The listener accepts all responsibility for any faux outrage that may result from their choice to listen. You may wish to consult a psychological professional for additional information if needed.”

May 1, 2017

It's obvious that throughout history, books have been one of the primary methods for communicating ideas. However, certain books stand out above the rest in terms of their perennial relevance and impact across hundreds or even thousands of years; these have come to be known as the Great Books. In this episode, humanities scholar Dr. Jason Jewell joins us to discuss the immense value of the Great Books for sharpening both our Christian faith and our libertarian political philosophy.

Covering the last 3,000 years of literature in about an hour would be a Herculean effort beyond the capabilities of we mere mortals, but we do our best to look at some important highlights throughout the ages and what they can teach us about the New Testament era, the development of political philosophy, the history of Christian and non-Christian thought, and the nature of the human spirit. Studying the Great Books is a lifelong journey, and we hope that this episode encourages listeners to be diligent readers and, most importantly, deepens their desire to study the greatest book, the Bible.

If you don't know how to read, you can probably skip this episode. But if you understood that last sentence, then don't miss this interview.

Apr 24, 2017

God & Country: for generations, it has been the refrain of 'respectable' Christianity for many Americans, but is it really a Christian concept? What about the majority of the world's Christians who live outside the United States, many of them under oppressive regimes? What about the earliest Christians living under Rome?

We talk a lot at LCI about why nationalism is not Christian. On the other hand, does loving your neighbor mean there is also some sense in which you should love your country (not necessarily the government)? To discuss this very important and practical issue, all four hosts of the Libertarian Christian Podcast are back together again, but we won't ask you to honor us by removing your hat and placing your hand over your heart while you listen.

Apr 17, 2017

In this week's episode of the Libertarian Christian Podcast, we are joined by author and pastor Keith Giles, whose new book Jesus Untangled is making waves with its thesis that the Church must separate itself from the state.

Doug and Nick discuss with Giles how he reached his conclusions and his insights on contemporary Christian political thought, as well as explore what he thinks of libertarianism and how his thesis lines up with LCI's.

This was a fantastic interview, and if you're looking for a clear, readable resource which plainly explains to the everyday Christian why the Church allying with the state is both unwise and unholy, then Giles' Jesus Untangled is a great choice. Hopefully it will help many more Christians untangle from the web before the statist spider injects its venom and then charges them for the government-monopolized cure.

Apr 10, 2017

In last week's episode, Nick and Doug interviewed communications expert Robin Koerner on how to effectively reach people with the libertarian message. In this episode — recorded independently of the previous interview — Norman and Jason discuss their take on the subject, including a corollary issue which is sometimes raised by LCI supporters: how can libertarian Christians better communicate Christianity to other libertarians?

Are there parallels between Christian evangelism and advocating for liberty? How can libertarian Christians be both better evangelists for the gospel and better communicators of the liberty message? Find out in this episode of the Libertarian Christian Podcast! Alternatively, as many politicians seem to think that 1984 was an instruction manual, if you’re an aspiring pagan tyrant you could try the exact opposite of what Norman and Jason discuss (but we wouldn’t recommend it).

Apr 3, 2017

We libertarians tend to be a philosophical bunch, and many of us can spend countless hours arguing over the finer points of economics, or trying to explain how Rothbardian political economy applies to environmental issues. But the reality is that the vast majority of the population does not reach political conclusions on the basis good arguments; in many cases, people make decisions for subjective/emotional reasons, then devise an intellectual basis for their position after the fact. If libertarians want to make a serious impact in persuading more people, we must learn how to connect the liberty message to them on a subjective, emotional level.

Enter Robin Koerner, who in the 2012 presidential election cycle gained fame amongst libertarians due to his successful effort to convince large numbers of pro-peace Democrats to register Republican in order to vote for Ron Paul in the primaries. Today, Robin is a consultant who helps libertarians learn to be better marketers of the message. He is also a close associate of the great libertarian Christian, Jeffrey Tucker (which whom he has released a new book). Tune in and find out why some very important people have started referring to Robin as “the Dale Carnegie of the 21st century!” (By the way, we're the very important people)

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