About

The Christian Egoist

They say that Christianity and Philosophy don't mix - that you have to choose between one or the other. But, the individual - the lover of truth, and lover of life - never blindly accepts what "they" say. He knows that what is true is true - regardless of who said it; he knows that truth is to be sought above all things, and at all costs; he knows that morality must come from reality - and never the other way around; he knows he cannot hide behind inconvenient implications; that the unknown never trumps the certainly known. In such an individual, the passion to fully know the truth triumphs over petty ideological solidarity and arbitrary party lines - it drives him to raid and plunder the truth from all ideologies and all parties, integrating it into the singular whole that it is meant to be .

This is a blog created for such individuals, by such an individual.

I am a Christian Egoist. I am rationally convinced of the truthfulness of Classical Christianity and of much of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism - particularly her morality and the sense of life depicted in her writings. That which I embrace in Christianity, and that which I reject in Objectivism is not based on whim, or faith, or any subjective motive. It is based in the plain and simple application of reason to reality. Philosophical Theology is my passion and, as of now, writing is its outlet. I have a Bachelor of Theology from Bethlehem College & Seminary, and I am currently working on graduate studies in philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. My aim is the total integration of all truth––theological and philosophical––into one unified, God-glorifying, soul-satisfying, rational, Biblical, Christian worldview.

As a beginning primer, I highly recommend reviewing some of the popular posts listed below, beginning with the inaugural post:
Jesus Christ AND Ayn Rand?

Be sure to 'LIKE' The Christian Egoist on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, Share the News with your friends, and Join in the conversation. 

Introductory Posts:

God: The Immovable Mover -My Argument for God's Existense

D'Souza vs. Bernstein: Is Either Good for Mankind? - My Review of the Debate between the Christian and Objectivist Apologists

The Galt-Like God - A brief glimpse at the theme and content of my book

The Categories of Objective Epistemology - A brief outline of my Epistemological Theory

If you have questions or comments and would like to contact me, you can do say at:

jacob.brunton@yahoo.com

 

10 thoughts on “About

  1. As I’m sure you are aware, there is a lot more to Objectivism than logical thinking. It is not simply a good set of observations regarding economics or rational living. It is a philosophy with a lot of baggage. Although I see many aspects of Objectivism as being appealing (because of the pursuit of logical truth), I know that as a Christian I can acknowledge truths without calling myself an Objectivist. Objectivism does not own any truths that require me to be an Objectivist in order to believe them. Instead of taking on the responsibility of defending a flawed humanist philosophy, why not acknowledge the truths that Objectivism acknowledges, but simply as a Christian? Is there something lacking in Christianity that needs to be supplemented by Objectivism? If that was the case, then Christianity would be insufficient, and not worth defending. As a Christian, I seek truth wherever it may be, but I can do that as a follower of Christ.

    I’m afraid that if you are trying to create a hybrid of the two beliefs, you may arrive at something that is interesting, but not truly either Christianity or Objectivism. Maybe I have more to learn, but to me it seems all too obvious that there are principles of Objectivism that are directly opposed to principles of Christianity. Although I’m curious to see what you come up with on this blog, I see Christianity and Objectivism as having irreconcilable differences that people must wrestle with in determining their personal beliefs. By the way, I hope folks notice that I said irreconcilable differences in regard to personal beliefs. I hope that Christians and Objectivists can work side by side politically toward the freedom found in Constitutional government and sound economics.

    You may find my recent blog post interesting. I wrote it before I discovered your blog, never assuming that Christianity and Objectivism could be considered compatible:

    http://frontierruminations.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/atlas-shrugged-book-review-and-christianity-vs-objectivism/

    May God bless you in your search for the Truth.
    -Ben

    Reply
    1. --"why not acknowledge the truths that Objectivism acknowledges, but simply as a Christian?"

      That's what I'm doing.

      --"Is there something lacking in Christianity that needs to be supplemented by Objectivism?"

      In modern Christianity? Absolutely! Ayn Rand was closer to true Christianity (on a philosophical and moral level) than most Christian intellectuals of the past few centuries.

      In classical Christianity? Absolutely not! - but that (classical Christianity) was abandoned (on the philosophical level) a long time ago, and is progressively warred against in modern Christian circles.

      --"As a Christian, I seek truth wherever it may be, but I can do that as a follower of Christ."

