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.

On Putting Carts Before Horses

A phrase I’ve heard throughout my life, “putting the cart before the horse,” comes to mind for me when I survey the Christian response to politics in our day. Or at least the response that many Christians are making with respect to the current political scene. The phrase means “reversing the proper order of things,” and I see that more and more. Christians should always put the Gospel and the Kingdom of God before anything else, and we can sometimes… Read more »

My Own Eyes Are Not Enough

I’m a voracious reader and always have been. As a boy, I would come back from the local library with a stack of books in my bike’s basket—and would repeat the exercise regularly. My early adult life was filled with every new Christian book that hit the market. When I later decided to earn a doctorate in history, I devoured every book on American history that came across my path (along with the required texts for courses). And as a… Read more »

The Historian vs. the Historicist

In a previous post, I laid out what I hope is a God-inspired plan to examine what C. S. Lewis had to say about history: its significance, its limitations, how Christians should view it. I’m on this path of research because I am a historian and have taught history at the university level for more than thirty years. If this research leads to presentations at conferences, articles in journals, or even a book, to be it. If it leads to… Read more »

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 »