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 on Love of Country

In my recent re-reading of C. S. Lewis’s The Four Loves, I came across a section that I had forgotten, which deals with one’s love of country—both the positive and negative aspects. This had a particular appeal to me as I prepare to teach American history once again to university students, many of whom are rather blank slates when it comes to knowledge of the past. “We all know,” Lewis begins, “that this love [of country] becomes a demon when… Read more »

A Historic, Yet Controversial, Revival

One of the events I talk about in my classes is the Cane Ridge Revival in Kentucky back in 1801. That’s the subject of the e-mail I received yesterday from the Christian History Institute. I thought it was well worth sharing. On Thursday, 6 August 1801, the camp meeting at Cane Ridge, Kentucky finally broke up. Late in the eighteenth century, both pastors and Christian laity in Kentucky recognized the deep spiritual need in their region. Most people living on… Read more »

The Decision-Point

Those who come to the decision-point in their lives as to whether to commit themselves to the Lordship of Christ must first go through a soul-searching with respect to their sins. While all sin separates from God, some sins have greater impact not only on their own lives but the lives of countless others. Whittaker Chambers was a man who had to struggle through his former allegiance to communism before he could make his salvation decision. He had worked in… Read more »

Article 2 Says What?

Last week, President Trump spoke to a crowd of young conservatives at a Turning Point USA (TPUSA) conference in Washington, DC. In the process of criticizing former special counsel Robert Mueller, he said the following: “Then I have an Article 2, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.” He was referring, of course, to the second article in the US Constitution. Well, I’ve read the Constitution (I won’t speak for President Trump as to whether… Read more »

Our Historical Memory . . . or Lack Thereof

It was 243 years ago today that the Continental Congress approved the wording of the Declaration of Independence. Although Thomas Jefferson drafted the document, there was a committee that was responsible for sending it to the floor of the Congress. Two of those committee members were John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. Jefferson later said that he didn’t write anything original, that he was merely putting into words the consensus of the era concerning rights that come from God and the… Read more »

Is This the Reagan Approach?

I’m all for presidents trying to reach out and talk with leaders of other countries, even when they’re not our friends. After all, that was a real factor in the fall of the Soviet Union. Ronald Reagan tried to communicate with, in order—Brehznev, Andropov, and Chernenko—but they all rebuffed him. Then they died. He finally found someone he could talk to and arranged a time when they could sit down together. Reagan developed a genuine relationship with Gorbachev, but it… Read more »

D-Day, Rangers, & Reagan

June 6–the 75th anniversary of Operation Overlord, better known as D-Day–the beginning of the liberation of Europe from the Nazis. I do my best in my American history survey course to impress on the students the sacrifices made that day. The current generation has so little sense of history and the impact it still makes on us now. My duty as a professor is to help them see that connection. They have freedom, but it has been bought at a… Read more »