There is a theory about the history of socialism that has annoyed me for some time now, and that is the theory that a man named James Harrington (whose writings had a powerful influence on America's founders) essentially taught socialism when he used the term "agrarian balance." I have encountered this claim in the writings and lectures of Harvard historian Eric Nelson who wrote "The Hebrew Republic," a book that I highly recommend in spite of this particular error, and in discussions with Jon Rowe of the American Creation Blog. The remainder of this article is a response that I made to one of Jon's reiterations of this claim.
One of the most significant debates separating Christians in America is the debate over how to fight against abortion in our nation. On the one hand, there are the mainstream pro-life leaders who argue that the best way to fight against abortion is to wage a war of attrition by passing incremental laws that make more and more abortions illegal until we finally eliminate all abortions entirely. On the other hand are the personhood and abolitionist leaders who argue that the incremental approach is immoral and that we must strive to pass laws which outlaw all abortions without exception. The two paths are irreconcilable. We must choose one or the other, but how do we know which one is right?
At what point would you use lethal force against an unarmed assailant? Have you ever thought about that question before? I mean seriously thought about it, not just as a fleeting cogitation during the commercial break of your favorite police drama. Have you ever sat down and planned how you would respond to different types of assaults on yourself or others with the consideration of using lethal force?
Bill Fortenberry is a Christian philosopher and historian in Birmingham, AL. Bill's work has been cited in several legal journals, and he has appeared as a guest on shows including The Dr. Gina Show, The Michael Hart Show, and Real Science Radio.
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"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." (Proverbs 9:9)