In this seminal treatise, Peter J. Leithart argues that the coming of the New Creation in Jesus Christ has profound and revolutionary implications for social order, implications symbolized and effected in the ritual of baptism. In Christ and Christian baptism, the ancient distinctions between priest and non-priest, between patrician and plebian, are dissolved, giving rise to a new humanity in which there is no Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. Yet, beginning in the medieval period, the church has blunted the revolutionary force of baptism, and reintroduced antique distinctions whose destruction was announced by the gospel. Leithart calls the church to renew her commitment to the gospel that offers "priesthood to the plebs."
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