Category: The Christian Spirit

Reflections on living as a disciple of Christ.

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 »

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 »

Observing a Grief

This past week in my “C. S. Lewis on Life, Death, and Eternity” class at church, I and the other 35 participants who joined me either in person or via Zoom, immersed ourselves in Lewis’s painfully personal account of how he reacted to the death of his wife, Joy. What began as some jottings—almost stream-of-consciousness writing—in a notebook eventually did find its way into print as A Grief Observed. Some find this little book disconcerting because it reveals the struggle… Read more »

When Subversion Is a Good Thing, Shocking as That May Seem

Dorothy L. Sayers was a “find” for me in just the last few years. Once I realized she and C. S. Lewis were friends and that he loved her BBC radio plays titled The Man Born to Be King, I knew I had to be better acquainted with her writings. I read all of her Lord Peter Wimsey novels, luxuriated in The Mind of the Maker, devoted myself to the book version of the radio plays (with her marvelous introduction),… Read more »