If we are going to get anywhere in this debate about liberalism, we should take on the strongest arguments from our opponents and not their weakest or most caricatured. While I do not think Christians should see liberal democracy as the enemy, I do think its critics often have a point.
For now, let us cling to liberal democracy as a common grace of God. If God in his providence gave us modernity, let Christians be the stewards who use the freedoms of liberal democracy for the sake of the gospel.
Orthodox Christianity does not demand liberalism, but it can provide an alternative grounding for a form of liberalism that respects religious beliefs and institutions more than the early twenty-first-century version does.
Liberalism, at least some version of it, remains the best option for organizing modern society. The real question is which version of liberalism is best. In this symposium, a variety of authors take up the idea of Augustinian liberalism.
While there are many nuances and side issues in the debate between David French and Sohrab Ahmari, the crux of the disagreement appears to be a general clash between two opposing political philosophies adopted by religious believers: Catholic integralism and classical liberalism.
In a recent issue of Providence, several scholars presented a defense of liberalism that cited Augustine. Daniel Strand responds that many things about Augustine are not liberal at all and would probably set him deeply at odds with American liberal democracy.