A Constantinian Showdown

 Yes, believe it or not, I am still alive.  But I am on vacation, and my brain has completely shut down and refused to produce blog-worthy ideas.  

However, I can point you to where some real blogging action is--or was--I'm a week or two behind. 

Ben Witherington recently produced a lengthy series of posts reviewing Peter Leithart's groundbreaking recent book, Defending Constantine--while broadly appreciative and complementary, he was sharply critical on several points, as one might expect, given that he is a pacifist.  Leithart's responses to his objections are particularly fascinating, and very relevant to the recent discussion about retributive justice here.  Leithart's final post, "Loving Enemies" offers a frank confession of the difficulties of a Christian just war position, which he nonetheless feels compelled to cling to.  My own thoughts on this subject are very similar to what Leithart voices in this fantastic post.

Here are the links:

Witherington Intro
Witherington 1
Witherington 2
Witherington 3
Witherington 4
Witherington 5
Witherington 6
Witherington 7
Witherington 8 

Leithart 1: "Guarding the Garden"
Leithart 2: "Crushing Heads"
Leithart 3: "Protoeuangelium"
Leithart 4: "Warrior Messiah"
Leithart 5: "Marcion"
Leithart 6: "Loving Enemies" 

If you're eager for more action, this just in--the AAR conference this fall in San Francisco will host a dialogue/debate between Leithart and Stanley Hauerwas over Defending Constantine.  If I weren't already going, I might buy a plane ticket just to see that!