As North would work out these principles in his writing, chief among his influences were Cornelius VanTil (philosophy/theology), Rushdoony (law), Ludwig von Mises (economics), John Calvin and John Murray (theology), and Robert Nisbet (social theory). Each was an exceptional scholar and produced critical writings with tremendous insight. North would follow in their train and his production would be nothing less than astounding.
It is noteworthy that among those influences, neither Mises nor Nisbet were professing Christians. What concerned North was not whether one claimed to be a Christian; there was no shortage of ministers and so-called Christian academics promoting unbiblical teaching like evolution, Keynesianism, and socialism. What was critical was the quality of the scholarship and whether the ideas the individual taught were consistent with the Bible or provided valuable information and insight to help understand it. In so many areas the writings of Mises and Nisbet did this. The same could be said for scholars like Rothbard, Harold Berman, Jacques Barzun, Martin van Creveld, James Billington, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and so many others whose work North admired.Gary North, RIP by Craig Bulkeley
I like North’s attitude here: the demand for excellence, regardless of religion.
And why not? There are plenty of worthless Christian servants, cross-waving, mouth-serving men who will be the first to be condemned by God – being damned before any atheist or unbeliever.
For men are judged according to their knowledge: if you know more, if you are capable of more, you are expected to accomplish more.
But men – even unbelieving men – who delivered top-tier work?
That excellence is something to respect, and imitate.
Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.ColossianS 3:22-25, English Standard Version
For all we do, we should do unto the Lord.1
Gary North gave his best unto the Lord, and I am confident he will in no way be counted as a worthless servant. He redeemed the time he was given, and will be repaid for his good work unto Christ.
And — an actual surprise, in a generation of Christian mediocrities — North achieved a certain level of excellence in his work.
Let’s get the work God has assigned to us completed, and completed well, as North did.
Christ is the Victor!
1 And it is a shame, when Pagans provide better service than Christians do! Was it not Christ – not Marx or Mohammed or Darwin, or even Moses, but CHRIST – who washed the feet of His disciples?
North served his Lord for nearly the entirety of his life: and not just in time, but in consistent excellence and integrity as well. If we are to expand the Kingdom of God in our time, we must do the same, with dedication, commitment, high integrity, and true humility before God and His Holy Majesty.
North felt that it was high time for the good guys, the covenant-keepers, to win.
So must we.