Against Christianity review µ 3

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Against ChristianityHow could a conservative Christian an ordained minister with a beard no less be against not only Christianity but theology sacraments and ethics as well Yet that is the stance Peter Leithart takes in this provocative theological bricolage. First let me say Leithart is NOT against Christianity He is against treating the biblical faith as one among many valid individualistic personal views of the world to be privately held with no direct public influence He is FOR Christendom He is only against Christianity as he defines it for the sake of argument Unfortunately he never directly gives that definition and it must be deduced from various statements throughout the book Such as Such a procedure is compatible with the heresy of Christianity with its separation of theology and practice but it is not a biblical picture107 Christianity proposes only ideas; it does not form a world or a city Christianity offers the Church only as a new sort of religious association not as a new eschatological ordering of human life 135 This is Christianity the assumption that the Bible addresses only the private and personal147 Basically he is against secular modernity and the poisonous influence it has exerted on the church That is the point he is makingSo does he make it well That may depend somewhat on the reader Which in itself is a weakness in any writer In places it is a scholar's critiue of the scholars In places it reads like a collection of unfinished notes that the author was too lazy to make coherent And at times Leithart is too clever to be helpfulBut in the end taken as tongue in cheek it is an important challenge for the too comfortable Christian and an appropriate corrective to the anabaptist two kingdoms error I think it could have been done better and less confusingly but I would still recommend it

review Against Christianity

Against Christianity review µ 3 ✓ How could a conservative Christian an ordained minister with a beard no less be against not only Christianity but theology sacraments and ethics as well Yet that is the stance Peter Leithart takes in this provocative theological bricolage Seeking to rethink evangelical notions of culture church and state Leithart Seeking to rethink evangelical notions of culture church and state Leithart offers a series of short essays aphorisms and parables that challenge the current dichotomies that govern both Christian and non Christian thinking about church an. In Against Christianity Leithart argues not against Jesus the gospel or the New Covenant but against the idea of Christianity is one of many religions one of many life choices one of many ideologies He argues against the Church's adjustment of the gospel to modernity and the church's conseuent acceptance of the world's definition of who we are and what we are to be up to He writes that Christianity is institutionalized worldliness p 17Instead of a religion followers of Christ are to live God's rival story a story full of stories symbols rituals and community rules p 18 The book is short and written as a sort of manifesto or collection of brief thoughts and reflections on culture religion and what God has charged us to beSo much of the book is negative arguing against current and customary ways of thinking and speaking that it is even difficult to put words to what Leithart is trying to communicate He fails himself many times For example chapter two is Against Theology He argues that Theology is a specialized professional language often employing obscure Latin and Greek terms that are never used by anyone but theologians as if theologians live in and talk about a different world from the one mortals inhabit Theology functions sociologically like the other professional languages to keep people out and to help the members of the guild to identify one another Whereas the Bible talks about trees and stars about donkeys and barren women about kings and ueens and carpenters p 51 I appreciate what he's saying here and he's right that much of the language of theologians is like this and makes it difficult for the uninitiated to follow much of what theologians write and sayI suppose Leithart had this kind of sentence in mind when he wrote that Augustine knew that empires all empires are of the earth and destined to crumble to the dust from which they came Augustine knew that only the Church is a heavenly politeuma and that only the Church is an imperium sine fine because he knew that only the Church has an undying ruler and that only the Church has been ingrafted into the eternal community of the Trinity The only trouble is that Leithart himself wrote that less than twenty pages after his condemning others for employing obscure Latin and Greek terms that are never used by anyone but theologians So as I was saying even Leithart has trouble following his own counsel in how he writes and speaksYet at the heart of the book is a expose of how the church has become gnostic compartmentalizing the gospel into areas of knowledge or limited scope of action lest it utterly transform persons and the world He does succeed in this but he does not succeed in creating or redeeming our current existing and shared lexicon and must resort himself to using the very lexicon and mode of argument that he argues against at least in many ways

Peter J. Leithart ß 3 free read

D state the secular and the religious But his argument isn't limited to being merely against Leithart reveals a much larger vision of Christian society defined by the stories symbols rituals and rules of a renewed community the city of God. The Church as a Counter CityThis might easily be the best book that I have read in the past 3 years I have re read this book several times By Christianity Leithart means the privatized religion dominated by the Enlightenment It can be conservative or liberal but the end result is the same whatever external truth claims may be presented by such adherents they seperate reality into sacred and secularLeithart makes a number of stunning observations I simply cannot do a review of this book It would take up too much space Leithart urges the church to recapture a distinctly Christian vocabulary and to have a distinctively Christian identity over against the city of this world Such actions will permeatetransformoverthrow the civitas terrana Instead of trying to Christianize politics because that would be an implication of the gospel Leithart urges us to see that the gospel is political Caesar cannot tolerate liturgical worship He also deals with the privitization of Sacraments ethics and theology His final chapter is an argument for Constantine and Christendom easily worth the price of the book In it he challenges and rebuts the finest ethical scholarship in the Christian world