Healing Divisions By Being Real Christians

In the midst of protests and chants of black lives matter, what can I say that has any significance at all? After all, I’m a white guy (actually, kind of light beige) who grew up in a small town in northern Indiana that had no racial diversity. The closest we came to it was the Amish farming community east of town. Their lifestyle was different but they were of the same Germanic background as many of us town-dwellers. But when… Read more »

Stability in Times of Crisis

The year 2020 has many detractors lately. With a major pandemic, economic distress threatening to equal the depths of the Great Depression, and the mass protests over police brutality, some are comparing this year with the worst ones in the past: the 1918 Spanish Flu; the Great Depression mentioned above; the 1968 unrest and political chaos that included two assassinations of public figures—Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. For some, this might be the image that dominates: Our society is… Read more »

The Descent to Hell Is Easy

One of the most difficult of C. S. Lewis’s books to read—at least for me—was The Allegory of Love. He referred to so many works of literature with which I am unfamiliar (and written in an early English that was hard to translate) that I almost failed to finish it. Yet, even in so difficult a work, I discovered passages that I’m glad I didn’t miss. At one point, in the midst of a long commentary on one of those… Read more »

When Loss of Liberty Was Real

I love liberty, properly understood as something that also entails personal responsibility. I’m also alert to attempts to undermine genuine liberty and have been so most of my adult life. Yet I want to clearly differentiate what is a real threat to liberty and what is not. One conservative commentator recently posted this on Twitter: Dropped by a department store to buy a toaster oven. Mandatory hand sanitizer squirt and mask. One way aisles and if you deviate from the… Read more »

The Wisdom of the Ages

I had a rather modern education throughout my early years. Some of the “classics” broke through now and then, but not many. Of course, what one defines as a classic book may depend on where one stands. In this twenty-first century, I think it’s fine to look back to the last half of the twentieth and call some writings “classic.” I’ve tried, in spurts, to fill in some of the gaps in my reading. The last few years have been… Read more »

Easier Said Than Done?

It’s not only C. S. Lewis’s books and essays that provide evidence of how this man’s mind worked. For an even more intimate look at this man, one must read his letters. Perhaps we are tempted to view him as some otherworldly character who always lived in Narnia or on Perelandra. Yet he dealt with the same issues we all do. It’s in his letters that we see how he responded to the daily irritations and problems. For instance, on… Read more »

Liberty or License?

Some people are beginning to grumble about the stay-at-home orders during this COVID-19 era. Protests are beginning to pop up in various state capitals. The concern, they say, is that their liberty is being trampled by authoritarian government. At this juncture, it might be beneficial to define terms. Noah Webster, America’s first lexicographer, offered in his 1828 dictionary a key distinction between the words “liberty” and “license.” He divided liberty into various types, one of which was “civil liberty,” the… Read more »