Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Defending Constantine

Defending ConstantineDefending Constantine by Peter J. Leithart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An very good book that challenges much modern thinking on the relationship between politics and the church. It starts slow, as he covers the historical time frame leading up to Constantine appearing on the scene. But the book picks up steam from there. I like that he used John Howard Yoder as a foil. Yoder is a good opponent who provides some solid critiques of just war theory. By using someone as accomplished as Yoder, Leithart's arguments are strengthened. The final chapter is the best I have read on applying the Sermon on the Mount to politics and giving a biblical view of empire. One of the best books I have read on political theology.

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Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8