Category: American Character

Individuals who have exhibited Biblical character qualities and have had a positive impact on American history.

Being Ready for the Transition from Temporary to Eternal

How do we respond when we think we are on the edge of death? It happened to me once in a car accident on a lonely, and icy, country road. As my car careened across the middle line straight into the headlights of a car coming from the other direction (we were the only cars anywhere in sight), I wondered if this was it. Was I ready spiritually to be face-to-face with my Lord? As I was teaching my course… Read more »

In Praise of Courage & Integrity

I haven’t written much about politics this year. The reasons are as follows: first, my primary goal is to focus on the teaching I’ve been doing on Scripture, C. S. Lewis, and church history—that, in my view, is of greater importance; second, frankly, I’m rather sick and tired of all the phoniness, egos, and power plays. Politicians have always been prone to those sins, but they seem to be more prominent now than in any time in my life. This… Read more »

On This Day Forty Years Ago

It was forty years ago today, and I remember it well. I was working at a radio station in Norfolk, Virginia, and part of my task was to read the news. The news that day was rather shocking. As President Reagan walked out of the Washington Hilton, gunman John Hinckley waited in the crowd. Shots were fired; a scramble was on to grab the assailant and protect the president. No one knew at the time that Reagan had been hit…. Read more »

Reversing the Faith of an Adult Lifetime

Over the years, I’ve taught my “Witness of Whittaker Chambers” course many times. It never gets old or stale; in fact, each time I sense that the Lord uses it to help me see even more of His mercy and grace. The life of Whittaker Chambers exemplifies God’s grace while simultaneously challenging readers of his masterful autobiography, Witness, to seek ever more earnestly the face of God. In teaching the course this semester, the depth of Chambers’s personal path and… Read more »

Integrity in Politics

Whenever I can highlight integrity in politics, I want to do so. Those who uphold integrity are often accused of disloyalty and suffer from threats that stray from the political to the personal. It costs a person to maintain integrity and do whatever job he/she is called to do honestly and with a clear conscience. Brad Raffensperger is the Republican secretary of state in Georgia, the man responsible for overseeing elections. He has come under fire from fellow Republicans who… Read more »

Washington & Arnold: The Role of Character in History

One of my upper-level history courses is on the American Revolution. I’m teaching it again this semester and am using a book I’ve not used before—Nathaniel Philbrick’s Valiant Ambition—with a subtitle that provides the precise goal of the work: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution. History is not about “forces” that make things happen; rather, history is the story of individuals whose decisions push the narrative one way or the other. In this book, Philbrick… 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 »