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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Ascent, Descent, and Human Destiny

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God forms Adam from dust, breathes life into his nostrils, and places him in a garden in the land of Eden. We know from Ezekiel (28:13–14) that the garden is planted on a mountain, but we could have inferred that from Genesis 2, since a river flows out of the garden and downhill to Assyria, Cush, . . . . Continue Reading »

Shakespeare the Conservative?

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Writing at Salon, Colin MacDonald urges us to dispense with the “myth” of the conservative Shakespeare, the Shakespeare who endorsed the divine right of kings and genuflected to his royal patrons. To MacDonald, a poet who has Lear say, “Unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, . . . . Continue Reading »

Where Have All the Bad Republicans Gone?

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Nearly a decade ago, the redoubtable Douglas Farrow published a book whose subtitle announced the “end of marriage.” Farrow hasn’t been the only one to sound the alarm. Roger Scruton has observed that marriage “marks an existential transition” from “the concerns of one generation towards . . . . Continue Reading »

Passion Play

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At his ascension, Jesus told the eleven disciples that they would receive the Spirit to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth. But for some time after Jesus’s ascension, and even after Pentecost, they stayed in Jerusalem.They were finally forced . . . . Continue Reading »

Dignity v. Freedom

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Justice Kennedy concluded his majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges with this summary: Gay couples “ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” “Dignity” appears several other times in the opinion. Prior to the twentieth century, Kennedy . . . . Continue Reading »

​Delivered from Sheol

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The title character of Tolstoy’s novella The Death of Ivan Illych is a government lawyer who devotes himself to his career. He lives and thinks conventionally, saying just what’s expected, doing whatever he’s supposed to do.It doesn’t make him happy. He married to advance socially and . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith, Hope, Love, Fast

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The history of the Bible turns on fasts broken and kept. As Alexander Schmemann put it, God formed Adam hungry and gave him the world as his banquet. Every tree of the garden, including the tree of life, was on his menu, with only one restriction: Adam was not to eat the fruit from the tree of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Reading Toward the End

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Revelation is one of those dramas where hero and villain keep missing each other. It is like Henry IV: We know Hal and Hotspur will eventually square off, and can’t wait for them to get down to it. It is like Hamlet, where Claudius and Hamlet dance their complicated dance, teasing and testing one . . . . Continue Reading »

Authority, Given and Received

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When Pontius Pilate warns Jesus that he has authority over life and death, Jesus reminds him, “you would have no authority over me, unless it had been given from above” (John 19:10–11). At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus assures his disciples that “all authority has been given to me in . . . . Continue Reading »

Come, Lord Jesus

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The Bible begins with an Advent. After Adam and Eve sin, they hear the “voice of Yahweh walking in the garden in the Spirit of the day,” coming to confront and judge and promise a deliverer. The Bible ends with another Advent, a coming of Jesus after the coming of Jesus. The very last words of . . . . Continue Reading »