Category: The Christian Spirit

Reflections on living as a disciple of Christ.

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 »

The Pleasure Principle

One of the aspects of C. S. Lewis’s writings that I’ve come to see more clearly is that he repeats key concepts regardless of the genre, whether via autobiography, apologetics, or fiction. As I’ve been re-reading the Ransom Trilogy, I’m seeing this better than ever. Let me offer one example that shows up in both Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra. As Elwin Ransom tries to understand hrossa society on Malacandra, he questions his friend Hyoi about pleasures. In… Read more »

Heresy or Difference of Opinion?

In my new position as a salaried teacher at my church, I’ve been able to do what I love best: develop courses and then offer them to a group of Christians who are characterized by an eagerness to learn more. I recently completed “C. S. Lewis on Life, Death, and Eternity” and am now addressing a class of more than 50 each week on the topic of Early Church History. Throughout my adult life, I’ve always had a deep interest… Read more »

It’s the Heavens, Not Space

A couple weeks ago, I announced my intention to develop a course on C. S. Lewis’s Ransom Trilogy. In preparation for it, I am digesting analyses of the books, but am also going back to them for a more in-depth study of Lewis’s wording, his thoughts, both theological and philosophical, and goals—what he wanted readers to come away with when they finished. It has been a few years since my last reading of Out of the Silent Planet, so I’m… 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 »

Words from the Cross

Yesterday was Good Friday. We take time on that day to consider deeply what Jesus suffered for us. There are many paintings of Christ on the Cross, but few that try to show what He saw as He hung there. This one, by Jame Tissot, is, I think, thought-provoking. From the Cross, Jesus uttered some very dramatic words: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”; “This day you shall be with me in Paradise.” Other words may… Read more »

We Shall Get In

I concluded my class, “C. S. Lewis on Life, Death, and Eternity,” this past Monday evening. In the previous session, we looked at Lewis’s poignant thoughts after the death of his wife, Joy, in A Grief Observed. As significant as that reading is—and it affects many people deeply—I didn’t want to end the class on that note. I preferred that we finish with a joyful glimpse into the essence of the Christian life and the hope of eternity. For that… Read more »