Culture is not a Shadowy Something

Culture is not a shadowy something existing in secret “behind” its “manifestations” in language, rites, and discipline. Culture is a people organized and united by its language, rites, rules, and mechanisms of enforcement. So also is the covenant. So also is the Church. Peter Leithart, Against Christianity, 51

An Alternative Culture in His Back Pocket

Each religion, and especially each civic religion, also enacted a particular way of life. To be Spartan meant living out of Spartan myths and being shaped by Spartan rituals, but also meant engaging the world as a Spartan. Being Athenian meant learning to “lean into life” in a particular manner. Being Roman was a matter…

Apologetics as Politics (Philosophy, not so much)

It is no doubt of significance that the apostle Paul appeared before kings, magistrates, presumably Caesar, and that he preached in Jewish synagogues, in stadia and in the temple. Only once, to our knowledge, did he preach to philosophers, and that was a distinctly unsuccessful venture (Acts 17). There is a message in that, both…

Are Theologians talking about this World?

Theology is a “Victorian” enterprise, neoclassically bright and neat and clean, nothing out of place. Whereas the Bible talks about hair, blood, sweat, entrails, menstruation, and genital emissions. . . . Here’s an experiment you can do at any theological library. You even have my permission to try this at home. Step 1: Check the…

How Seminaries (try to) Keep God Out of Life

Practical theology departments at seminaries do not make theology more practical. They ensure that theology, outside PT departments, will remain impractical — that it will remain theology. Practical theology ensures that life will remain outside theology. Practical theology ensures that the secular remains secular. -Peter Leithart, Against Christianity, 45.

Tenth Sunday in Trinity: Third Commandment 1: Ex. 20:7

Introduction We move on to the Third Commandment today which continues to be concerned with idolatry. Here the specific concern is with bearing God’s name faithfully. Literally, the Third Word says: “You shall not lift up the name of Yahweh your God to vanity/worthlessness because Yahweh will not hold unpunished he who lifts His name…

As Big as the Creation of the World

It’s striking that three of the four gospels have opening sentences referring to “the beginning” (Mk. 1:1, Lk. 1:2, Jn. 1:1). Counting Matthew’s “book of the genealogy” (Mt. 1:1) as an explicit referent to Genesis (Gen. 5:1, cf. Gen. 6:9, 10:1, 11:10, etc.), all four gospels begin with creation, insisting or implying to varying degrees…

Speechless

If theology deals with “timeless truths,” then all the temporal things we encounter in life are outside the range of theology. But everything we encounter in life is temporal. Therefore, all life is outside of theology. . . . Theology ensures that Christians have nothing to say about nearly everything. -Peter Leithart, Against Christianity, 45.

Like St. Paul’s Hipster Clone

Phil Johnson has replied here, mostly to Doug Wilson’s post but mentions me as well at a couple of points, so I’ll throw out a few other comments for whatever it’s worth. First off, Doug’s follow up post here is really helpful in defining the issues and terms, and I’m in full agreement with it….

On Behalf of all the Excluded Atoms

A New York Times story relates a recent lawsuit from a few atheists who are upset – really, really upset, perhaps even offended and certainly experiencing mental pain and anguish. Seems someone found a large cross-shaped beam in the wreckage following the collapse of the towers from 9/11, and now that cross-shaped beam has found…