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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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 »

Mars Hill Audio

From Leithart

Occasionally, I run into people who have never heard of Ken Myers and his Mars Hill Audio ministry. What a tragedy, I think. In case you happen to be one of the darkened multitude, Myers is one of the best-informed Christian cultural commentators of our time, and his audio magazine and other . . . . Continue Reading »

Justification or gratitude

From Leithart

In a Biblical Horizons lecture, Rich Bledsoe argued that the doctrine of justification by faith was the doctrine that needed to be emphasized in the 16th century to exorcise the medieval world where power was based on condemnation. Because of Luther, everyone could stand up to the condemnation of . . . . Continue Reading »

Baptism and being Christian

From Leithart

Baptism unites the baptized to the church, which is the bride of Christ. Brides take the name of their husbands, and thus all who are baptized take on the name of Jesus - they are Christians because “Christ” is their Husband’s name. Only feminists would want the baptized to keep . . . . Continue Reading »

What we proclaim

From Leithart

Gary Burge points out in his NIV commentary on 1 John that the relative pronoun that begins the letter is neuter, even though the subject (LOGOS) is masculine. Drawing on Raymond Brown, he suggests that the neuter is used because it covers not just the person of Jesus the Word, but the whole . . . . Continue Reading »

Justification in James

From Leithart

It’s common to reconcile James and Paul on justification by saying something like “Paul’s faith is not the faith that James is talking about, and James’ justification is not the justification Paul is talking about.” That is, James is talking about some kind of . . . . Continue Reading »

Qoheleth and Postmodernism

From Leithart

Doug Ingram suggests in his 2004 Grove Book study of Ecclesiastes that the book has a peculiarly postmodern emphasis on the ambiguity of the world and human life. Pointing to the proliferation of studies of Ecclesiastes over the past decade and a half, he writes that while modern readers find . . . . Continue Reading »

Courtly love

From Leithart

A former student, Matt Dau, commented on reading David Bentley Hart’s description of postmodernism and the sublime that it seemed very similar to the courtly love tradition - the dominating attraction of one’s life is the inaccessible beauty of the beloved. Judging from . . . . Continue Reading »

Bataille and Danielou

From Leithart

Holsinger argues ( Premodern Condition ) that Bataille, despite writing a somme atheologique was not so much attacking or parodying Thomism as critiquing Thomas with resources taken from inside the medieval Catholic tradition. As an illustration of his “intellectual open-mindedness vis-a-vis . . . . Continue Reading »

Old and new Thomists

From Leithart

Bruce Holsinger gives this summary of the conflict between “traditional” Thomists and the advocates of nouvelle theologie during the early decades of the 20th century: “What infuriated . . . the [traditionalist] neo-Thomists about the nouvelle theologie was what they perceived as . . . . Continue Reading »