Category: Education

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 »

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 »

Is History Really Bunk?

Recently, I was reminded of one of C. S. Lewis’s essays that I hadn’t thought about in quite a while; in fact, I couldn’t recall if I had read it. Yet, as a professor of history, I must have perused his “Is History Bunk?” at some time or other. So I checked into it as if it were a new piece of Lewis’s corpus that I hadn’t seen before. The essay is found in the collection called Present Concerns, the… Read more »

Closed Door, Open Door: One Year Later

Today is the first anniversary of my receiving the news that, after fourteen years, I no longer would be a full-time professor at my university in Florida. The news last April came without warning; there was no advance notice, not even a hint that my position was in jeopardy. It was also too late to find another full-time professorship for the fall semester anywhere else. This surprising news marked the end of thirty-one years teaching history at Christian colleges on… Read more »

Lewis and Middle-Aged “Moralising”

C. S. Lewis gave the Memorial Lecture at King’s College, the University of London, in 1944. It has come down to us in the form of one of his famous essays, “The Inner Ring.” It’s one of my favorites, as it identifies the rather slippery slope from being part of a group to the insatiable desire to belong to the group so that you can feel like you are one of the elite, one of the few chosen who are… Read more »

Their Eyes Were All I Needed to See

We’re at the point in my C. S. Lewis course where I am giving the students The Abolition of Man. It’s a harder read than most of what I give them from Lewis, but I’ve never seriously considered dropping it from the course. It’s just too important, and the concepts within it are so significant to their worldview that I believe I would be doing a disservice to avoid it. I do, though, make sure I give it enough time… Read more »