      I seek truth wherever it may be - and *therefore* I am a follower of Christ. I don't hold Christianity to be an optional add-on in an all you can eat buffet of ideologies. There is only one reality and one truth about that reality. All truth goes together (all truth is God's truth), and therefore I am entirely unashamed to claim the truths in Objectivism and any other "secular" philosophy as exclusive to the true Christian worldview. For the same reason, I am entirely unashamed to reject errors and lies in the modern "Christian" worldview as inherently atheistic (and there are many more than you may think).
      If you haven't already, check out the original blog, "Jesus Christ AND Ayn Rand?". It is a succinct description of my (and what ought to be others') foundational disposition toward such apparent dichotomies.

      You're right that Objectivism has many errors which make it ultimately incompatible with true Christianity, but so does modern Christian thought (to the extent that there IS any). That's why I don't call myself a "Christian Objectivist" as others have.
      But, Rational Egoism, on the other hand, is entirely compatible with true Christianity - and stressing it's compatibility happens to be an exceptional starting point for revealing the irrational and atheistic nature of much of modern Christian thought.

      I appreciate your concerns, but I think a careful reading of the material of my blog (and of future content) will prove that rather than "creating a hybrid of the two", I am "destroying every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God (even those which claim to be "Christian") and taking every idea captive for the glory of Christ".

      Longing to renew the Church as the pillar and buttress of truth (ALL truth),

      -Jacob

      Reply
  2. I’m also a Christian and currently reading Atlas Shrugged. So I’m interested in what you’re attempting here and have some questions (and I've read all of your posts). In the above comment you made distinctions between “modern Christianity” (to which you say Ayn Rand was closer on a philosophical and moral level) and “classical Christianity” (which you say was abandoned a long time ago) and that “modern Christianity” is full of error. Can you expound on this?

    How do you define “modern” vs. “classical” Christianity?
    What do you use as a gauge to determine Christianity? Just the Bible or are there any “classical” authors/sources you use?
    Are there any “modern” authors who accept “classical” theology?

    Reply
    1. I'm glad that you asked these questions. I'll try to answer them briefly here, but I am also preparing to record some videos for youtube which will specifically elaborate on these and other foundational issues - so be sure to get connected via Facebook and Twitter, and check the blog so that you can catch the videos as they come out. They will (hopefully) be very helpful in addressing such questions.

      I said that Ayn Rand was a lot closer to "true Christianity" than many modern Christians. I'm using "true" and "Classical" almost synonymously. Sorry for the confusion.

      What do I use as a gauge to determine true Christianity? A more accurate question would be "what do I use as a gauge for determining truth?", since I see Christianity as unfolding specific details about the only *true* worldview.

      The formulation and application of truth criteria (or "gauges") is the main function of epistemology - the second branch of philosophy. But that is something which modern Christians can barely bring themselves to consider. And that is primarily the difference between "modern" and "classical" Christianity - modern Christians are characterized by rampant anti-intellectualism. They mistakenly believe that they can (and have) "read the Bible" apart from any philosophical assumptions - and as a result they fail to consider the massively destructive philosophies which are dominating their thinking about everything, including the Bible.

      This is also why I say that Rand was much closer to true Christianity than modern Christians. Rand was a unique thinker of modern times because she:
      a) Recognized the inescapability (and supreme importance) of philosophy
      b) Identified many modern errors in philosophy
      c) Labored to get back behind those errors (most of which stem from a philosopher named Immanuel Kant) to the more classical ideas which laid a healthy foundation for the west.

      Whatever her failures in recovering an objective worldview, she went leaps and bounds beyond the majority of Christian intellectuals in the past few centuries. Her failure, though, was that she refused to accept the *whole* objective worldview - which included Christianity.

      This whole objective worldview was presented by a number of notable Christians throughout history (though, again, not without some of their own flaws). These include Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Edwards as the intellectual "giants", but there were conglomerates of lesser known thinkers at various times as well. All these were aiming toward a holistic, non-contradictory, understanding of reality - and they rightly saw Christianity as fundamentally true in that reality. They had no problem thinking philosophically about the Bible, because they had no problem treating the Bible like it was part of reality. It is such a courageous and healthy disposition which I aim to recover in my work - and because she so vibrantly portrayed such a disposition, herself, I aim to employ Rand in order to help me do so.

      Reply
  3. The overall sense I get from your posts is that “modern” Christianity does not apply reason. But modern Christians who use reason are everywhere such as William Lane Craig, Gregory Koukl, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, Del Tackett, Os Guinness, Rev. Robert Sirico, Jay W. Richards, R.C. Sproul, etc, etc, etc. I’ve known many in my own life. If one disagrees with any of them (which I do in some cases) one cannot say they do not use reason or are illogical.

    After reading all your posts I’d caution you to be sure your worldview fits the Bible and don’t try to force the Bible into another worldview. Egoism (defined in the dictionary as “the habit of valuing everything only in reference to one's personal interest; selfishness”) is not part of the majority of Christian thinkers and theologians throughout history. It might be worth questioning why there are so few.

    Reply
    1. It's true that there are some Christian authors and teachers who are not full-tilt, explicitly anti-intellectual. 1) They are not the norm, and they definitely do not represent the trajectory of most Christian teachers today. 2) In spite of their intellectual efforts (to various degrees) the majority of even those teachers will shy away from philosophical certainty regarding fundamental issues when they are pressed on the matter. This is because few (if any) of them have escaped the all-encompassing anti-intellectual influence of Kantian philosophy which has dominated almost all philosophy (and theology!) in the past few centuries.

      As a result, there is absolutely no unified, holistic, coherent, and certain Christian worldview, today. If one wishes to discover such a Christian worldview, he must A) get around the Kantian philosophical assumptions which plague the culture and the church, B) Rediscover rational epistemological principles, and accurate understanding about the relationship between philosophy and theology (Scripture), and C) chew the meat and spit out the bones (and there are many bones) of all the various Christian intellectuals of the past few centuries in order to reconstruct a whole, all-encompassing, non-contradictory Christian worldview.

      That is what I am doing. Christian egoism simply happens to be the fundamental moral principle of that worldview. And, because she managed to escape much of the Kantian influence - particularly in morality, Ayn Rand happens to be a helpful (though secular) spokeswoman for the fundamental moral principles behind it.

      You say "after reading all your posts..." I'd advise re-reading "Jesus Christ AND Ayn Rand?" a few times, perhaps. I am neither starting with the Bible and trying to force Ayn Rand into it, nor starting with Ayn Rand and trying to force the Bible into it. I am starting with the pursuit of truth. The Bible is true. Much of what Ayn Rand said is true. I am simply showing that this is the case, and that they must therefore be reconciled -- or to put it another way, I am simply showing that Ayn Rand got a better glimpse at an accurate Christian worldview than many modern Christians do -- or yet another way, I am conquering Ayn Rand's philosophy in the name of Christ (2 Cor 10:5) by showing that the truth in her philosophy belongs exclusively to the Christian worldview. In other words, I am treating Christianity as more than a personal fairytale -- I am treating it as though it is actually true about reality - ALL of reality.

      And I have certainly "questioned" why there are so few Christian thinkers who advocated egoism. A) I've found that there are actually more than many might think. B) I've found that those who denounced it had committed errors both in their philosophical assumptions and in their "Biblical interpretation". And now, having read that, perhaps it's worth questioning what those errors might have been. Perhaps it's worth applying your own individual mind to decide whether they were actually errors or not, to understand the nature of those errors in order to avoid them yourself, and in order to help others to avoid them.

      Reply
  4. Hello Jacob, I've just discovered your christian egoist blog site, and I find it refreshing. I too have decided that I can be both a Christian and a follower of Ayn Rand style free market capitalism. With her writings on benevolence, I see no inherent contradiction. I agree that many Christian writers and theologians have been seduced by the dark side into advocating a Marxist inspired "liberation theology," aka "social justice."
    I've written a novel that has been described by some as a "Christian Atlas Shrugged." It is called "The Noah Option," - out on Amazon and Kindle. I'd like to send you a copy. You may tell me where to send it by contacting me through my web site http://www.TheNoahOption.com.

    Reply
  5. Toni

    Hi, author!
    I have read all of your posts thus far, and respectfully request your comments on Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters...You cannot serve God and money."
    Also, will you comment on the treatment of women in the Bible?
    I apologize for randomly requesting these two topics, however, they are the two that bother me the most regarding the intersection of Objectivism and Christianity. I would like to understand your reasoning in its fullness, so I began with your blog and ended with these two questions.

    "The code of competence is the only system of morality that's on a gold standard." -Atlas Shrugged

    Building my competence,
    Toni

    Reply
  6. robbie53024

    Thanks for putting together this site. You've captured some of the rationale that I have had in how I fit the thinking of Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (and the Fountainhead as well), and my Christian beliefs together. I haven't had time to go through all, but I like what I'm seeing. Perhaps I might be able to contribute myself.

    Reply
  7. Dear Egoist,
    I'm just stopping by after many months because I have you partially to thank. Your unique approach to Christianity (and your ability to defend it within the rules of Protestantism) helped motivate me to search all the more tirelessly for the solid bedrock of truth that we both know Christianity possesses. After months of research I'm happy to say I'm on my way into the Roman Catholic Church.
    Take care and God bless.
    -Ben

    Reply

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