Item description for Against Christianity by Peter J. Leithart...
Overview 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 offers a series of short essays, aphorisms, and parables that challenge the current dichotomies that govern both Christian and non-Christian thinking about church and 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.
Publishers Description 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 offers a series of short essays, aphorisms, and parables that challenge the current dichotomies that govern both Christian and non-Christian thinking about church and 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.
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Studio: Canon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.6" Width: 5.38" Height: 0.41" Weight: 0.49 lbs.
Release Date Oct 27, 2004
Publisher Canon Press
ISBN 1591280060 ISBN13 9781591280064
Availability 96 units. Availability accurate as of May 25, 2017 02:32.
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More About Peter J. Leithart
Peter J. Leithart is President of the Theopolis Institute, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
Peter J. Leithart has published or released items in the following series...
Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible
Foundations of Theological Exegesis and Christian Spirituality
Reviews - What do customers think about Against Christianity?
Great book Nov 25, 2008
A good book for those who are interested in theology and/or are ready for revolution in church practice. You may not agree with everything that Leithart says, but dang the guy is smart, and he knows how to write.
Small Book, Huge Implications... Jan 29, 2007
This is one of those books that caused a paradigm shift in my thinking. I read it for the first time about 3 years ago, and I can trace many of my current theological views back to this book.
Other reviews have given some good analyses already, so let me just offer a few suggestions. If you align yourself with something close to "Reformed Baptist" (John Piper, James White, John MacArthur, Charles Spurgeon, etc.), read this book immediately. It will likely challenge many underlying assumptions and force you to face many questions that you probably didn't even know to exist.
If you are a product of modern-day, generic Reformed Presbyterianism (i.e., all you read is R. C. Sproul) read this book immediately. It will help you develop a more robust understanding of the faith and the role of the Church (and maybe help you get over your fear of N. T. Wright).
If you are a high church, liturgy-loving, Anglo-catholic-on-the-road-to-Rome wannabe who thinks that Protestants can't appreciate the sacraments or historic Christianity, read this book immediately. It will save you a lot of time and trouble (and maybe help you understand what true ecumenicalism should look like).
If you are just getting into political theology and don't know what to do with Hauerwas, Yoder, or Milbank (or Augustine for that matter), read this book immediately. It will help create new categories to think in and give direction for further study.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough for anyone who is interested in theology and Christ's Church.
Quick short thrusts to the heart Nov 14, 2006
This the second book by Pastor Leithart that I have read (A House for My Name is the other), and here he has written a book that is quite difficult to read. Not because he uses bad English or his composition skills are lacking, but because he taking on such an overarching subject. I think one of the main things I took away from reading this book is that we must constantly be aware of false assumptions. When we go to church, when we read the Bible, when we pray, when we think about God, or when we write book reviews about good books we've read we must (by faith) seek to understand everything from the right perspective. The most glaring false assumption this book pointed out to me was the assumption that the "Christianity" that I am surrounded by here in 21st Century America is 'prima facie' the faith once delivered to the saints found in Holy Scripture. If you are looking for a book that may help you, anger you, confuse you, and edify you all at the same time: this is your book.
What a Book! Oct 17, 2004
This book is a book that should be read by all Christians, but sadly probably will not be. When Leithart says he is against "Christianity" he does not mean the the Christian faith, but the privatized, individualized religion that turnes everything into propositions and is reductionistic in its outlook.
He uses many weapons in his "deconstruction" of "Christianity" from John Millbank to Henri de Lubac to Alasdair MacIntyre to Stanley Hauerwas. He shows that Church is supposed to be a city, a polis, where we opperate as a community, not as a schismatic, divided body. Unfortunately today, it is seen as better to have the body of Christ divided, but this is not what Jesus prayed for.
The church is supposed to the the civitas dei, the city of God, as Augustine taught. However, with our privatized faith, this is impossible to have. We want to defend "truth" from error, yet we err in our fundamental understanding of what the church is. This is a greater error than all the other erros that we point out in others.
Dr. Leithart also does a great job showing the political implications for the gospel. This sounds bad in post-Social Gospel America, but the Gospel does have social implications. Leithart also argues that the body of Christ is a tangible body, which is entered into by baptism. This is a terrific teaching, and has terrific implications for all of life. May we all take what Dr. Leithart says seriously.
If You Don't Get the Title, You Won't Get the Rest Either Jul 27, 2004
No, it's not latest Michael Martin Rant; Leithart means by "Christianity" the "privatized, spiritualized, intellectualized, depoliticized form of religion" now called by that name. This book addresses in William F. Buckley form the shortcomings of modern Christianity in ethics and practice. It prods the conscience, but is probably above the head of the persons who most need to hear what it says.
I did have reservations about Leithart's polemics against intellectualism, especially since he uses scholarly sources well and has a Ph. D. of his own. His challenge to obtain the work of a theologian, and look for the words he uses in a concordance, fits better in the mouth of a Jehovah's Witness. On the other hand, Leithart's commentary on individualism -- that which makes our sacraments lifeless hulks, and our churches into floating communities of one that pass like ships in the night -- deserve our attention.
This book will leave readers wishing for a more direct approach, one that does not wind its way through a forest of words to reach the stream in the clearing. But then, anything worth having is not usually free.