Tag: history

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 Renewed Mind & the High Calling

Many people have knowledge, some have understanding, but few have wisdom. That thought keeps coming back to me as I survey the state of the world at large, our nation, specifically, and even those who are members of the Body of Christ. I expect the world in general to lack wisdom—Jesus said that the road that leads to life is narrow and few find it. Our nation had a Biblical framework of thinking when it began, but most of that… Read more »

Perspective on the “Virus War” & Eternity

Along with probably all, or nearly all, of my professorial colleagues in the US and in many other countries, I am homebound now, completing my courses remotely. Is this something that is important to do in light of the current global pandemic? Shouldn’t we perhaps just drop all this “learning stuff” and devote our whole selves to the “virus war”? C. S. Lewis dealt with this same issue as WWII ramped up. Should the university continue teaching during the crisis?… 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 »

The Loss of History Is Our Loss

I remember it was back around 1980, when I was teaching some high school students, that I first encountered the realization that I was older and they were unbelievably young. What do I mean? I was talking about the JFK assassination and was stunned to learn that they were too young to have had firsthand knowledge of it. Of course, if I had been thinking clearly, I would have understood that ahead of time; after all, even if I’m not… Read more »

Historiography: Creating Christian Historians

Every year I teach my historiography course. The uninitiated will immediately respond, “What does that mean?” This is a required course for all history majors at Southeastern. The goals are the following: Provide a history of the writing of history throughout the ages (different perspectives and schools of thought); Think through how a Christian should understand and interpret history; Become proficient in researching, writing, and documenting papers on historical subjects. Although some may think that sounds like a “dry” course,… Read more »

Lewis: Knowing the Past for the Sake of the Present

Politics. Is there anyone else besides me who wishes he/she could turn it off for a while? I’m a professor of American history, though, so it’s important for me to keep up with political developments and provide analysis—for my students, of course, but I also feel a responsibility to help others understand the principles we need to follow. There is a temptation, though, to be so immersed in politics that one sees it as all-consuming. C. S. Lewis recognized that… Read more »