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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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 »

God Become Baby

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The Gospels obviously tell the life story of a human being. Jesus was born. He lived in subjection to his parents, grew up, learned a trade, made friends and enemies, walked the dusty roads of Judea, climbed mountains, and sailed the Sea of Galilee. He wept at the grave of Lazarus, passionately . . . . Continue Reading »

Garden in the Desert

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On the first night after Daron Babcock moved into the depressed south Dallas area of Bonton, one of his neighbors, high and belligerent, accosted him in his home. It ended in a fight on Babcock’s front lawn. The next morning the neighbor was back on his doorstep, not to fight but to apologize and . . . . Continue Reading »

Enlightenment Bible, Church Bible

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The following is taken from a paper that was delivered at a conference sponsored by the Center for Pastor Theologians on November 3.In his 2005 book, The Enlightenment Bible, Jonathan Sheehan describes changes in the Bible’s role in Germany and England between the late seventeenth and . . . . Continue Reading »