Category: People

A Memorial to My Professor Martin Schramm

One of the very best and most supportive professors I had in college, Rev. Dr. Martin Schramm, died recently of cancer. Dr. Schramm was one of the founding five faculty members1 at Christ College Irvine (now Concordia University Irvine) a private liberal arts university of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Professor Schramm earned his doctoral degree in communications at the University of Southern California…

JFK: The Man Who Seemingly Had It All

Can anything or anyone in human experience replace the yearning for a right relationship with our Creator? The worldview narrative of historic Christianity involves the fourfold sequence of humanity’s creation, fall, redemption, and consummation. In examining the first two events, one could say that being created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26–27) makes people worshippers and the spiritual void of…

Lewis Phenomenon Continues in The Most Reluctant Convert

Shortly before his death in 1963, C. S. Lewis told his secretary Walter Hooper that five years after he (Lewis) was dead he would be forgotten.1 As a prescient and prophetic twentieth-century Christian thinker and writer, that seems to be one of the few things that Lewis got wrong. A potent Lewis phenomenon has been taking place a generation after his…

Learning from a Fair-Minded and Skillful Theologian

Christian apologists need to be people of reason and virtue. They must exhibit both qualities in order to persuade people of the truth of Christianity. Thus, one of my goals as a Christian scholar and teacher is to introduce believers and nonbelievers to Christian thinkers who are highly skilled in their academic disciplines and people of strong intellectual character.  On…

An Author Read by Popes, Rock Stars, and Atheists

One Christian author in history owns the distinction of having been read by popes, rock stars, and leading atheists. He lived almost 1,600 years ago and was from North Africa. He is the single most prolific author of the ancient world and has influenced countless Protestants and Catholics. Named after two Roman emperors, he is known to us as St. Augustine of…

3 Things You May Not Know about John Calvin the Person

French-born theologian John Calvin (1509–1564) was one of the great voices of the Protestant Reformation. He is often called the greatest systematic theologian of the Reformation and is the most influential figure in the entire Reformed theological tradition. His monumental book Institutes of the Christian Religion has been called one of the ten books that shook the world. Yet Calvin is also considered one of the…

My Soul Is Like a House

One of the things I like about the writings of the Christian church father St. Augustine of Hippo (354–430) is his rich use of analogies1 in talking about critical theological topics. An analogy, of course, is a comparison between two things (how they are like and unlike), usually for the purpose of providing explanation. In his most popular work, Confessions,2 Augustine compares the human soul to a house…

Did Augustine Lead the Ancient Church Astray?

Anybody who has heard my podcast, listened to my theological lectures, reviewed my Reflections blog, or read my books will know that I have a special appreciation for St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354–430). He is my favorite Christian thinker outside of the Bible, though just a little ahead of other great Christian thinkers like St. Athanasius, Blaise Pascal, and…

Friday Philosophy from Peter Kreeft

Let me introduce you to the latest influential thinker in my ongoing social media segment, #FridayPhilosophy. Contemporary philosopher Peter Kreeft inspired me as a young college student. After reading Kreeft’s book Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialogue Somewhere beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis & Aldous Huxley, I wanted to study philosophy and Christian apologetics. What follows is a brief biography…

A Movie to Make You Think: The Two Popes

The great Yale church historian Jaroslav Pelikan once called the Roman Catholic Church ʺthe most formidable religious institution in the history of America and of the world.ʺ1 One distinguishing doctrinal feature of Catholicism is the claim that the pope is the official leader of Christendom. Of the three branches of Christendom (Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Protestantism), Catholics uniquely view the pope as sitting…