Dorothy L. Sayers & the Revival of Rhetoric

Whenever I finish one writing project, a new one seems to pop up in my mind. Now that my recently published book, Many Times & Many Places: C. S. Lewis & the Value of History, has been introduced to the public (and many thanks to those who have dipped their literary toes into it), I am now researching something else related to Lewis that interests me. It has to do with a comparison of Lewis with Dorothy L. Sayers, who… Read more »

The Devil Is in the Details

I recently spoke at a C. S. Lewis conference about the significance of The Screwtape Letters. This is obviously one of the best-known works by Lewis and continues to hold a strong fascination in the minds of those who have read it. Americans have loved it ever since it was first published. In my presentation, I thought I would begin with what ostensibly could be called a “catchy” title. Catchy, yes, but also quite accurate. I did provide a general… Read more »

A Busy Lewis Week … and Life

I’ve often commented that the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College is nearly a second home for me. Surrounded by all things C. S. Lewis (his writings, his personal library, books and dissertations about him), I have found the Wade to be an invaluable resource for my research and writing. It was at the Wade in 2014 where my research confirmed that a niche in Lewis scholarship could be found for a historian who focuses on American history. Thus,… Read more »

Jesus on the Cross: “I Thirst”

Two simple words of Jesus from the cross—I thirst—confirm His human nature. The exact nature of Jesus was a source of debate in the early church. I don’t think there was any disagreement during the apostolic era about precisely who He was as both God and man, but when certain theologians came along and raised questions, the church leaders needed to get together and settle the matter once and for all. One question raised was whether Christ’s divine nature removed… Read more »

On Being an “X”

Those of us who have delved deeply into C. S. Lewis’s writings are still sometimes alerted to one of those writings that we either have forgotten or either have not grasped the significance of it in an earlier reading. That has been the case with me in teaching my course on Lewis’s essays the past couple of months. I naturally included most of the “big” ones that everyone mentions, but as I developed the course, I came across a few… Read more »

The Road to Joy

I have used C. S. Lewis’s autobiography, Surprised by Joy, every time I have taught my Lewis class at the university. I’ve also used it in an adult class at my church. The title perfectly expresses the end result of Lewis’s early life as he finally turned to Christ. For years, he sought something he defined as “joy.” Three moments in his childhood stood out to him with respect to his quest for joy. The first was when he “stood… Read more »

The Clean Sea Breeze of the Centuries

Some of C. S. Lewis’s essays found in collections today were not written as “stand-alone” pieces but rather connected to other works. One prime example is “On the Reading of Old Books,” which first appeared as an introduction to—well—an old book. In this case, it was (as noted on the left) St. Athanasius’s The Incarnation of the Word of God, which testifies to that early Christian Father’s fidelity to what we now call the Nicene Creed. Athanasius was exiled from… Read more »