First Things RSS Feed - Peter J. Leithart
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). en-usCopyright 2016 First Things. All Rights Reserved.firstname.lastname@example.org (The Editors)email@example.com (The Editors)Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:09:40 -0400https://d25wp47b6tla3u.cloudfront.net/img/favicon-196.pngFirst Things RSS Feed Image
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 06:00:00 -firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter J. Leithart)The Merchant of Venice
consists of three intertwined plots—what some have labeled the “casket plot,” the “bond plot,” and the “ring plot.”
Under Which Altar?https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/leithart/2016/10/under-which-altar
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -email@example.com (Peter J. Leithart)Ian Boxall gets a lot right in his commentary on Revelation 6:9–11 (in his excellent
The Revelation of Saint John
, 113). He knows that the blood of a purification offering is poured out at the base of the altar, the very position where the souls of the martyrs are. And he recalls the Levitical connection of soul and blood (Leviticus 17:11).
]]>View from Patmoshttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/leithart/2016/10/view-from-patmos
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter J. Leithart)Writing in 1888, J. Theodore Bent described a visit to Patmos, during which he read the Apocalypse. One day, he recounted, “I stood by the sea looking south-west, I distinctly saw Thera, as it was anciently called, rising out of the sea. This island is now also called Thera conjointly with Santorin, or island of St. Irene. Thera, ‘the beast’ . . . was so called in ancient days because it is naught but the cone of a hideous submarine volcano, the slopes of which are arid and composed of black volcanic rocks formed by successive eruptions, awe-inspiring to look upon” (813).
]]>Sons of the Right Handhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/leithart/2016/10/sons-of-the-right-hand
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -email@example.com (Peter J. Leithart)Bede (
Latin Commentaries on Revelation
, 133-5) interprets the list of Israel's tribes in Revelation 7 by etymologizing the names. The list forms a sequence, from Judah to Benjamin. Judah means “confession or praise” and is placed first because “before the beginning of confession, no one attains the heights of good works, and unless we should renounce evil through confession, we do not live by those works that are just.” Reuben means “seeing the son,” and “Reuben comes after Judah, since after the beginning of divine confession there follows the perfection of work.”
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter J. Leithart)Chronicles envisions Israel as a “host” (
). David leads Israel’s hosts. The princes of Israel military commanders. When “all Israel” gathers, they are represented by elders and army captains, and even the Levitical singers are established by David and the commanders of the host (1 Chronicles 25:1).
]]>Notes on Usuryhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/leithart/2016/10/notes-on-usury
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -email@example.com (Peter J. Leithart)Violent malice can be directed against God, the self, and the neighbor, Virgil tells Dante (
11) as they huddle under the lid of one of the tombs in the sixth circle of hell. Virgil takes a moment to explain the moral theology that organizes hell. He explicates these three objects of violence in reverse order—first speaking of violence against neighbor, then against one’s self, and finally against God.
]]>On Flying Togetherhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/leithart/2016/10/on-flying-together
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter J. Leithart)My
End of Protestantism
(the book) deals with a number of the questions Doug Wilson raises in his
. I’m sure Doug will have more to say if he reads the book, and I’ll try to respond then. Here I limit myself to a few notes. I state a clarification, highlight an irony, expose a rhetorical misdirection, point to Doug’s leading error, and close, in good revivalist fashion, with an invitation.
]]>Two Kingdoms, Three Estates, One Spirithttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/leithart/2016/10/two-kingdoms-three-estates-one-spirit
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -email@example.com (Peter J. Leithart)Bernd Wannenwetsch (
, 63–65) denies that in Luther’s theology politics and economics “count as being a preserve of
of the law doesn’t mark “a particular preserve not touched by the gospel.” He needs to emphasize this because “an unduly abridged reference to Luther’s doctrine of the two kingdoms” can give the opposite impression. Such versions of two-kingdom theology rest on “distinctions, and particularly the distinction between law and gospel.”
]]>Ritual and Liberalismhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/leithart/2016/10/ritual-and-liberalism
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter J. Leithart)John Milbank and Adrian Pabst (
The Politics of Virtue
, 269) argue that secular critiques of liberalism cannot hit home because “they are incapable of making the key argument that various different faith traditions are able to make—that nature is neither external to humanity, nor should humans ever aspire simply to dominate their own or external nature.” Culture itself “is constituted by the nature/culture tension, then there is, for a meta-critique . . . no critical possibility of deciding that meanings or imaginings, spontaneities or purposes, are not just as natural as they are cultural. Inversely, one cannot necessarily conclude that cultural law is an exception to the habituations of nature.”
]]>In the Templehttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/leithart/2016/10/in-the-temple
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -email@example.com (Peter J. Leithart)John is caught up by the Spirit into heaven and sees a throne, cherubim, a sea, seven torches burning. I daresay
knew exactly where he was: In the heavenly temple, specifically in the heavenly archetype of the most holy place, the throne-room of the sanctuary. I daresay many of John’s first readers and hearers would have recognized the location too, even though they could never have been there. They had heard or read about it, all over the Hebrew Bible.