Peter J. Leithart is President of the Theopolis Institute, Birmingham, Alabama, and an adjunct Senior Fellow at New St. Andrews College. He is author, most recently, of Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor).

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Hodge and the deliverdict

From Leithart

Charles Hodge doesn’t quite get to justification as deliverdict here, but he comes close: “[Paul] had just said that the believer cannot continue to serve sin. He here [in 6:7] gives the reason: for he who has died (with Christ) is justified, and therefore free from sin, free from its . . . . Continue Reading »

Aquinas and merit

From Leithart

Strict justice, Aquinas argued, is only possible between equals, and since God and man are not equals there is never strict justice in God’s dealings with us. Further, God being God, He is never put in debt to His creatures, never obligated to give anything, unless by His own prior . . . . Continue Reading »

Did Christ Merit Salvation?

From Leithart

According to Calvin, only in a qualified sense. McGrath says, “The later Franciscan school, the via moderna and the schola Augustiniana moderna regarded the ratio meriti as lying in the divine good pleasure; nothing was meritorious unless God chose to accept it as such. This teaching was . . . . Continue Reading »

Eschatological merit

From Leithart

Augustine said that in crowning the merit of human works, he is simply crowning his own gifts: “si ergo Dei dona sunt bona merita tua, non Deus coronat merita tua tanquam merita tua, sed tanquam dona sua.” McGrath points out that this axiom concerning merit is set by Augustine in an . . . . Continue Reading »

Prime mover

From Leithart

Dante understood Aquinas: The prime mover is not pushy; He/it is not the first domino that knocks down all the others. He is Beautiful and Beauty in Himself, Glorious and Triune Glory, and by His beauty He arouses desire, which moves us toward Him. That is why people in the depths of Hell are . . . . Continue Reading »

Background to Marion, Being Given

From Leithart

INTRODUCTION Jean-Luc Marion is one of the major figures in contemporary French Philosophy, and particularly a leader in French phenomenology. As introduction to Marion’s work on gift and givenness, we’ll be looking at the key figures and ideas of phenomenology, the “theological . . . . Continue Reading »

Sacraments and Soteriology

From Leithart

Justification, Protestants confess, is a declaration of God as judge. But is this ever audible? Where? Is the judgment ever publicly promulgated? Is it merely the secret declaration in the heart? And if so, how can we be sure that the declaration we’re hearing is God’s voice of . . . . Continue Reading »

Acts and Romans

From Leithart

The canonical ordering of the NT does not carry the authority of the text itself, but it is not irrelevant. (Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, among others, has shown that the canonical order of the gospels links them together into a unified literary unit.) With this in mind, it is not irrelevant that . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon outline, Third Sunday of Easter

From Leithart

INTRODUCTION Because of Israel’s faithlessness, and her hardness toward Yahweh’s prophets, He sends Assyria in to remove Israel and resettle the land with Gentiles. The arc of Israel’s history comes to a great, tragic conclusion, with Israel removed from her land. THE TEXT . . . . Continue Reading »