Tag: Christianity

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 »

“Modern Men” & How They Think

C. S. Lewis wrote the essay “Modern Man and His Categories of Thought” in 1946. Now, some people, noting the date of that essay, will dismiss it immediately. After all, they might ask, “How can an essay from 1946 that talks about modern man have anything worthwhile to say to us in 2020?” That question, of course, rests on one’s definition of modern. As a historian, I have no problem seeing 1946 as modern because I compare that date with… Read more »

The Moral Law, Comfort, & Wishful Thinking

I’m teaching my C. S. Lewis course at my university again this semester. The students began their Lewis reading with Surprised by Joy, his insightful autobiography. We are now focused on Mere Christianity and discussing the significance of that book. Every time I come back to it, I’m deeply impressed all over again, and I always seem to find nuggets of truth and wisdom that stand out more clearly than in my previous reading. This time I was struck particularly… Read more »

On Bad Times: A Historian’s Perspective

As I survey the current state of America—the spiritual/moral, political, and cultural aspects [what does that leave?]—I have grave concerns. But I’d like to offer a historian’s perspective on bad times. Since I teach American history, I have a more in-depth knowledge of what has transpired previously. I can imagine myself transported back into earlier eras and think about how I might have felt about current events at those times. Bad moral climates, disunity, and devastating government policies have cropped… 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 »

The Chambers Lesson: From the Negative to the Positive

I discovered Witness by Whittaker Chambers back in the 1980s as I was working diligently on my doctorate in history. From my first reading, the book took hold of my spirit. More than thirty years after that encounter, it has never released its hold. I’ve used it in classes since the late 1980s, and one of my greatest teaching joys is to offer a full-semester course called “The Witness of Whittaker Chambers.” I’m teaching the course once again this semester…. Read more »

Creed or Chaos?

Evangelical Christians in America today say they are concerned about morality, yet how well do they understand the basis for morality? We have “progressive” Christians who decry poverty but don’t have strong convictions about the evil of abortion, and many are now advocating homosexual relationships because “all love is love,” or some other banal statement. I sometimes wonder what Christians in earlier eras would think of us now. How amazed would they be at this devolution/watering down of basic Biblical… Read more »