Category: The Historical Muse

Thoughts on history and the historical profession. Clio is the muse of history–this category title is a play on that concept.

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 »

The Civil War Era: An Analysis

I do like my new situation as an adjunct professor. Without all the obligations that come with full-time status, I can concentrate on two upper-level history courses each semester—courses that I have already developed and love to teach. I wrote a post recently about one of those courses this semester: Ronald Reagan and Modern American Conservatism. I consider it crucial for the era we are living through right now. If you missed that post and are curious about the course,… Read more »

Ronald Reagan & American Conservatism

Later this month, I return to campus as an adjunct professor to teach two upper-level history courses. I like my limited schedule that allows me to choose which courses to offer each semester. One that I’ve chosen for this fall is “Ronald Reagan and Modern American Conservatism.” It’s a course I’ve taught regularly in the past fifteen years, but never has the need for it been so urgent. Why? As I survey the current political landscape, I see a crisis… Read more »

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 »

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 »