Saturday, February 23, 2008


In his new memoir, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan reminds us that author Ayn Rand is still influencing the world. He credits her with turning him into something more than a “math junkie.”

Greenspan is not alone. A 1991 Book-of-the-Month Club and Library of Congress survey asked members which book had most influenced their lives. As expected, the Bible finished first. Unexpectedly, Rand’s most famous book, the novel Atlas Shrugged, finished second.

Fifty years after its publication and 25 years after Rand’s death, Atlas Shrugged is still read everywhere from college campuses to Wall Street. Given its popularity and its impact, Christians ought to be acquainted with Rand’s work and, especially, her worldview.

As theologian John Piper puts it, Rand’s work manifests a “complete rejection of a divine or supernatural dimension to reality.” The absence of God causes Rand to get human nature wrong as well.

In Atlas Shrugged and her other writings, Rand articulated a philosophy she called “objectivism.” Among other things, objectivism teaches that man’s “highest value” and “moral purpose” is his own happiness.

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