The Book of Revelation is Hayekian
President Gregory Thornbury was interviewed for Forbes by Jerry Bowyer.
The King’s College is “committed to the proposition that it is impossible to out-flank the genius of historic Christian theism as a platform for human flourishing,” President Gregory Alan Thornbury explained this week for a featured Forbes interview with Jerry Bowyer.
Dr. Thornbury elaborates on the overlap of Hayek’s philosophy with Christianity and the charge to reconnect Christian civilization to its roots. “I see my role as the president of The King’s College as re-enchanting a new generation with those animating ideals that once made Western civilization great in general, and American society distinctive in particular.”
President Thornbury answers some important questions that Christians must address. Here are some of the points he made:
What are the ideas that keep people free? “I think that when you study the texts of particularly the New Testament… you see there is the seedbed of freedom of conscience. You see democratic religion in the pages of the New Testament,” even with a mercantile aspect. “What you’re seeing is free people electing to gather together in solidarity around key principles and ideals and goal.”
Should a Christian be Hayekian? “When I read Hayek and I see his argument for the link between private property and freedom, I see a direct line going all the way back to those pages of the New Testament, because what the Apostle Paul and others were representing was an alternative to totalitarianism. When you look at the Apostle John—and whatever else you think the Book of Revelation says about the future—what it definitely was, was the greatest political protest letter ever penned in the history of the world, because he was saying, ‘The state has no business telling us how we should govern our own life together.'”
“When you read the Book of Revelation, it’s about not giving in to tyranny when it comes to economics. I don’t know why we don’t talk about that in church.” Free-market economics the doctrine of fallen man expressed in economic terms. “What free-market economics is, is a paraphrase; a secular paraphrase of a biblical concept.”
Is Hayek’s philosophy missing God, a Designer? “Unless you have this notion of something from the outside to which the universe is accountable… unless there is judgment, unless there is a reckoning coming, you cannot truly be creative.” Imagination flourishes under the Christian social scene because we know that ultimately we can experiment, we know that there is actually meaning behind the universe.
“In other words, only a Tolkien could imagine something as fantastic as Middle Earth.” If you don’t believe in creation mandate and the cultural mandate of the first chapters of Genesis, then life is just a “zero-sum game” and living becomes war. “If the universe has no meaning, you can’t really be creative,” creativity has no meaning. “We still have the bloom of Christian civilization but it’s not going to last long and unless we reconnect it to its roots at some level, then we will quickly find ourselves either literally or metaphorically on the Isle of Patmos writing underground protest letters ourselves.”
To listen to the author’s audio from the interview, click here.