The Witness of Hilary of Poitiers

Periodically, I share a story sent to me via e-mail from Christian History magazine. This one, which highlights the fight for maintaining orthodoxy and the ability to unite those who are true Christians despite minor differences, was inspiring to me. I hope you find it to be also. HILARY OF POITIERS was one of the best-known churchmen of the fourth century. His fame rested largely on the holiness of his conduct and his defense of orthodox Christianity. However, Hilary was… Read more »

Impasse: The Limitations of Government

The new congressional session has begun with the Democrats back in charge of the House of Representatives. While a lot of attention has been given to the younger Democrats newly elected, we’re actually being treated to the a lot of the Same Old Thing. I did see Mary Poppins Returns, by the way, and liked it very much. But the return of Nancy Pelosi to the reins of power is a sequel I could have skipped. She’s exhibiting a fascinating… Read more »

Religion & the Presidents

A couple of years ago, I had an idea for a new course that would examine the religious beliefs of the presidents. The course would also attempt to determine how those beliefs may have influenced the policies each president followed. That proposed course will now be reality this semester as I teach, for the first time, “Religion and the Presidents.” It will be a little different in structure than my other courses. First, no exams—how does one adequately “test” students… Read more »

Teaching Whittaker Chambers
& His Christian Witness

There has never been a society or a nation without God. But history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations that became indifferent to God, and died. That quote by Whittaker Chambers might form one of the centerpieces of his classic book, Witness, that is the cornerstone of my course on Chambers that I am teaching once again this semester. I teach this course regularly every two years for a number of reasons. First, it tells the tale of a… Read more »

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 »

No Excuses

“Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea,” C. S. Lewis famously remarked in Mere Christianity, “until they have something to forgive.” People then balk at forgiving someone when they think whatever has been done is unforgivable. Yet Lewis reminds us, “It is made perfectly clear that if we do not forgive we shall not be forgiven.” Not that’s a quandary. It appears we have no choice. Lewis returns to the topic in an essay called, quite plainly, “On Forgiveness.”… 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 »