Is God Perfect? Does that Matter? Peter Leithart Lecture

The Christian tradition describes God as “perfect” —but how this perfection is described by the Bible may look different from what we expect. When we think of God, we often start by asking the question “What is God?” This is the approach exhibited in the Westminster Catechism as well as by many philosophers. This seemingly common-sense approach, however, is strange at a second glance—after all, we wouldn’t often ask “What is your spouse?” or “What is Steve?” In this lecture, Dr. Peter Leithart argues for a different approach: asking “Who is God?”

To understand God’s nature (including His perfection), we must consider how Scripture reasons. Often, the biblical authors appeal to poetry, imagery, story, and history to define God. Dr. Leithart argues that these literary forms—far from being irrational or anti-philosophical—are rigorously intellectual and potent forms of knowing a God who is personal, transcendent, and yes, perfect.

This episode is a recording of the evening lecture for our February 14-15 workshop with the Rev. Dr. Peter Leithart of the Theopolis Institute.


  • 0:00 Introduction by Dr. Dru Johnson
  • 2:08 “What is God?”
  • 13:59 The intellectual rigor of the Bible
  • 22:04 How the Bible uses poetry and imagery to describe God’s nature
  • 28:13 Anthropomorphic or theomorphic?
  • 33:00 God defined by story and history
  • 41:52 Conclusion

If you’re interested in the content of the workshop that he refers to multiple times throughout the lecture, you can find the recording here!

Credits for the music used in the CHT podcast can be found at: