The New York Times calls Princeton Professor Robby George “the country’s most influential conservative Christian thinker.” He is a champion of the sanctity of life, the institutions of marriage and family, and the freedoms of conscience and religion. He helps us articulate solid reasons for what we believe about these things, whether we rely on Scripture or not.
God is pleased to use the foolish, the weak and lowly of this world. He also uses men and women of great learning, like the apostle Paul and Dr. George. His official ivory tower title is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Founder and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.
He holds degrees in law and theology from Harvard and a doctorate in philosophy of law from Oxford. He is the prime thinker behind the Manhattan Declaration and Glen Beck hails him as “one of the biggest brains in America.” You can see his books here.
Dr. George will speak at a free forum in Columbia, SC this Mon, Nov 16 (details here). Here are 3 ways he can equip and inspire you right now:
First, he clarifies the challenges to life, liberty and law and helps us respond. Take 5 minutes to watch this video on “Why We’re Losing Liberty.”
One of Dr. George’s great gifts is helping others clarify the first principles at stake. He helps us cut through conventional wisdom and legal abuses and focus on the foundation of our laws. He helps us ask the right questions about things we take for granted: Given what our constitution and Bill of Rights say, why should we settle for the Supreme Court assuming powers and creating laws that should be left to the states? Do we want to continue to elect presidents that will appoint those kinds of justices?
Second, Prof. George sets the pace; he puts wheels on his convictions and takes risks to make a difference in today’s culture
Watch this video where he teams with a Muslim leader to petition major hotel chains to stop showing porn in their hotel rooms. His ethical reasoning is simple and flawless.
Third, he can predict what the legal and cultural consequences of Supreme Court rulings will be and inspire us to live unashamed of the gospel
We may not yet experience these consequences. It depends on how far we live and work from the centers of American culture and power. Or who walks into our flower shop or bakery. But usually consequences begin in those centers, like our major universities, and radiate outwards. Dr. George writes in Touchstone: a journal of mere Christianity,
The days of socially acceptable Christianity in the West are surely over. The days of comfortable Christian orthodoxy are past. It is no longer easy to be a faithful Christian, a good Catholic, an authentic Evangelical witness to the truths of the gospel. A price is demanded and must be paid. There are costs of discipleship—costs that are burdensome and painful to bear.
To be a witness to the gospel today is to make oneself a marked man or woman. It is to expose oneself to scorn and reproach. To unashamedly proclaim the gospel in its fullness is to place in jeopardy one’s security, one’s personal aspirations and ambitions, the peace and tranquility one enjoys, one’s standing in polite society. One may in consequence of one’s public witness be discriminated against and denied educational opportunities and the prestigious credentials they may offer; one may lose valuable opportunities for employment and professional advancement; one may be excluded from worldly recognition and honors of various sorts; one’s witness may even cost one treasured friendships. It may produce familial discord and even alienation from family members. Yes, there are costs of discipleship—heavy costs.
So for us there is no avoiding the question: Am I unwilling to stand with Christ by proclaiming his truths? The days of comfortable Christianity are past. Fearing to place in jeopardy the wealth we have piled up, the businesses we have built, the professional and social standing we have earned, the security and tranquility we enjoy, the opportunities for worldly advancement we cherish, the connections we have cultivated, the relationships we treasure, will we silently acquiesce to the destruction of innocent human lives or the demolition of marriage?
The challenge to our faith and fidelity today does not come in the form that it came to Peter: “Surely you are this man’s disciple!” It is, rather, “Do you stand for the sanctity of human life and the dignity of marriage as the union of husband and wife?”
God & History
Powerful forces tell us that our defeat in the causes of marriage and human life are inevitable. They warn us that we are on the “wrong side of history.” They insist that we will be judged by future generations the way we today judge those who championed racial injustice in the Jim Crow south.
But history does not have sides. It is an impersonal and contingent sequence of events, events that are determined in decisive ways by human deliberation, judgment, choice, and action. The future of marriage and of countless human lives can and will be determined by our judgments and choices—our willingness or unwillingness to bear faithful witness, our acts of courage or cowardice. Nor is history, or future generations, a judge invested with god-like powers to decide, much less dictate, who was right and who was wrong. The idea of a “judgment of history” is secularism’s vain, meaningless, hopeless, and pathetic attempt to devise a substitute for the final judgment of Almighty God. History is not God. God is God. History is not our judge. God is our judge.
One day we will give an account of all we have done and failed to do. Let no one suppose that we will make this accounting to some impersonal sequence of events possessing no more power to judge than a golden calf or a carved and painted totem pole. It is before God—the God of truth, the Lord of history—that we will stand. And as we tremble in his presence, it will be no use for any of us to claim that we did everything in our power to put ourselves on “the right side of history.”
One thing alone will matter: Was I a faithful witness to the gospel? Did I do everything in my power to place myself on the side of truth? The One whose only begotten Son tells us that he, and he alone, is “the way, the truth, and the life” will want to know from each of us whether we sought the truth with a pure and sincere heart, whether we sought to live by the truth authentically and with integrity, and whether we stood up for the truth, speaking it out loud and in public, bearing the costs of discipleship that are inevitably imposed on faithful witnesses to truth by cultures that turn away from God and his law. Or were we ashamed of the gospel?*
To be equipped and inspired by Prof. George in many other ways google his other YouTube videos or articles. In Columbia join us as he discusses Life, Liberty and Law at the Engage the Culture Series at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church on November 16th, 7-8:30 pm, admission free, reception following. Details here.
*Adapted and reprinted from the May/June issue of Touchstone with permission from Dr. George. Read the entire article there.
Questions? Ask them in the space below…