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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Philosophy and Theology

From Leithart

Some reflections on a lecture by Mitch Stokes, a new fellow at NSA, concerning the differences between philosophy and theology. Ultimately, I don’t believe there is any room for an absolute distinction of theology and philosophy. This is what Stokes said: He defined both theology and . . . . Continue Reading »

Idolatry and Comparative Religion

From Leithart

In its origins, the study of comparative religion in the West arose within a Christian context. Many of the early writers in this field emphasized the imperfections of other world religions, and attempted to show how those imperfections were realized or corrected in Christianity. In an 1871 volume . . . . Continue Reading »

Pillars

From Leithart

Why so much attention to the pillars of Solomon’s temple in 2 Kings 25? It is likely that these were the last major items left. Ahaz had already dismantled the bronze sea and the water chariots. King after king plundered the temple for bribe money. When Nebuchadnezzar came, not much was left. . . . . Continue Reading »

American empire

From Leithart

Fred Anderson and Andrew Clayton suggest a revisionist, imperial reading of American history: “At least from the middle of the eighteenth century to the present, American wars have either expressed a certain kind of imperial ambition or have resulted directly from successes in previous . . . . Continue Reading »

Harnack on Marcion

From Leithart

Harnack described Marcion’s main impulses as follows: “The innovations of Marcion are unmistakable. The way in which he attempted to sever Christianity from the Old Testament was a bold stroke which demanded the sacrifice of the dearest possession of Christianity as a religion, viz., . . . . Continue Reading »

Marcion and Biblical Studies

From Leithart

Peter Jones writes, “In spite of Marcion’s massive rejection of early Christian orthodoxy, and his denunciation and excommunication by the second century Church, the great nineteenth century Liberal historian and theologian, Adolf von Harnack, called Marcion ‘the first . . . . Continue Reading »

Non-monetary value

From Leithart

Georg Simmel wrote, “Money, with all its colorlessness and indifference, becomes the common denominator of all values; irreparably it hollows out the core of things, their individuality, their specific value, and their incomparability. All things float with equal specific gravity in the . . . . Continue Reading »

Uncleanness and the body

From Leithart

In his recent commentary on Leviticus (Baker), Allen Ross suggests that genital discharges were defiling because “The nature of God is so different from our human condition that the two conflict. The law made it clear that bodily functions prevent people from entering the presence of God - . . . . Continue Reading »

Beds and Altars

From Leithart

The woman of Shunem sets Elisha up with a table, a chair, a menorah - and a bed. The first three are clearly linked with temple furniture, but a bed? I submit that the bed is an altar, and hence the boy laid on the bed and revived is a new Isaac, Elisha a new Abraham who is father of the remnant, . . . . Continue Reading »

God’s War

From Leithart

Israel’s calling was to be the focal point of Yahweh’s battle against sin. This is evident from the context of Abraham’s call in Gen. 12. Yahweh promised earlier He would no longer flood the earth. After Babel the nations have been scattered and He will no longer deal with them . . . . Continue Reading »