Tag: Christianity

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 »

American Character: Noah Webster

The name “Webster” sounds familiar to most people. They think for a minute and then say, “Oh, yeah, he’s the dictionary guy, right?” Right. But he’s more than that. Noah Webster is a prime example of someone who exhibits the character trait of diligence. A native of Connecticut  and descendant of Pilgrim governor William Bradford, Webster was raised in the Congregational church, graduated from Yale, and even was awarded a master’s degree—unusual for the time. In 1783, he got the nation’s… Read more »

The Cultural Shift & the Christian Response

When we lived in the northern Virginia suburbs in the 1980s, we sent our children to Christian schools because we wanted an environment for them that supported our beliefs. Training up a child in the way he/she should go is a requirement for Christian parents. One of the schools we entrusted with our children for a few years was Immanuel Christian School. While no Christian school is perfect (indeed, can we find a perfect anything in this world?), we were… Read more »

Questions Worth Asking

“It would not perhaps be altogether surprising if, in this nominally Christian country, where the Creeds are daily recited, there were a number of people who knew all about Christian doctrine and disliked it,” wrote Dorothy Sayers. She concluded that thought with this: “It is more startling to discover how many people there are who heartily dislike and despise Christianity without having the faintest notion what it is.” That statement comes from her essay, “The Dogma Is the Drama,” and… Read more »

Presidents & the Apostles’ Creed

The funeral service for George H. W. Bush was as genuine as the man himself. It was one of those very few times when politics could be set aside to remember the character of an honorable person who embraced the Christian faith and lived a life of service undergirded by that faith. Such times are rare indeed anymore. The Christian faith espoused by Bush is no longer as pervasive in our country as it was earlier in our history. Yet… Read more »

The Enemy–He Is Ourselves

I was reminded this morning of some prescient words from Whittaker Chambers—prescient because they clearly foretold what we see today. In a letter he wrote to William F. Buckley in 1954, Chambers offered this analysis of the state of Western civilization: I no longer believe that political solutions are possible for us. I am baffled by the way people still speak of the West as if it were at least a cultural unity against Communism though it is divided not… Read more »