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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Lamarck Redux?

From Leithart

In a fascinating review of a recent book on evolution (TNR, Sept 4), Oren Harman suggests that reports of the death of Lamarck, proclaimed in every middle school science classroom for well over a century, may be somewhat exaggerated: Lamarckism “is and isn’t” dead. Insofar as . . . . Continue Reading »

Trinity and Self-Gift

From Leithart

One of Barth’s main contentions that only a Triune God can give Himself. A monadic God might give, but would give something less than Himself. Only if God is both Himself and another, and only if that other is fully God, can God give Himself . . . . . Continue Reading »

Complex reprobation

From Leithart

Bavinck writes: “It is wrong to conceive the decree as if it determined only a person’s end and coerced him or her in that direction regardless of what they did. The decree is as inconceivably rich as reality itself. It is, in fact, the fountainhead of all reality. It encompasses in a . . . . Continue Reading »

Epistemology of ingratitude

From Leithart

Blumenberg writes ( Legitimacy of the Modern Age ) that with Bacon, Kepler, and particularly Leibniz, the Augustinian suspicion of curiosity is overcome, and knowledge thereafter “justifies itself; it does not owe thanks for itself to God; it no longer has any tinge of illumination or . . . . Continue Reading »

Physics and Metaphysics

From Leithart

Blumenberg says that Bacon drew a distinction between metaphysics and physics in terms of human control: “The former has as its object the unalterable law beyond man’s influence; the latter comprises all knowledge of the operative and material causes that man can transpose in order to . . . . Continue Reading »

Individuality and Communion

From Leithart

TF Torrance ( The Christian Doctrine of God ) writes that “Human beings do not exist within one another, but this is precisely what the divine Persons of the Holy Trinity do.” A page later he explained that since the Persons dwell in and with one another so intimately, “their . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation

From Leithart

Revelation 16:4-6: Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying: You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things. For they have shed the . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation

From Leithart

These comments are thoroughly indebted to James Jordan. Every week, God invites us to His house and serves us, so we come here to be refreshed by the Word and Sacrament. His is a house of praise, so we also come together to offer Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving. But that is not all that goes on . . . . Continue Reading »

Imprecatory Prayer

From Leithart

Are imprecatory prayers appropriate for the children of Abraham? If so, then they are appropriate for us, for Paul says in Galatians that we are all “sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,” and that if we “belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to . . . . Continue Reading »

Speech and Sacrifice

From Leithart

Proverbs 15:26 contrasts plans that are “abominable” to Yahweh with words that are “pure.” Both terms are borrowed from the Levitical system, and suggest that speech and plans are always a form of sacrifice. There is a vertical dimension to all our talk, and God either spits . . . . Continue Reading »