Essay / Education

Redefining Freedom on the Frontier

If Western civilization as we know it were to collapse, I think I will last a week, month, or maybe even a year longer, simply for having read the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Pa and Ma are simply amazing. I’ve learned

Essay / Education

Following and Sight: Lewis’ Retelling of “The Bacchae”

“‘Till We Have Faces” is not the only myth Lewis retold. In fact, he loved retelling myths. And while you may have noted the conspicuous presence of Bacchus at the end of Prince Caspian and the amazing feast that follows, you may not have caught some of

Essay / Literature

A Wrinkle in Time Among the Great Books

Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time was published in 1962. A few years ago, several Torrey professors had a panel discussion about this strange book that had stayed in print for 50 years, finding new audiences all the time. Now that the Ava DuVernay-directed Disney

Essay / Education

The Ideal in Pride and Prejudice (Common Room)

Check out this conversation on a Jane Austen novel: it’s a chat among two philosophers and an Old Testament prof, so it gets philosophical and theological (Aristotle and Proverbs are both invoked). But it’s also powerfully good reflection on a book that all three participants

Essay / Literature

A Few Writing Tips

Some tips on writing that I posted on a friend’s blog back in 2010, but which have gone missing from the internet since then. Lightly revised and updated, they still represent my best advice about the craft of writing. 1. Read for craft. Once you’ve

Essay / Education

How to Read TWO Books (Erasmus Addlepate)

File this under “weird books I have encountered.” Erasmus Addlepate’s 1940 How to Read Two Books: It’s obviously a spoof of Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book. You can tell from Addlepate’s supposed other books like How to Get Up int he Morning that

Essay / Education

How to Use a Book Instead of Receiving It

In his 1961 book An Experiment in Criticism, C.S. Lewis describes the difference between reading a book to encounter what is in it, and using a book for other reasons. There are lots of other reasons to use a book, some petty and some profound,

Essay / Education

Torrey Cambridge 2017: Great Booklist in a Great Place

Every July, about forty students and three professors from the Torrey Honors Institute take a trip to Cambridge for an intensive four-unit class. It’s Torrey Cambridge, and it’s a blast. The curriculum each summer is anchored in a short book of the New Testament, and

Essay / Blog

T&T Clark Companion to the Atonement

This week, I submitted the manuscript for the T&T Clark Companion to the Atonement, an edited work with 18 major chapters and 85 shorter essays from scholars around the world, exploring the doctrine of the atonement from a variety of angles. The various essays explore

Essay / Literature

Silent No More: CS Lewis’ Cosmological Theory of the Atonement

According to C.S. Lewis’ Ransom Trilogy, our home is “Thulcandra—the silent planet,” for “it alone is outside the heaven, and no message comes from it. That is to say, no message came from our planet, until Ransom was kidnapped, and brought to Malacandra (or Venus). At a certain

Essay / Literature

The Flowering Crown

This post was featured on Biola’s Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts’ Lent Project on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, and can also be found on Dr. Johnson’s website.  The crown of the thorns is a symbol of cruelty and oppression—but a poetic one.