Month: March 2019

The Graham-Eisenhower Connection

Yesterday in my “Religion and the Presidents” course, I shared the unusual relationship that developed between Dwight Eisenhower and Billy Graham. I say “unusual” because Ike was decades older than the young evangelist and had far more experience in the world. After all, he led the European Theater of WWII, including the daring and dramatic decision to go forward on D-Day. Yet Ike was being drawn by God into a closer examination of his religious beliefs. No achievement in this… Read more »

Crossing Rubicons

When I was young—very, very young—I was attracted to the Democrat party. One influence, of course, was my parents. They worked in factories and were members of a union. I particularly recall that they voted for Kennedy in 1960, and his assassination was a profound sadness in our home. As I went away to college, I leaned toward being a Democrat, but I had some rising misgivings, if for no other reason than the spectacle of the riotous events at… Read more »

No Evil without Good?

Very few friendships last a lifetime. But when a young C. S. Lewis got to know a young Arthur Greeves, their friendship was one of those rarities. They corresponded almost until the day of Lewis’s death. We have all of that correspondence, and it’s filled with treasures. In 1933, not too long after Lewis’s conversion, Greeves had written in one of his letters that there can be “no good without evil.” The recently converted Lewis, rethinking all of his former… Read more »

On Influencing Public Opinion

In the Book of Common Prayer this morning, I came across a prayer called “For Those Who Influence Public Opinion.” Since that’s the very reason why I attempt to write this blog, I paid close attention to it and prayed the prayer for myself. I was taken by how the words spoke directly to what I seek to do. Here’s how it goes. Almighty God, you proclaim your truth in every age by many voices: Direct, in our time, we… Read more »

The Chambers Lesson: From the Negative to the Positive

I discovered Witness by Whittaker Chambers back in the 1980s as I was working diligently on my doctorate in history. From my first reading, the book took hold of my spirit. More than thirty years after that encounter, it has never released its hold. I’ve used it in classes since the late 1980s, and one of my greatest teaching joys is to offer a full-semester course called “The Witness of Whittaker Chambers.” I’m teaching the course once again this semester…. Read more »

My Journey–And C. S. Lewis’s Role in It

My walk with the Lord has led me to an unexpected place, and God has used C. S. Lewis to play a significant role. I began as a Lutheran, although not until second grade when neighborhood friends invited me to their church. I loved it from the start. One feature that has stayed with me throughout my life, no matter what type of church I attended, was the effect of the Lutheran church’s stained-glass windows. They told stories to a… Read more »

Prayer for Sound Government

I’ve been perusing the Anglican Book of Common Prayer and finding it to be (as the picture describes) a genuine treasure chest of spiritual devotion. I’m actually surprised by the depth of some of the prayers recorded within. I’ve never been one for written prayers because I couldn’t quite believe they come from the heart when you read them. I now realize that the wisdom of the ages in the form of written prayers can speak directly to each one… Read more »