Author Archives: Dr Snyder

Lewis the Historian

I’ve been praying about a new C. S. Lewis project. As a historian whose specialized field of study has always been American history, the Lord opened up a niche for me back in 2014-2015 when I had an academic sabbatical. Research at the Wade Center at Wheaton College convinced me that no one had adequately covered Lewis’s connections to Americans. With help from the Wade and from Walter Hooper, the research grew into a published book in 2016. America Discovers… Read more »

God’s Open Doors

Cliches can be true. Nearly everyone is familiar with “when one door closes, God will open another one” (yes, there are slight variations to it, but the point is made, I trust). I’ve found that to be the case in my life. Academic doors closed for me a number of times, but there was always a new door that opened almost immediately afterward. The latest closed door led to my church hiring me as a teacher with the specific task… Read more »

The Civil War Era: An Analysis

I do like my new situation as an adjunct professor. Without all the obligations that come with full-time status, I can concentrate on two upper-level history courses each semester—courses that I have already developed and love to teach. I wrote a post recently about one of those courses this semester: Ronald Reagan and Modern American Conservatism. I consider it crucial for the era we are living through right now. If you missed that post and are curious about the course,… Read more »

After Humanity: A Review

One doesn’t normally review a book until one finishes it. I’m going to break that unofficial rule today because the value of Michael Ward’s new tome, After Humanity, is evident from the very first page. The Abolition of Man is one of C. S. Lewis’s most insightful books. It’s also one of the most difficult to read because it originated in a series of scholarly lectures at the University of Durham in 1943. Children entranced by Narnia will never grasp… Read more »

Ronald Reagan & American Conservatism

Later this month, I return to campus as an adjunct professor to teach two upper-level history courses. I like my limited schedule that allows me to choose which courses to offer each semester. One that I’ve chosen for this fall is “Ronald Reagan and Modern American Conservatism.” It’s a course I’ve taught regularly in the past fifteen years, but never has the need for it been so urgent. Why? As I survey the current political landscape, I see a crisis… Read more »

True Hope in a Dismal World

We live in a world of COVID exhaustion, political turmoil, and cultural upheaval. Many people over the past year have let hope slip. They view all of these problems and descend into despair. But for Christians, it’s not supposed to be that way. Of all people, we should be the people of hope. Yes, that can be cliched. It’s often easy to throw out verbal assurances that have little meaning. As we’re reminded in the book of James, What good… Read more »

Lewis & Patriotism

This weekend marks the celebration of American independence, declared in 1776. I’m an American. I’m a historian. I’ve taught American history at the university level for more than thirty years and am thoroughly acquainted with each period of that history. My constant research into that history has given me a deep appreciation for what was established in this nation. The American Experiment, as it has been called, set up a government through the Constitution that gave priority to the rule… Read more »