Between Babel and Beast

Between Babel and Beast is Peter Leithart’s newest book, this time on the subject of American Empire. My copy is on the way. I just read a review from Roger Olson, a man who is probably not at all sympathetic with Leithart’s theological positions, but hear what he says:

If Leithart were not who he is, a theologically conservative American Protestant (and possibly some kind of Christian Reconstructionist), he would be labeled (by Religious Right types and conservative evangelicals in general) a liberal liberationist critic America and dismissed as a “leftist.” Of course, he’s not that. But many of his criticisms of America echo ones found in the literature of Latin American liberation theologians. For example, he gives numerous examples of instances in which America has contributed to the overthrow (often violent) of democratically elected Latin American governments solely to protect “American interests” (viz., the interests of large American corporations). He doesn’t just throw these charges out there without supportive detail. Read the book.


Of all the books I have read in the past several years, this one strikes a chord with me most strongly. I cannot recommend it strongly enough. Get it and read it. Let it speak to you. Share it with someone you know who believes in “American exceptionalism.”

I don’t know if Leithart is a prophet in the same category as Isaiah or Amos or John the Baptist (or Gregory of Nyssa or Chrysostom), but this book is prophetic. It (especially Parts II and III) ought to be required reading in every American church and Christian organization.

I think this will be a great follow up to Against Christianity and Defending Constantine.

14 thoughts on “Between Babel and Beast”

  1. As a Brit, I don’t see Leithart quite in the same “prophetic” light as you, and I don’t see the American history itself any better than some of the history of Great Britain, in fact the British have been more central in many ways to Christianity itself, in my opinion. But sadly both now are on their way down in this time of postmodernity! Things are surely getting worse in the West as to Christian values, and certainly as to the reality of regenerate Christian people! And with Modern Israel right in the centre of the world stage, and Islam, etc. Who knows how close is the eschatological end? But I believe myself anyway we are staring down the gun barrel, to use a metaphor! I hope I am wrong? But I don’t believe so!

    *Note I have an insight that Leithart does not have, over ten years active, plus reserves with the RMC’s – Royal Marine Commando (as a combat and recon officer), not to mention ten years of age, more. Sorry but sometimes ya got to play and show your cards! And I lived in Israel in the late 90’s. It’s time for Christians to get out of their ‘High Ivory Towers’, and see the “light” and reality of this fallen world! This is the end of the age and time of Gentile Christianity, next up is the time of “National Israel’s”, covenantal realities! (Zech. 12: 2-4, etc.) And if Zech. 14 does not look literal by spiritual & historical measure? I don’t what what does in God’s Word! Come Lord Jesus! Yeah I am a PD, Progressive Dispensationalist! 😉

  2. I’d say we may be 20 or 30,000 years from the eschatological end. American history isn’t any better than British history, not sure that anyone said it was.

  3. Whenever the Eschatological End comes, it will be centred around National Israel! (Zech. 14/ Matt. 24 / Rev. 1:7, note Acts 1: 6 with verses 11 & 12, the Mount of Clivet, as Zech. 14: 4). And no full Preterism here! And myself, as so many other Christians certainly, don’t believe it will be 20 or 30,000 years either! But, what the heck I am 63 next month, so I won’t be around in another 20 years of so. But, lots can happen by then…we will just have to “watch” and see! 😉

    1. 70 AD.
      Lots of Christians are totally wrong, just read “Pursuit of the Millenium.” It’s always “just around the corner.”

  4. Note too, that Radical Islam will certainly be involved in the Eschatolgical End, itself, but of course allowed by God for judgment and the remnant of Israel, as the too Gentile Nations therein also. I have fought Radical Islam myself, and know something of its ethos! They are simply cult like, anti-christian, and certainly anti-Israel!

    1. Islam will be a historical footnote, like Zoroastrianism. The knowledge of The Lord will cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea – from the River to the ends of the earth.

      1. You better wake-up mate, “Islam” is much more than Zoroastrianism! IT WILL certainly be part of any Eschatological End! Indeed GOD’s New Creation will triumph ‘In Christ’, but not without God’s direct hand and certain judgment! Salvation History will be visible in the End! (Heb. 9: 28) Watch and see! (2 Thess. 1: 7 ; chapter 2). This is much more than just spiritual language, but spiritual and creational reality!

        1. You’re a defeatist and your assertions about Islam have no Scriptural basis. It may go the way of communism and Baal worship in 20k years. The Bible is silent about it.

          1. Sorry to disgree, but I have been where your at, and it’s a “dead” position! And indeed Islam and Muslims are right smack in the Bible! WE call it the Middle East and Holy Land! Note btw “Ishmael”! (Gen. 16 ; 17:20) Come on man, get into your Bible! 😉 I am not ashamed to be called a ‘biblicist”! Theology simply must be “Biblical”! If ya have an ESV Study Bible? even there, the notes are clear in places like Ezek. 38, etc. I like the new HCSB Study Bible also! Yep, I am a “Biblical” Ziionist! 😉 And NO the Bible is NOT silent here, you just have a defective hermeneutic! I know, I had that one also (years back now, thank God!) 🙂

          2. I grew up with your position and it was based on terrible exegesis and a total lack of understanding.
            I am not ashamed to be a Biblicist at all, what are you talking about?
            So because the Bible says “Ishmael” we know that Islam will be there in the “end times” to destroy Israel? Gen. 16 has nothing to do with Islam.
            I’m not going to argue eschatology with you. Read this and get back to me:
            Christians have been making fools of themselves for at least 60 years banging on about the USSR or Iraq or whomever being the Antichrist. I want no part of it.

          3. Joel: Sadly, you are reacting to a form of American Dispensationalism! I was myself raised Roman Catholic in Ireland, but my greatgram was a PB or so-called Plymouth Brethren, so I too have heard this position somewhat, but thankfully without all the American mess and madness! The PD or Progressive Dispensationalism is the best form today! (See both Bock & Blaising’s book: Progressive Dispensationalism, as too, Robert Saucy’s book: The Case For Progressive Dispensationalism). Both written in 1993 btw, and now classic for the subject! Don’t throw the baby out with the bath-water!

            And yes, the Muslims and Islam have become followers of Ishmel, in the religious way, “Ismael” is a nation of people now…”He shall become the father of twelve princes…(Gen. 17: 20 ; 25:13-17…noting Gen. 16:12!) Here is simply the early prophetic word, concerning their opposition!

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