My name is Doug Stuart, and I started this blog in 2004 to chronicle my faith journey from being a moderate fundamentalist to a faith that is rooted in Jesus’ mission of love, peace, and restoration. This blog serves as a therapeutic way of spewing my thoughts on all matters of faith, and it also serves my personal passion to teach people and help them discover their own path of personal and spiritual growth in a way that is meaningful to them.
I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home with parents who raised me and my siblings to work hard, care about those in need, and never feel entitled to that which isn’t yours. My parents provided a stable and secure home life where we were taught family values and sound theology, but it was always in my nature to question everything. Perhaps I never grew past the “Why?” phase of my toddler years, but I always had an incredulous attitude toward those in authority. Because of this I have always appeared to be a natural contrarian. If there is a status quo, I will question it. (As you can already see, I was well-suited to be a libertarian!)Throughout my life I’ve constantly sought ways to teach others through speaking or writing. I attended Bible college and graduated with a degree in Communications Ministries. In 2008 I received my Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Seminary, and I currently work at a well-known technology company. I’ve always looked forward to having a family so we could demonstrate Christ’s love to the world. Shiree, my best friend and wife, is a wonderfully gracious and loving companion. We spend lots of time talking about life, the universe, and everything. Our young children have a zest for life and their laughter often fills our house with joy.
After college I began reading more about how the gospel affects societies. I began to ponder how the “good news” to the world was to be carried out by Jesus’ followers. I discovered that the gospel was bigger than my personal salvation experience, and that if Christians were to be a blessing to the world, we must revolutionize it with the love of Jesus. So to learn more I read books and listened to sermons by people likeN.T. Wright (my favorite theologian), Tim Keller (my favorite preacher), Brian McLaren (my favorite contrarian), and others who were committed to a gospel that produced the fruit of social change.
But while I was on board with the social justice movement and its theology, I was very unsettled by the practical solutions being proposed by its advocates. Something seemed amiss. It seemed as though their solutions were neither viable nor ethical; sometimes they seemed unchristian. So with questions about social justice swirling in my head, a still small voice said, “If you’re going to understand how to change the world, you have to learn how the world works. And to do that, you need to learn some basic economics.”
My first book about economics was Bob Murphy’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism. Then I read Thomas Sowell and Ron Paul, who—like thousands of young libertarians—marched me straight into the Mises Institute (virtually, of course) and other organizations like it. If it were not for the free podcasts and reading materials available from places like mises.org and fee.org, I’d probably have given up the “dismal science.” Though I had been naturally predisposed toward liberty, the Austrian school captured my passion for liberty in all areas of life. I also discovered that economics was the missing component to proposing truly just social solutions.
But foremost was my passion for understanding the world around me and how to change it. As a Christian I believe it is our calling to be part of the Kingdom of God, which is primarily a movement of God’s restoring creation to its original goodness. As N.T. Wright has put it, God’s mission is to “put the world to rights.” Justice will prevail. Right now I want to specifically focus on convincing those interested in social justice to embrace liberty and to see the benefits to society that come by embracing and promoting freedom to all. Libertarians, I believe, have the truly progressive ideas.
Jesus came to free us, and that freedom is on multiple levels. He came to free us from spiritual bondage, from physical bondage, and from political bondage. Economics helps us understand the world around us. Jesus will help us change it. He came to “proclaim good news to the poor…freedom for prisoners…and to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18). The prophet Micah (6:8) says the Lord requires that God “…has shown [us] what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Freedom and justice are integral to the call of faith to Jesus. It is my passion and commitment to share this call of faith with everyone.
I hope you enjoy this blog! I also write at LibertarianChristians.Com
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