Author Archives: Peter Leithart

What is a Priest?

The Old Testament priests were given a number of seemingly disparate duties. As everyone knows, the priests led the sacrificial worship of Israel; only the priests could sprinkle blood on the altar or within the tabernacle, and only they could approach the altar to turn sacrificial animals into smoke. But priests, along with the other […]

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Ite, Missa Est

Missional ecclesiology is all the rage these days, but for many being “missional” means downplaying or even eliminating concern for the “internal” life of the church, particularly its liturgical life. Missional and liturgical, mission and communio, are locked in zero-sum combat. That cannot be right. The liturgy is a means of communion with God, the Triune […]

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Locusts and Honey

John the Baptist is presented in the gospels as the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise that God would send His messenger to prepare the way for the coming of the glory of the Lord (Is. 40), and the promise to send Elijah before Him to turn the people to repentance (Mal. 4). Thus, Matthew’s […]

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Preaching, An Art of Division

The following is an excerpt from Peter Leithart’s forthcoming two-volume commentary on Revelation (T&T Clark). You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings,” a voice tells John (Rev. 10:11). Then someone gives him a “reed like a rod” and instructs him to measure (11:1). Apparently, the reed is the tool […]

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Back To Egypt

Josiah is an ideal Davidic king in many ways. He not only “did right,” but he “walked in the ways of his father David” and “did not turn aside to the right or to the left” (2 Chronicles 34:2). At the age of 16, he began to seek Yahweh, and four years later he initiated […]

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Augustine and the Music of Time

One of the best discussions of Augustine’s views on time comes from Jeremy Begbie’s Theology, Music, and Time (ch. 3). Following Paul Ricoeur, Begbie claims that Augustine’s distentio “is conceived as the three-fold present, and the threefold present as distentio. The distentio consists in the non-coincidence of the mind’s three modes of action. They are in discord. As we attend to impressions, […]

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Confession, Absolution, Kyrie

Confession Confession belongs at the beginning of the liturgy. We enter into God’s house, invited for a meal, and we need to clean up before we do that. Cleansing was a requirement for the priests of the OT before they entered the sanctuary to minister (Exodus 30:17-21). When Yahweh appeared at Sinai, Israel had to […]

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