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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Baptismal exhortation

From Leithart

1 John 5:13: “These things I have written to those who believe into the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.” We are all born into the world bearing the name of Adam, with his heritage and his destiny. Baptism assigns us a different name, the . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

From Leithart

Each week, we kneel to confess our own sins and then go on to pray for the universal church, the nations, and the world. It’s obvious why we confess our sins. We are seeking forgiveness and cleansing. We are praying for one another as we pray together. The prayer for forgiveness we’re . . . . Continue Reading »

Cooled prayer

From Leithart

Prayer, Rosenstock-Huessy says, is “doubtful, agitated, despairing, searching.” Prayer desperately seeks answers. When prayer cools into a “residue,” it’s called “research”: “If research is real, it still has the dignity of prayer, although it is the . . . . Continue Reading »

Silencing women

From Leithart

Rosenstock-Huessy notes that the ancient world observed a division of labor with regard to speech: “Women are expected to contribute wild, passionate, inarticulate shouts of blind feeling. Men are expected to build on this natural stratum the structure of high and articulate speech . . . . . . . . Continue Reading »

Historical Jesus

From Leithart

Historical Jesus studies, Rosenstock-Huessy claims, attempt to reduce the four gospels to a single unified story, turning the gospels into “material for our reconstruction of the life of Jesus from all the material.” Or, historical Jesus studies attempt to place Jesus among the . . . . Continue Reading »

Gospel biography?

From Leithart

It has become popular to describe the gospels as biographies, but Rosenstock-Huessy pre-challenged this trend (no doubt reacting to the lives-of-Jesus movement of the 18th and 19th centuries). Ancient biographies, he claims were actually “thanatographies,” while “the story of . . . . Continue Reading »

Spiritual colors

From Leithart

Christopher Smart wrote Jubilate Agno while confined in a madhouse. He would have said, no doubt, he found his sanity there. Newtonians, they are the madmen: For Newton’s notion of colours is ALOGOS unphilosophical. For the colours are spiritual . . . . NOW that colour is spiritual appears . . . . Continue Reading »

Criminal linen

From Leithart

In May 1757, Christopher Smart, Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, renowned poet, writer for John Newbery, was involuntarily incarcerated in a London madhouse, where he spent the next seven years. His crime: Spontaneous public prayer, which arose from his conviction that it was a crime to . . . . Continue Reading »

Ask and have

From Leithart

John says in 1 John 5:15: “if we know he hears, we know we have. His hearing and our having are identified. As soon as God hears, we have; as soon as God hears, He gives. There is no lapse between request and gift. There is a time lapse between our request and the realization of the gift in . . . . Continue Reading »