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.

The Roots of Liberation Theology

What is Liberation Theology? How did it begin? What dangers has it brought to the Church? This brief history of its origins comes from the Christian History Institute. It’s very instructive. At the end, I’ll have a few more comments. THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, whose sessions ran 1962 through 1965, issued changes that the council hoped would allow the Roman Catholic Church to function more effectively and with greater popular appeal. Three years after it ended, Latin American bishops met… Read more »

The Great Confrontation

Seventy-one years ago yesterday, one of the most intense political confrontations in American history occurred in the US House of Representatives. August 25, 1948, was the day that the man on the right in this photo, Alger Hiss, was asked publicly whether he had ever known the man standing on the left side of the photo. His name was Whittaker Chambers. What was the controversy all about and why did it captivate the public for the next two years? Chambers,… Read more »

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 »