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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Nyssa on perfection

From Leithart

Gregory of Nyssa writes in his Life of Moses: “one limit of perfection is the fact that it has no limit . . . .Why? Because no good has any limit.” And in his treatise on perfection, he’s more expansive: “one ought not to be distressed when one considers this tendency . . . . Continue Reading »

Justification and the Gentiles

From Leithart

It’s not a new insight with me, but it came home with particular force recently: Paul says in Romans 3:28 that “we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of Torah.” To suppoose the point, he asks two rhetorical questions, the first expecting a negative and . . . . Continue Reading »

David Grows Up

From Leithart

David’s house dies and rises again several times in 1-2 Kings: After Athaliah kills the royal seed, Joash rises from the temple; after Samaria falls, the Lord saves Judah from Assyria through Hezekiah’s prayer; after Nebuchadnezzar takes Judah into exile, Jehoiachin is taken from prison . . . . Continue Reading »

Truth

From Leithart

In his recent Simply Christian , NT Wright offers this clever retort to skeptical relativism: “Saying ‘It’s true for you’ sounds fine and tolerant. But it only works because it’s twisting the word ‘true’ to mean, not ‘a true revelation of the way . . . . Continue Reading »

What’s Church For?

From Leithart

According to an AOL report, Greg Boyd has lost 1000 members of his church because he has refused to promote conservative political causes. According to the report, “he first became alarmed while visiting another megachurch’s worship service on a Fourth of July years ago. The service . . . . Continue Reading »

Father of the Prodigal

From Leithart

The Pharisees are the surly elder brother in Jesus’ parable, and surely they expected that the father would be equally surly - greeting his returned son with harsh rebukes and scolding rather than with joy. How did they miss it? Israel’s whole history demonstrated the opposite. . . . . Continue Reading »

Deny Son, Deny Father

From Leithart

1 John 2:23 says that whoever denies the Son denies the Father as well, and vice versa - whoever confesses the Son confesses the Father. What’s the logic here? Is John assuming that Jesus is the mediator who makes a way to the Father, so that denying him closes off the way to the Father? . . . . Continue Reading »

Righteous to forgive unrighteousness

From Leithart

It’s common among evangelicals to say that the gospel is about God solving the tension between His justice and His mercy. As a just God, He must punish sin; as a merciful God, He seeks to save. The cross combines the two. At one level, I have no problem with this. But it is problematic both . . . . Continue Reading »

Light and cleansing

From Leithart

I’ve commented before on the sequence of 1 John 1:7, which moves from walking in the light to fellowship with one another, to cleansing by Jesus’ blood. The presence of “fellowship with one another” between walking in the light and cleansing is striking. Equally striking is . . . . Continue Reading »

RJ Rushdoony’s influence

From Leithart

Reviewing several recent books on the Christian Right in the current issue of First Things, Ross Douthat has this to say about Rushdoony: “What he has instead are the Christian Reconstructionists—the acolytes of the late R.J. Rushdoony—who are genuine theocrats, of a sort, and who . . . . Continue Reading »