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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Teach Us to Pray

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Christians have watched in helpless horror at the release of videos of masked ISIS warriors shooting and beheading Coptic Christians on a lonely stretch of North Africa beach. We can help, by diligent prayer for brothers and sisters who fall victim to Muslim brutes.But how should we pray? Continue Reading »

A Throne in the Grave

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Last Sunday, Western Christians celebrated Easter, and in a few days Eastern churches will observe Pascha. Over the course of eight days, most of the world’s two billion Christians will have sung of Jesus’s resurrection, listened again as the glad apostles see their Lord, and heard bold talk of new life and new creation. Continue Reading »

Every Sunday Is Palm Sunday

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When Jesus enters Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, everything changes. As Mark tells it, Jesus has been moving about in secret, teaching in private, refusing to draw attention to his miracles, and speaking in coded parables. He cleanses a leper but then warns, “See that you say nothing to anyone” (Mark 1:44). Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ, but Jesus instructs him “to tell no one about it” (8:30), and after the transfiguration he “gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man should rise from the dead” (9:9). It’s an anti-PR campaign. Continue Reading »

Liturgy and Interchangeable Sexes

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First Timothy 2:12–14 is one of the texts most commonly cited in debates over women’s ordination: “I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, then Eve. And not Adam was deceived, but the woman being deceived fell into transgression.” Continue Reading »

Receptive Ecumenism

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If the Church is going to face the challenges of this new century, she will have to face them as a united Church. Nothing has so weakened our witness as our tragic divisions. Nothing has made the Gospel so implausible, if not preposterous. Division has deprived us of the weapons we need for the spiritual battles that are on the horizon. Continue Reading »

The Word and the Rule of Faith

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Evangelicalism is awash in the 3Rs: retrieval, renewal, and ressourcement. As Michael Allen and Scott Swain explain in Reformed Catholicity, recently published by Baker Academic press, various movements have emerged sharing the conviction that “the path to theological renewal lies in retrieving resources from the Christian tradition.” In their view, these efforts have been haphazard, and their book sketches a “programmatic assessment of what it means to retrieve the catholic tradition . . . on the basis of Protestant theological and ecclesiological principles.” Continue Reading »

Salt of the Earth

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Salt of the earth” is one of the best-known phrases in the Bible, but it’s more enigmatic than we realize. Salt has many qualities, and it’s not clear which one Jesus is highlighting. Does Jesus want disciples to preserve the world? Are disciples as necessary to the world as salt is to life? Are disciples the seasoning on a main course dished up by someone else? Continue Reading »

We Have Never Been Modern

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Bruno Latour’s 1993 We Have Never Been Modern is a neglected masterpiece. Its argument is compressed, the terminology idiosyncratic. Latour is witty, ironic, and funniest when he’s outraged. It’s not an easy book, but it’s worth the effort. As a diagnosis of us “moderns,” it’s more penetrating, and rings truer, than many better-known works. Continue Reading »

Spirit in Flesh

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God has come to the human race many times and in many ways. He came to form Adam from the dust, and he came walking in the garden after Adam sinned. He came to deliver Israel from Egypt, descended on Sinai to give the Law, and led Israel through the wilderness into the land. He came in judgment when his people polluted the holy land, and he came to stir the heart of Cyrus to let them go. Biblical history is filled with advents of God. Continue Reading »