Tag: Reagan

The Deeper Problem Remains: Man or God?

As I ponder the current crisis in Ukraine, instigated by a Russian despot, I think back to what I wrote in a book I published in 2015. The aim of The Witness and the President was to analyze the lives and beliefs of Ronald Reagan and Whittaker Chambers and try to figure out which man was more correct about the future of freedom. Reagan was the supreme optimist. That doesn’t mean he didn’t see threats clearly, but he had faith… Read more »

Ronald Reagan & American Conservatism

Later this month, I return to campus as an adjunct professor to teach two upper-level history courses. I like my limited schedule that allows me to choose which courses to offer each semester. One that I’ve chosen for this fall is “Ronald Reagan and Modern American Conservatism.” It’s a course I’ve taught regularly in the past fifteen years, but never has the need for it been so urgent. Why? As I survey the current political landscape, I see a crisis… Read more »

My New Focus

When I initiated this Pondering Principles blog back in 2008, I had a concept for what it would be. Since I was a professor of history and incorporated a lot of political analysis into my teaching, I sought to do the same with the blog. What I envisioned was an almost-daily commentary on current events from a perspective that would highlight a Christian worldview. My heart was right; the vision I had of basing political analysis on Biblical teaching is… Read more »

On This Day Forty Years Ago

It was forty years ago today, and I remember it well. I was working at a radio station in Norfolk, Virginia, and part of my task was to read the news. The news that day was rather shocking. As President Reagan walked out of the Washington Hilton, gunman John Hinckley waited in the crowd. Shots were fired; a scramble was on to grab the assailant and protect the president. No one knew at the time that Reagan had been hit…. Read more »

Reversing the Faith of an Adult Lifetime

Over the years, I’ve taught my “Witness of Whittaker Chambers” course many times. It never gets old or stale; in fact, each time I sense that the Lord uses it to help me see even more of His mercy and grace. The life of Whittaker Chambers exemplifies God’s grace while simultaneously challenging readers of his masterful autobiography, Witness, to seek ever more earnestly the face of God. In teaching the course this semester, the depth of Chambers’s personal path and… Read more »

I’m a Conservative, but What Does That Mean Anymore?

January 6, 2021, at the United States Capitol, was not a protest by American constitutional conservatives. American constitutional conservatives do not storm the Capitol building in an attempt to stop the counting of electoral votes in an election that was certified by all fifty states, both Republican and Democrat, to be a reliable vote count. American constitutional conservatism does not reject the decisions of courts, both state and local, that ruled on the multitude of cases that sought to overturn… Read more »

Supreme Court Nominations & the Constitution

I sat in this chamber twice. The first occasion was listening to the Supreme Court hear arguments. I don’t remember the case. My presence there, in 1981, was while I was interning at the Court’s history office as I worked on my doctorate at The American University. The second time was in early 1999 at a conference on constitutional history. Attendees were then served dinner at the Court. Of all the institutions set up by the Constitution, the Court is… Read more »