Peter J. Leithart on Properly Rendering Things to Caesar & to God
These days, Jesus' aphorism, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and render to God the things that are God's," is taken as an endorsement of secular politics.
Jesus, it is thought, sets up two spheres of life, sealed off from one another, with no overlap. There's the realm of Caesar, which is the realm of submission to brute earthly power; and there's the realm of worship, the spiritual realm, the realm of the things of God, in which we give God his due.
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Peter J. Leithart is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and the president of Trinity House Institute for Biblical, Liturgical & Cultural Studies in Birmingham, Alabama. His many books include Defending Constantine (InterVarsity), Between Babel and Beast (Cascade), and, most recently, Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor University Press). His weblog can be found at www.leithart.com. He is a contributing editor of Touchstone.
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