This is in the “day-late-and-a-dollar-short” category, but, on Friday, my friend Peter Leithart posted thoughts on his exclusion from the altars of several churches, most notably those of Catholic, Orthodox, and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod churches.

Peter’s substantive argument is, as usual, interesting. That said, I think that Peter lets himself off a bit more easily than he lets off his Catholic, Orthodox, and Lutheran interlocutors.

To wit, Peter writes in passing that he would of course exclude heretics from the altar. Aside from the fact that Peter’s heretics may be a somewhat-different set of individuals than Catholic, Orthodox, or Lutheran heretics, the larger point is that Peter is not in principle opposed to drawing a line around the altar. Rather, he is against the lines that Rome, Constantinople, and St. Louis draw.

Fair enough. But I think Peter should shoulder the same burden he places on these other communions. For a start, I think that Peter needs to identify where he would draw the line around the altar and, more specifically, justify why he draws the line where he does. Concomitant with this, he needs to argue why drawing the line at a different location than where he draws it is somehow less biblical than his choice.

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