Leithart/Trueman/Sanders - The End of Protestantism

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kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Is "First Things" a general trash bin of theological thought? Just curious, as I'm not really familiar.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Kevin, this is from Wiki:

First Things was founded in 1990 by Richard John Neuhaus, a prominent Lutheran minister and writer, who converted to the Catholic Church and entered the priesthood shortly after the journal's founding. Fr. Neuhaus served as the journal's editor-in-chief until his death in 2009 and wrote a regular column called, "The Public Square." He started the journal after his connection with the Rockford Institute was severed.​

It's a well-known R.C. mag that occasionally has interesting articles.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Content aside, am I the only person who finds Leihart's writing style to be horrendous.
No, you are certainly not alone in coming to that conclusion. Most stuff the Federal Visionists put out largely consists of ill-informed rhetoric, "cute" asides, and glib caricatures of things that they do not understand.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
To put it ridiculously mildly, it is a tad difficult now to defend Leithart as a bastion of confessional Reformed orthodoxy. He is not merely being creative, as his defenders have argued. He has gone rather further. Jason Stellman has said that the reason he swam the Tiber is that he was being convinced of Leithart's actual arguments!
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
I like Leithart only when he is writing on literature or something else and not directly on theology.
I would have to do more research than I am willing to do at the moment so please take this with a block of salt, but I found Mr. Leithart's approach to literature to be also somewhat 'creative' (though I think I dislike using that word to mean inaccurate: creativity is not supposed to work against the grain of truth). Something I remember reading on Jane Austen in particular seemed to be simply pulling a redemptive rabbit out of a hat (again, if I'm remembering correctly, and I'm ready to confess to a faulty memory :). If JA meant to write something of a redemptive nature, she executed it very badly, which is unlike her. Just wanted to insert that accuracy with texts is also important in approaching literary works or we aren't appreciating the work itself and we aren't really being addressed by something outside of our own conceptions.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
To put it ridiculously mildly, it is a tad difficult now to defend Leithart as a bastion of confessional Reformed orthodoxy. He is not merely being creative, as his defenders have argued. He has gone rather further. Jason Stellman has said that the reason he swam the Tiber is that he was being convinced of Leithart's actual arguments!
That's sad, it really is.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Graduate
I like Leithart only when he is writing on literature or something else and not directly on theology.
I would have to do more research than I am willing to do at the moment so please take this with a block of salt, but I found Mr. Leithart's approach to literature to be also somewhat 'creative' (though I think I dislike using that word to mean inaccurate: creativity is not supposed to work against the grain of truth). Something I remember reading on Jane Austen in particular seemed to be simply pulling a redemptive rabbit out of a hat (again, if I'm remembering correctly, and I'm ready to confess to a faulty memory :). If JA meant to write something of a redemptive nature, she executed it very badly, which is unlike her. Just wanted to insert that accuracy with texts is also important in approaching literary works or we aren't appreciating the work itself and we aren't really being addressed by something outside of our own conceptions.
I'll take your block of salt and raise you a bushel. It's been years since I've read some of Leithart's blog essays on Austen and others. It's very trendy for people to try finding redemption behind every bush, especially in the arts. Maybe he tried to crowbar some of that into Austen's work. What I remember is Leithart being pretty spot on about Austen's distancing her work from Romanticism and other observations. Of course I only read a few of his blog entries on this and not the book he wrote/compiled on Austen. Like Wilson, Leithart writes some poignant, spot on stuff but goes way off the reservation on some of the most important things in this life like how to get to the next life.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Zack, I'm sure that's true. My thought was mostly that if a person's method is unreliable, it's still unreliable when it comes to other literature besides Scripture. I haven't actually read any Leithart on theology -- but I would have been wary of his biblical hermeneutic after reading a bit of him on other literature with which I am familiar. It seemed like the same sort of 'agenda driven' reading that the feminists employ -- and with as little to support it, except a receptive audience.

PS. I do apologise if I've stated things too strongly. I confess that muting the actual voice of literature is one of those things that frustrates me -- especially in the name of 'A Christian perspective'. It ought to be only the godless world that pastes their own slogans over someone else's words. I haven't by any means mastered the art but I think truly listening -- to people or books -- is very important, very 'Christian'.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Content aside, am I the only person who finds Leihart's writing style to be horrendous.
No, you are certainly not alone in coming to that conclusion. Most stuff the Federal Visionists put out largely consists of ill-informed rhetoric, "cute" asides, and glib caricatures of things that they do not understand.
His writing style goes back and forth. His earlier works are actually pretty good stylistically. His recent stuff, like his commentary on 1 John, is flat.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Here is my own response to his article. I've noticed that both Doug Kelly and Carl Trueman have at some point advocated the term "Reformational Catholic." I know there is more to Leithart's project than that, but I don't think the panel discussion will be a knock-down drag-out on that front.

I reached for my pistol when he advocated Ignatius of Loyola, whose followers seek only the destruction of Protestant nations by any means necessary.
 
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