Category: The Christian Spirit

Reflections on living as a disciple of Christ.

True Hope in a Dismal World

We live in a world of COVID exhaustion, political turmoil, and cultural upheaval. Many people over the past year have let hope slip. They view all of these problems and descend into despair. But for Christians, it’s not supposed to be that way. Of all people, we should be the people of hope. Yes, that can be cliched. It’s often easy to throw out verbal assurances that have little meaning. As we’re reminded in the book of James, What good… Read more »

Lewis & Patriotism

This weekend marks the celebration of American independence, declared in 1776. I’m an American. I’m a historian. I’ve taught American history at the university level for more than thirty years and am thoroughly acquainted with each period of that history. My constant research into that history has given me a deep appreciation for what was established in this nation. The American Experiment, as it has been called, set up a government through the Constitution that gave priority to the rule… Read more »

Praise from an Anglican Mystic

I have a little box published by The Upper Room consisting of, as it is titled, Living Selections from Devotional Classics. I’ve had this box of devotionals since the 1980s and don’t recall when I last dived into it. Over the past weeks, I’ve done some diving. The first ones to attract me, which I began using in my devotions each day, were selections from The Imitation of Christ, The Cloud of Unknowing, Brother Lawrence’s The Practice of the Presence… Read more »

My New Focus

When I initiated this Pondering Principles blog back in 2008, I had a concept for what it would be. Since I was a professor of history and incorporated a lot of political analysis into my teaching, I sought to do the same with the blog. What I envisioned was an almost-daily commentary on current events from a perspective that would highlight a Christian worldview. My heart was right; the vision I had of basing political analysis on Biblical teaching is… Read more »

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 »