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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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 »

Into the name

From Leithart

We are baptized, Jesus said, into the “name” of the Triune God. John says that we also “believe into the name” (1 John 5:13). Among other things, baptism is a road sign pointing faith in the right direction, toward the “name” of God. As such, baptism’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Trinity and forgiveness

From Leithart

The doctrine of the Trinity is the pre-condition for forgiveness. Consider: “If a man sins against another man, God will mediate for him; but if man sins against God, who can intercede for Him” (1 Samuel 2:25). God stands between man and man, and can reconcile; but who stands between . . . . Continue Reading »

Asking and giving

From Leithart

John says, “If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin not unto death, he will ask and he will give life” (1 John 5:16). Some commentators suggest a change of subject in the main clause: The brother “asks” but God “gives life.” That’s grammatically awkward, . . . . Continue Reading »

German Universities

From Leithart

Rosentock-Huessy’s discussion of German universities is closely linked to his treatment of the Reformation. The universities took on prominence during the Reformation because the princes of various German territories had to find some authoritative voice to judge in religious matters. . . . . Continue Reading »

German Reformation

From Leithart

Rosenstock-Huessy’s discussion of Luther makes sense if we recall what ERH says about the unique origins of a human type and the repetition of a human type. Luther’s biography is not just about his contribution to the Reformation; ERH says that the “German Reformation hinges on . . . . Continue Reading »

Longfellow lives

From Leithart

Another sign that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is being noticed again is the publication of Christoph Irmscher’s Longfellow Redux , reviewed in the January 5 TLS. Several things about Longfellow are striking: First, what Irmscher calls his “relentless availability” to readers, not . . . . Continue Reading »

King’s Theology

From Leithart

Stephen King, that is. Ross Douthat has an interesting article on King in the current issue of First Things . He places King’s novels in the context of modern fiction, which has ignored supernatural events and beings: “King has effectively expanded the definition of realism to include a . . . . Continue Reading »