Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

In his latest On the Square column, Peter J. Leithart on the complementarity of mysticism and activism:

Both sides can make a good case. Activists point out that true religion and undefiled is to visit orphans and widows in distress. They stress that faith without works is dead. Activists emphasize that the First Great Commandment to love God is worthless without the Second. Contemplatives point out that true religion also involves keeping ourselves unstained by the world. They emphasize that we are justified by faith apart from works. Contemplatives point out that Jesus didn’t call it the First Great Commandment for nothing.

Dear Reader,

We launched the First Things 2023 Year-End Campaign to keep articles like the one you just read free of charge to everyone.

Measured in dollars and cents, this doesn't make sense. But consider who is able to read First Things: pastors and priests, college students and professors, young professionals and families. Last year, we had more than three million unique readers on

Informing and inspiring these people is why First Things doesn't only think in terms of dollars and cents. And it's why we urgently need your year-end support.

Will you give today?

Make My Gift



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles