Tag: history

Lewis the Historian

I’ve been praying about a new C. S. Lewis project. As a historian whose specialized field of study has always been American history, the Lord opened up a niche for me back in 2014-2015 when I had an academic sabbatical. Research at the Wade Center at Wheaton College convinced me that no one had adequately covered Lewis’s connections to Americans. With help from the Wade and from Walter Hooper, the research grew into a published book in 2016. America Discovers… Read more »

Is History Really Bunk?

Recently, I was reminded of one of C. S. Lewis’s essays that I hadn’t thought about in quite a while; in fact, I couldn’t recall if I had read it. Yet, as a professor of history, I must have perused his “Is History Bunk?” at some time or other. So I checked into it as if it were a new piece of Lewis’s corpus that I hadn’t seen before. The essay is found in the collection called Present Concerns, the… Read more »

History, Clocks, Progress, & C. S. Lewis

One of my pet peeves is the phrase about being “on the right side of history.” Its corollary is to avoid being “on the wrong side of history.” Both posit an untruth, one that I labor to show students in my classes: these phrases assume an inevitability. They push us to believe that history is something that has a mind of its own and is going down a preordained path—and you had better get on that path or be swept… Read more »

Living in Many Times & Places

Knowing history is important. For the last thirty-one years, I’ve taught history full-time at different Christian universities. As I noted in a recent post, I’m now an adjunct professor. Yet that change in my life has somehow increased my desire to make sure people know history better, maybe because I’m sensing that my opportunities for teaching may decline in the coming years. C. S. Lewis has a number of noteworthy comments about history in his many writings. For instance, an… 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 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 »