The Libertarian Apologist is the digital space where I–Roger Prather–share my musings, my research, and most anything that I’ve written that I think is worth sharing.
I tend to think of myself generally as a writer in the sense that writers are aggregators and custodians of ideas. Typically when I write, I write about the subjects in the subtitle of this website: theology, public policy, economics, and social ethics. But my writing–my custodianship and aggregation of ideas–is not confined to those discrete areas. Of course, I am also keen to find connections between these areas (and others) that I never noticed before.
As to the title of this website, I chose it specifically because it represents my two main concerns: liberty and apologetics. I will explain the apologetics part first.
Most people know, at least vaguely, that the task of Christian apologetics is to rationally defend the Christian worldview. Each of those terms in the definition is important. Apologetics is rational. It draws on diverse areas of human knowledge that include philosophy, science, and history. Apologetics is dedicated to defending in the sense of both justifying held beliefs as well as attacking opposing views. Apologetics is committed to Christianity as the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, apologetics does all of these things with the recognition that Christianity is a complete worldview. That is to say that Christianity–taken as a whole–is an accurate and objective system of belief that accounts for reality as humans experience it ontologically and epistemologically.
As for liberty, this concern flows naturally from a Christian worldview. At the end of the day, no matter how convinced one is of their own beliefs, there are any number of competing worldviews held by other people all over the world. One of our greatest tasks, then, as humans is to figure out ways to both cooperate and coexist in spite of our differences. To that end, making the flourishing of individual liberty a primary concern is the most effective, tested strategy. And when rational methods are applied to the question, “What political or civic ethic most effectively forwards concerns of human liberty,” the answer is found to be what is usually described as libertarianism.
It is in defense of and advocacy for these two positions that the majority of what I write for this website is dedicated. Of course, as a bibliophile and writer, I reserve the right to deviate from these primary tasks.
Generally speaking, I am not a fan of flashing credentials because I think ideas deserve consideration on their own merit. Too often, academic credentials are used to justify bad ideas–just because someone read and wrote enough to get a degree doesn’t necessarily warrant taking their ideas seriously. However, reading and writing enough to get a degree does establish a baseline of background that, at the least, demonstrates competency (hopefully!) in making an academically rigorous argument. And because folks generally care, here are my current academic qualifications:
A.S. in General Studies (2000)
B.S. in Paralegal Studies (2003)
M.A. in Christian Apologetics (December 2019)
Ph.D. student in Public Policy (beginning in January 2020)
Statement of Faith
In describing my Christian faith, I defer to those who came before me, who held to their convictions in the face of persecution, and who were, after all, much smarter than me.
“The Church, though dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: [Belief] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and his [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father ‘to gather all things in one,’ and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the invisible will of the Father, ‘every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess’ to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all.” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.10.1, quoted in Michael J. Kruger, Christianity at the Crossroads, 139-140)
“If, therefore, it was mainly for this purpose that Christ came, to wit, that man might learn how much God loves him; and that he might learn this, to the intent that he might be kindled to the love of Him by whom he was first loved, and might also love his neighbor at the command and showing of Him who became our neighbor, in that He loved man when, instead of being a neighbor to Him, he was sojourning far apart: if, again, all divine Scripture, which was written aforetime, was written with the view of presignifying the Lord’s advent; and if whatever has been committed to writing in times subsequent to these, and established by divine authority, is a record of Christ, and admonishes us of love, it is manifest that on those two commandments of love to God and love to our neighbor hang not only all the law and the prophets, which at the time when the Lord spoke to that effect were as yet the only Holy Scripture, but also all those books of the divine literature which have been written at a later period for our health, and consigned to remembrance.” (Augustine, De Catechizandis Rudibus)