Category: The Christian Spirit

Reflections on living as a disciple of Christ.

Man’s Praise or God’s?

You know how you can be reading through the Scriptures and a passage jumps out at you? That happened for me this morning as I was meditating on chapter 13 of the Gospel of John. Here’s what stood out: Many even among the leaders believed in Him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise from God…. Read more »

My Dad, God’s Mercy, & Christmas

I spent some time over Christmas back in my hometown of Bremen, Indiana, visiting my mom, our son and his family, and my sister. The emphasis on family made me think of my dad, John Snyder Jr., who died fourteen years ago at age 76. This photo from 1985 is how I best remember him. He was kind, loved to joke, and active. Although I can’t say I bonded with him as a teenager (how seldom does that happen?), I… Read more »

We Are Not Our Own

There are some days that I’m nearly overwhelmed by the sinfulness of man. The more one appreciates the holiness of God and the absolute “rightness” of His laws, the more our deviations from His ways appear ludicrous and—well—downright stupid. C. S. Lewis dissected this abominable foolishness of sin in chapter five of his The Problem of Pain. From the first moment a creature becomes aware of God as God and of itself as self, the terrible alternative of choosing God… Read more »

Presidents & the Apostles’ Creed

The funeral service for George H. W. Bush was as genuine as the man himself. It was one of those very few times when politics could be set aside to remember the character of an honorable person who embraced the Christian faith and lived a life of service undergirded by that faith. Such times are rare indeed anymore. The Christian faith espoused by Bush is no longer as pervasive in our country as it was earlier in our history. Yet… Read more »

Lewis & America: A Conclusion

Yesterday was the final class for my C. S. Lewis course at SEU. This is the third time I’ve taught the course, and probably the best, as I’ve grown more comfortable sharing what I’ve learned about Lewis and his writings. The students read a lot of Lewis, from autobiography to apologetics to fantasy. Some have testified that taking the course at this time was a great help to their faith, as they were struggling in different ways. That kind of… Read more »

A Largely Unknown Hero of the Faith

I love learning about great men and women of Christian faith of whom I was entirely ignorant. This is one such man and one such ministry. I am indebted to the Christian History Institute for the story of his life and faithfulness. BORN IN CONNECTICUT in 1801, Titus Coan almost did not survive to adulthood. When he was seven, he defied his father by sledding on a frozen pond with his friend Julius. The ice broke, plunging him into freezing… Read more »

Duty or Love?

What do you really believe? I’m not talking about to what you give your intellectual assent, but what you really believe. “In ordinary times,” mused Dorothy Sayers, “we get along surprisingly well, on the whole, without ever discovering what our faith really is.” We tend to shove that question to the background and give ourselves over to activities that help us put off the answer. The question, “What do we believe?” is the title of one of Sayers’s insightful essays…. Read more »