Author Archives: Dr Snyder

Law & Order or Rule of Law?

I believe in law. I believe in order. Those words have come to the forefront of our consciousness as a nation in the wake of disorders in a number of cities, and it’s very easy to rally to anyone crying “law and order” because we rightly fear for life, property, and liberty if we descend into disarray and chaos. Tweeting those words in all caps with multiple exclamation points is more an exercise in bluster than an answer to the… Read more »

Living in Many Times & Places

Knowing history is important. For the last thirty-one years, I’ve taught history full-time at different Christian universities. As I noted in a recent post, I’m now an adjunct professor. Yet that change in my life has somehow increased my desire to make sure people know history better, maybe because I’m sensing that my opportunities for teaching may decline in the coming years. C. S. Lewis has a number of noteworthy comments about history in his many writings. For instance, an… Read more »

Phrases in Need of Context

I’ve never been one to jump on bandwagons of trendy phrases and slogans. I’m not going to start now. I don’t care if they emanate from political Left field or political Right field. I avoid them all. Instead, I think it’s important to explain matters cogently and with the proper context, tossing aside phrases that create certain images in people’s minds that may not be accurate. As much as possible, I always want to provide both theological and historical context… Read more »

Transitions

April 27 of this year marked a change of direction in my life. That was the day the president of my university where I’ve taught for the past fourteen years shared a video with the faculty and informed us that due to COVID-19, thirty-four full-time faculty would not be returning in the fall. That was shocking, to be sure. I felt bad for those thirty-four, whoever they were. I surely couldn’t be one of them, I reasoned, because I had… Read more »

Historical Nuance & America’s Founding

It’s always important to define one’s terms before delving into an explanation of anything. I would like to begin with a definition of the following word: Nuance: A subtle or slight degree of difference, as in meaning, feeling, or tone. Expression or appreciation of subtle shades of meaning, feeling, or tone. Nuance needs to be applied to history, especially in the current atmosphere where many are angry over injustices that have occurred in American history. There are three attitudes one… Read more »

Let’s Be Mature

I’ve appreciated using the Book of Common Prayer for my morning devotions the past few months. There are always readings from the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Gospels and Psalms specifically each day. The readings don’t take you through the entire Bible in a year, but they cover some of the most significant passages. Today, though, I discovered an omission in the readings that was rather blatant. Yesterday’s New Testament reading was Romans 1:16-25. Today’s reading started with… Read more »

Lewis’s OHEL: Gleanings

Out of all of C. S. Lewis’s books, probably one of the least-read is his English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, part of the Oxford series on the history of English literature. As with The Allegory of Love, its academic focus can be daunting for anyone unfamiliar with the roster of authors and titles he covers. I’m nearly halfway through the book, and I’ll admit the sections on poetry are a tough grind for me. Yet even in those highly… Read more »