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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Light and Dark

From Leithart

God is light and there is no darkness in Him (1 John 1:5). Eschatologically, the alternation of light and dark ceases for the creation (Rev. 21:25). Yet, all things were created by Him and manifest Him, and the first form of creation to come from Him was covered with “darkness.” And the . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon outline, November 6

From Leithart

INTRODUCTION Prophets were involved from the beginning of the monarchy, but Israel’s prophets did not interfere with Gentile politics during the days of Saul, David and Solomon. Now, for the first time, a prophet anoints a Gentile king, and this initiates several centuries of prophetic . . . . Continue Reading »

Elisha and the Mainline

From Leithart

One of the intriguing aspects of Elisha’ ministry is his attitude toward Jehoram. The house of Ahab was doomed before Jehoram ever became king. Their fate was sealed during the lifetime of Ahab. And Jehoram shows few signs of repentance. He put away the pillar of Baal that had belonged to his . . . . Continue Reading »

Kings and Reformers

From Leithart

Apart from a few suggestive comments in Ephraim Radner’s The End of the Church , I know of no study that examines the Reformers’ use of Israel’s history as a paradigm for understanding the Reformation itself and as a program for that Reformation. (Radner cites an article by Congar . . . . Continue Reading »

Nevin’s limitations

From Leithart

Much as I like the Nevin that’s emerging from Hart’s biography, he seems to be stuck in modern dualisms that need to be overcome. Hart quotes him as saying that if the Supper were only a sign it would “carry with it no virtue or force, more than might be put into it in every case . . . . Continue Reading »

Nevin on the church

From Leithart

A couple of quotations from Hart’s biography of Nevin: “The force of the question in the end is nothing less than this, whether the original catholic doctrine concerning the Church, as it stood in universal authority through all ages before the Reformation, is to be received and held . . . . Continue Reading »

Calvinism and Chosenness

From Leithart

John Milbank’s opening essay in the recently-released Radical Orthodoxy and the Reformed Tradition (edited by James KA Smith and James Olthuis) is a challenging critique of Calvin and the Reformed tradition, one that I hope to interact with more in the future. One particularly striking . . . . Continue Reading »

Trickster God

From Leithart

Yahweh is the trickster God of 1-2 Kings. He tricks the Moabites into thinking that the three kings have slaughtered each other (2 Kings 3), and Israel rises from their camp and slaughters them. He tricks the Arameans in the opposite way: chasing them away from their camp so that Israel can plunder . . . . Continue Reading »

Delayed Parousia

From Leithart

Why the delay of judgment throughout 1-2 Kings? Two reasons: First, judgment is passed, but Yahweh waits for the sin of the Amorites to come to completion, for sin to ripen to be utterly sinful. Second, Yahweh gives time for the declaration of judgment to work repentance among a remnant. Hence: . . . . Continue Reading »

Before kings, before prophets

From Leithart

Another aspect of the “satire” of royal power in 1-2 Kings comes out when we examine scenes of womena appealing for help before an authority. Early in Kings, women appeal to Kings and receive what they need (Bath-sheba and David; prostitutes and Solomon). Sheba is overwhelmed by . . . . Continue Reading »