It was not an obvious move, for me, to strike out into dangerous territory, which is to mix religion and politics. There are a lot of conservative writers and libertarian, and right wing thinkers and communicators. On the other hand, there are a lot of “Christian” writers and podcasts. And there is, to be fair, some overlap. There are a couple of bloggers and podcasters that I follow that are political, conservative, and Christian, and are open about advocating for a political system amenable to those values.
I think I’m doing something different.
I’m not interested in “conservative” politics for its own sake, nor libertarian politics, and, although I’m an orthodox Protestant Christian, this isn’t about a personal conversion to this religion nor the generic spiritual teachings one encounters at church.
Ultimately this is a quest for Truth; and starting from that foundation of Truth to work out the implications for that Truth in time, in the world, in history, in society through the rise and fall of civilizations.
Truth matters. Defining truth matters. Faith in Truth is requisit for talking about Truth. If Concept “A” is true, then that truth has second order effects; there are implications to truth.
So necessarily this work is philosophical — it begins with Pilate’s rhetorical parry, “what is Truth?” This is not a new concept, but it is a concept every educated man should be conversant in. It is not good enough to say “there is no truth,” or that “truth is social constructed;” these are not signs of intellectual sophistication. If that is your starting point, then you logically disqualify yourself from the debate. And this is a point you’ll hear from me more than once: the world view I present (which I claim to be a Christian world view) is internally consistent. It is not internally consistent to claim as a matter of truth that there is no truth. If you really buy then, then be consistent and keep quiet.
By faith (because there isn’t any other way) I believe in the existence of one universal Truth; this truth is real and we all live within it even if we are ignorant of it.
Second, I presume that I learn and acquire knowledge from more than just my senses — I learn by reading or being taught. Human language is unfathomably powerful as a tool toward wisdom and knowledge. Language, in fact, is the means to rationality and forms the outermost terminus of logica thought, rationality, and discourse. Feeling an emotion may be “true,” but it isn’t rational or logical without a tool (language) in which to render that emotion malleable to our minds. Language is the tool and the mind is the hand that wields it.
Third, I believe Truth is knowable.
These are all big assumptions, but I’m explicit that they are assumptions. I reject Kant’s ideal that we should “doubt everything and reason up” because I don’t think that is possible and more recent thoughts would support my view (especially with regard to the presuppositional structuring inherent in language and, in fact, different with each language).
My foundations are a belief in Truth and an utter reliance upon language(s) to approach Truth.
With that in mind, let me introduce Truth to you: The Creator, God.
Let me introduce Language to you: The Word of God.
Expanding up on this, the Creator is a person — Truth is reflective on Him. This Creator expresses himself in His Word and makes His Truth knowable (in part) to mankind through the writings that His Spirit inspired. The foundation of that Word are the books of Moses, but include the normal collection of books known as the Bible.
It was John the Beloved who said “In the beginning was the Word and then Word was with God and the Word was God . . . through Him all things were made.”
This is the most fundamental truth of all philosophy and it reflects, two thousand years earlier, the ideas of atheist scholars of language — that language itself is powerful and creative and more than just reflective — language calls things into being and gives value, meaning, and structure to our world. With God it was physically so; with Man we imitate but rather dimly.
All that is a long way of saying that I’m a philosopher first and political theorists somewhere farther down the line; political theory is derivative from philosophy.
If God exists, then does he have rules?
If God’s rules/laws exists, who are they for?
If God’s Law is for humans, does God limit himself to “spirituality.”
If God is more than just a “spiritual” idea, what is He?
If God created the world, mankind, ordered them to reproduce and fill the earth (all very physical things), then perhaps God is more than just “religion.”
If God gave His Law to a Nation (the Hebrews), then clearly He must have some expectation of how man orders his political life. Law is not in a vacuum — the Ten Commandments are not just for a plaque we put on the wall as an adornment, they are not like a ball we would put on a Christmas Tree.
And if He matters to us (and there’s good reason it should) then it would behoove us to understand not only that Law, but the entire narrative of our existence which I presume He provided in that “Word of God” which is at once the Bible and also the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Saviour of the World, the inter-locator between God and Man, the One High Priest who connects God with Man, who connects the Infinite with the Finite who gives knowledge to the ignorant and light to those in darkness.
There is, literally, only one way to the Father, and that is through His Son Jesus Christ, the Word of God.
This isn’t a “religious” statement, it is a philosophical statement; without that Word of God (the Word, Language) there can be no link between Knowledge and Ignorance, between Light and Darkness, between Infinite Knowledge and Wisdom and the finite, ignorant, dependent creatures we are. We are not God. God is God. We cannot know that which is entirely beyond our capacity to think, to understand, the approach via language — we depend upon a language/Word to even begin to rationally understand. That is role of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, who Is God and who was with God in the beginningn and through whom all things were created — God “said,” and “it was so.”
This is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge — Jesus Christ, the Word of God.