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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Denken ist Danken, again

From Leithart

In his fascinating book on aging and the brain ( The Wisdom Paradox , 2005), Elkhonon Goldberg focuses attention on the phenomenon of “pattern recognition,” the “ability to recognize a new object or a new problem as a member of an already familiar class of objects of . . . . Continue Reading »

Darwin’s defenders

From Leithart

It’s hard to pick up a magazine today without finding an article defending Darwin or Darwinism. Many of them are designed to prove that Darwin was not an opponent of religion, and that religion and science can live happily ever after, so long as the wicked stepmothers at the Discovery . . . . Continue Reading »

Sky High

From Leithart

Sky High focuses on Will Stronghold, son of the greatest superhero duo in history - The Commander and Jetstream, who has some difficulty (but not nearly enough) discovering his powers. Though as much a high school story as a superhero story, Sky High will inevitably be compared with The Incredibles . . . . Continue Reading »

The Church, our Mother

From Leithart

In his book on the Motherhood of the church, Henri de Lubac notes that “Calvin attached such importance [to the notion of the church as mother] that some reproached him for setting up in that way a divine ‘quaternity.’” Yet, de Lubac is critical of Calvin: “In our own . . . . Continue Reading »

Sign of Jonah

From Leithart

The sign of Jonah is certainly the death-resurrection of Jonah 2, as well as the turning to the Gentiles of Jonah 3. But the sign of Jonah also means the setting of a question mark above the future history of Israel. At the end of Jonah, Yahweh asks why he should not be merciful to the great city, . . . . Continue Reading »

Calvin’s Theocracy

From Leithart

Lindberg points out that “Calvin’s Protestant contemporaries did not view Geneva as a vengeful theocracy. Thousands of religious refugees flocked to Geneva from nearly every province in France, as well as from England, Scotland, Holland, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, and Bohemia. When . . . . Continue Reading »

Monks and culture

From Leithart

Lindberg summarizes the important, if sometimes inadvertent, cultural contributions of monasticism: “Monastic culture was not limited to copying texts from the past, but also engaged in a variety of intellectual pursuits related to monastic life. These included maintaining a liturgical . . . . Continue Reading »

Typology of heresy

From Leithart

In his recent Brief History of Christianity , Carter Lindberg suggests that “orthodoxy is the language that preserves the promise character of the gospel, that salvation is received from God, not achieved by humans.” By contrast, “heresy is the language that in one way or another . . . . Continue Reading »

Eschatological Vindication

From Leithart

In his book on the work of Christ, Robert Letham has this neat summary of the relation of present to future justification: “faith has an eschatological side to it. Paul can say we are justified by faith (Rom. 5:1) but he can equally talk of our being saved in hope (Rom. 8:24-25). Hope is . . . . Continue Reading »

Shield of Aeneas

From Leithart

Philip Hardie argues that the shield of Aeneas in Virgil’s Aeneid makes significant use not only of the Homeric description of the shield of Achilles but of ancient allegorizations of Homer’s description: “The central feature of ancient exegesis is its insistence that the great . . . . Continue Reading »