This is absolutely amazing. Peter Lightweight writes that his Alienist interpretation of Galatians 3:28, in which “the boundaries of the old world have been shattered in Christ,” forming “a single human race,” was also Alexander the Great’s vision of the world.
But the Bible says nothing about “Scythian, barbarian, Hellene, Roman, and Jew” being forged “into a single people” physically, as Alexander desired. Alexander wanted Greeks and Persians to intermarry because he thought the mixed offspring would form a ruling class that would broaden his kingdom and erase ancient blood bonds. According to Bosworth, “Two motives are given – to reduce his troops’ longing for domestic life in Macedonia and to create an army of mixed race whose only home was the camp.” He had the ultimate goal of merging Europe and Asia, but the 10,000 mixed marriages that Alexander authorized lasted scarcely a year.
Through force of arms, Alexander was the dictator of the world for a short time (he died at age 33). The book of Daniel foretells, 250 years before Alexander was born, that “there was no one who could rescue from his power; he did as he pleased and magnified himself.” Yet his kingdom was divided in four parts after his death, as Daniel prophesied. It was not even a divided kingdom at that point. It was no kingdom at all.
Now read Leithart’s approving quote of Plutarch:
[Alexander] brought together into one body all men everywhere, uniting and mixing in one great loving-cup, as it were, men’s lives, their characters, their marriages, their very habits of life. He bade them all consider as their fatherland the whole inhabited earth, as their stronghold and protection his camp, as akin to them all good men, and as foreigners only the wicked; they should not distinguish between Grecian and foreigner by Grecian cloak and targe, or scimitar and jacket; but the distinguishing mark of the Grecian should be seen in virtue, and that of the foreigner in iniquity; clothing and food, marriage and manner of life they should regard as common to all, being blended into one by ties of blood and children.
This is what Leithart thinks the gospel does as well! He believes that it mixes all peoples together, allowing them to intermarry, erasing their nationhood, so that the whole earth is considered their country and the whole human race their tribe. But compare what you’ve just read to what John Calvin taught us:
[Calvin] abominated “mixture,” one of the most pejorative terms in his vocabulary; mixture in any area of experience suggested to him disorder and unintelligibility. He had absorbed deeply not only the traditional concern for cosmic purity of a culture that had restricted mixture to the sublunary realm but also various Old Testament prohibitions. Mixture, for Calvin, connoted “adulteration” or “promiscuity,” but it also set off in him deep emotional and metaphysical reverberations. He repeatedly warned against “mixing together things totally different.” “When water is mixed with fire,” he observed, “both perish”…
The positive corollary of Calvin’s loathing of mixture was his approval of boundaries, which separate one thing from another. He attributed boundaries to God himself: God had established the boundaries between peoples, which should therefore remain within the space assigned to them, a painful thought for an exile. “Just as there are in a miltary camp separate lines for each platoon and section,” Calvin observed, “men are placed on the earth so that each nation may be content with its own boundaries.” In this manner, he concluded, “God, by his providence, reduces to order that which is confused.” He sometimes conceived of Scripture itself as a God-given system of boundaries imposed on human existence…
The only Christians who still agree with Calvin on this point are Kinists. It’s now common for race-mixing “Christians” to refer to believers as their kin, and to unbelievers as foreigners. Cultures, customs, and languages are likewise to be dissolved into an urban soup. Leithart writes:
When the earthquake of Alexander’s conquests ended and the rubble was cleared away, the peoples of the Mediterranean discovered, to their astonishment, that he had left behind a new, cosmopolitan type of human.
He believes this to be a precursor of the “single human race” effected by the gospel. The “new, cosmopolitan type of human” is what allowed Rome to be more powerful than Greece, and to accommodate a larger population, he writes. But again, turn to the book of Daniel, where Rome is described as brittle, like iron mixed with clay. It was strong in terms of conquering enemies but weak in terms of uniting the subjugated peoples.
That’s because they were still racists, writes Leithart.
Tribal consciousness of course remained strong among pagans. Blood and ancestry and tradition were still powerful social forces. In important ways, though, barriers started crumbling centuries before the cross, during the time when Israel, bearer of the Abrahamic promise, was forcibly sown among the nations.
He believes that the gospel sweeps away “tribal consciousness,” “blood,” “ancestry,” and “tradition.” He mistakes these for the covenantal barriers that Christ tears down in Galatians 3:28. He states plainly that “Paul’s declaration…[was a] cosmopolitan message [that] resonated with the best aims and aspirations of Greco-Roman civilization. When he addressed a Greco-Roman audience, he didn’t have to convince them that cosmopolitan civilization was a human good…” It really worked wonders for Rome, didn’t it? And here he plainly states that “Jews” were the last legitimate tribe on earth, and everyone else must be amalgamated: “Cosmopolitan Paul was struggling to graft Jews, the last tribe, into the tree of the Gentiles.”
Well, let’s see if Lightweight practices what he preaches. First we need to ask why he ran from the mission field in Birmingham, Alabama, and high-tailed it to Moscow, White-aho. Oh, right, it’s the “calling.” Funny how the “calling” is always to areas of less cosmopolitanism. Here are some pictures of one of his recent church events. You can play “Where’s Waldo?” with the black child. Someone should ask Leithart when he’s going to get serious about this cosmopolitan, new-human-race splat that he’s shoveling.
“The prophets consistently speak of people on the basis of their hereditary identity. God told the Israelites to beware of the Canaanites, not simply unbelievers. God commends the Rechabites who followed the precepts of their forefathers, not simply abstract pious believers. Paul stated unequivocal loyalty to his ethnic nation, even though they were unbelievers (Rom. 9:3). Paul goes on in the next two verses to describe the unique blessings that Israel has enjoyed. Is this because they earned it? No, but it is not independent of heredity either.” ~ David O
”A people without a heritage are easily persuaded.” ~ Karl Marx