THINK 2021: Peter Leithart, Theological History, 1&2 Kings, and the Post-Christian West
Perhaps the richest attempt to do this is found in 1&2 Kings: the account of how Israel went from prosperity under a united monarchy to the disaster of idolatry, division, and finally exile. It is a story that, beyond the gripping tales of Elijah and Elisha, many Christians do not know very well (or preach from very often). But it is also a story full of pointed warnings, dramatic victories and gospel hope. If we read it carefully, it gives us more than a narrative of what happened to Israel. It gives us a way of thinking about what has happened - and what is happening, and what will happen - to us.
And that is what we need to make sense of our own era. The last five hundred years have seen dramatic transformations in the Western world, and the pace of change does not appear to be slowing. We need to understand our times. We need a prophetic account of our story, in which God’s perspective on human history shapes ours. We need theological history.
So in July 2021, we are going to bring together Peter Leithart, 1&2 Kings, and the history of the post-Christian West, and see what happens. Peter is President of the Theopolis Institute in Alabama, and the author of dozens of books and commentaries (including one on 1&2 Kings, which I regard as the best commentary on any biblical book I have read). He is also an incisive and near-polymathic interpreter of contemporary philosophy and culture, which makes him an ideal speaker for this topic. I will host the conference and speak a bit myself, and there may be a guest appearance or two as well.
Practically, the conference takes place in London from 6-8 July, starting at 3pm on Tuesday and finishing at lunchtime on Thursday (lunches and evening meals are provided), and costs £150 per delegate or £225 per couple.
Come. Take time. Be refreshed. Think.