Author Archives: Dr Snyder

The Moral Law, Comfort, & Wishful Thinking

I’m teaching my C. S. Lewis course at my university again this semester. The students began their Lewis reading with Surprised by Joy, his insightful autobiography. We are now focused on Mere Christianity and discussing the significance of that book. Every time I come back to it, I’m deeply impressed all over again, and I always seem to find nuggets of truth and wisdom that stand out more clearly than in my previous reading. This time I was struck particularly… Read more »

Narnia: Layers of Meaning

All summer I worked on developing courses on C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. In one sense, it was labor, but some labors provide spiritual satisfaction. This was one of those labors. I’m now presenting the fruit of that labor to a room of seventy people at my church who seem eager to learn what Lewis has given us in these presumably “children’s” tales. What they are discovering, I trust, is that they are just as meaningful to adults. I’m… Read more »

Post 9/11: A Divided America

Can anything new be said on the anniversary of 9/11? Maybe we don’t need to hear anything new; perhaps we just need to be reminded that there are those out there who hate us. However, what is meant by “us?” America, you say? Yes, in the abstract, but what comprises America anymore? On 9/11, eighteen years ago today, members of Congress stood on the steps of the Capitol and sang together. At the moment, I can’t recall if they sang… Read more »

On Bad Times: A Historian’s Perspective

As I survey the current state of America—the spiritual/moral, political, and cultural aspects [what does that leave?]—I have grave concerns. But I’d like to offer a historian’s perspective on bad times. Since I teach American history, I have a more in-depth knowledge of what has transpired previously. I can imagine myself transported back into earlier eras and think about how I might have felt about current events at those times. Bad moral climates, disunity, and devastating government policies have cropped… Read more »

The Roots of Liberation Theology

What is Liberation Theology? How did it begin? What dangers has it brought to the Church? This brief history of its origins comes from the Christian History Institute. It’s very instructive. At the end, I’ll have a few more comments. THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, whose sessions ran 1962 through 1965, issued changes that the council hoped would allow the Roman Catholic Church to function more effectively and with greater popular appeal. Three years after it ended, Latin American bishops met… Read more »

The God He Never Wanted to Meet

C. S. Lewis didn’t start out as a great Christian apologist. His imagination didn’t lead him to Narnia at first—that was a later development. In his earliest years, sent away to a boarding school at age nine, he had a kind of Christian faith, but only the kind that called for him to carry out certain duties such as prayer. And he lived in fear of hell. Perhaps that’s why he abandoned that childhood faith in his pre-teen years. One… Read more »

Sayers: On Spiritual Maturity

Of all the apostolic letters in the New Testament, I think the book of Hebrews has some of the most challenging comments on the importance of spiritual growth. One comment that stands out to me is the following, as the writer of the letter exhorts his fellow Christians in this way: Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to reteach you the basic principles of God’s word. You need milk, not solid food! For everyone… Read more »