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  • Writer's pictureKrista Bontrager

(Re)Defining Freedom

How a speech by FDR changed the definition of freedom. Guest: Dr. Scott Waller

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Segment #1: Interview with Dr. Scott Waller

We had a special 4th of July *FREEDOM* episode with Dr. Scott Waller. Dr. Waller is a Professor in the Political Science Department at Biola University. Dr. Waller also works in partnership with Dr. J.P. Moreland at Eidos Christian Center.

Definition of Political Science:

Stems from politics itself...modern definition of politics is who gets what, when, and how. Classic definition involves how we ought to order our lives together. Therefore, the discipline of political science involves the quest in answering the question of how we order our lives together.

Definition of Freedom:

Under age 30: Experiencing a definition of freedom that was different than previous 250 years; currently, largely associated with the unfettered choices of an autonomous individual

Over age 30/historical definition: American experiment in ordered liberty; defines freedom in terms of an end goal/purpose. Meant to be the exhibition of our agency of our freedom toward a purpose/goal beyond ourselves, such as morality or a shared sense of decency

Dr. Waller shared these Biblical references to freedom: 1 Peter 2:16, Galatians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 3:17, Galatians 5:13, Romans 6:22, Psalm 119:45, 2 Timothy 1:7, 1 Corinthians 6:12

What is defined as freedom in America's founding documents, such as the First Amendment?

  1. Religious freedom/free exercise of rights

  2. Freedom of speech

  3. Freedom of the press

  4. Freedom of assembly

  5. Freedom to petition the government

FDR's speech and the 4 freedoms (1941):

  1. Freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world

  2. Freedom of every person to worship God in his own way--everywhere in the world

  3. Freedom from want...a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants--everywhere in the world

  4. Freedom from act of physical aggression against any neighbor (disarmament)--anywhere in the world

Why is this speech important?

It needs to be understood in terms of the progressive push for progress, which has resulted in a significant ramping up of government power.

Is there a connection between some of the ground that FDR laid through the New Deal and depression-era programs and being a major voice in the growth of "progressivism" in the 20th Century? What is some of the fruit of these social policies?

Yes, there is a connection. The size and scope of the federal government has grown exponentially. There has been a fundamental change in the mindset of the American people resulting in a growing expectation that the government needs to provide subsidies/assistance.

Bottom line: Who is your God? If I am trusting the government to keep me from fear or to keep me from want, I have made a huge error.


Connect with the guest:


Twitter: @ProfWaller


Segment #2: Announcements and Show Sponsors

The 2nd annual UP Conference is here!! Register today!!

Monique had a great time chopping it up with Saiko Woods. Check out their conversation here:

Tweet of the Week:

From a Twitter user: "I spoke to a #Kentucky teacher who has tapped out of the nonsense. She quit the school system and will be teaching a home school curriculum to 5 kids in her home. The parents pooled money and will pay her to be their kids' private teacher. It's a concept whose time has come."

Yes! More of this please!

Have you been impacted by the ministry of CBFU? Are you a pastor, a mom, a teacher...can you take a few minutes to write a note of how this ministry has helped you...possibly in shepherding your congregation, or preparing for a conversation, or helping you to renew your faith? We'd love to hear from you for a project we're working on! Email us at

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