Below the Fold – Spring 2019


Joe Loconte tells us of C. S. Lewis’ and J. R. R. Tolkien’s important friendship. Bill Kynes begins a series about reading, studying, and meditating on the Bible. Tom Schwanda asks how the Bible provides a foundation for discipleship. Tom Tarrants addresses the difficult topic of persecution. Bryan Hollon explores the seldom-considered role of catechesis in spiritual formation. Aaron Welty compares the mythology of Narnia and Middle Earth to comic book heroes of today. And, as usual, we include a poem, a sermon, and a message from our president, Joel Woodruff.


President's Letter – It's About Transformation in Community, not Information in Isolation


Joel Woodruff challenges us to resist the tide of individualism and seek spiritual growth in community. Rather than pursuing “information in isolation,” the C.S. Lewis Institute President urges us to learn from and challenge others as we grow in Christ.

Persecution and Suffering for Jesus Christ
Thomas A. Tarrants, III, D.Min.
Vice President for Ministry & Director, Washington Area Fellows Program, C.S. Lewis Institute


Looking at the process of discipleship from the opposite side of most discussions, Tom Tarrants raises the important, albeit disturbing, topic of persecution for the sake of the gospel. Jesus warned many times that his disciples would face specific trials that come from following him. This article helps us prepare for those inevitable trials.


Biblical Foundations for Growing in Intimacy with God
Tom Schwanda,
Associate Professor of Christian Formation & Ministry, Wheaton College


Tom Schwanda steps back from practical considerations about discipleship and begins to explore the Biblical foundations for spiritual growth. This is the first of a three part series that reflects deeply on why we need intimacy with Christ, how scripture sets the platform for it, and then offers suggestions for pursuing that noble goal.


How to Read the Bible, Part 1: Introduction and Overview to the Bible
Bill Kynes, Ph.D.,
C.S. Lewis Institute Senior Fellow, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Evangelicial Free Church


The role of the Bible in spiritual life is often assumed but not as often pursued the way it should be. Bill Kynes begins a four part series that considers how to read, study, and meditate on the Bible. He begins with a reminder that the Bible’s overall storyline must be the context in which we examine any specific passage.


Catechesis and Christian Discipleship
Bryan Hollon,
Professor of Theology, Malone University


Bryan Hollon points us to a topic that rarely is addressed in contemporary discussions of spiritual growth – the role of catechesis in spiritual formation. Many people don’t even know what that word means. Hollon defines, describes, and encourages systemic training in doctrine and theological reflection.

War, Friendship, and Imagination – How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918
Joseph Loconte,
Associate Professor, King's College


Joe Loconte reveals to us some of the ways C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien found faith in some of the most unlikely settings – the battlefields of World War I. While many people lost faith in God because of the carnage they experienced during those dark days, Lewis and Tolkien were transformed for eternal beauty. And their friendship after those days encourages all of us in profound ways.


Modern Mythology Matters
Aaron Welty,
Co-host of the Two Geek Soup Podcast


Just as C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien looked to mythology and story as ways to experience the storyline of the gospel, Aaron Welty shines a similar light on comic book heroes and the appeal they draw through today’s blockbuster movies. If Lewis could create Narnia and Tolkien could tell of Middle Earth, perhaps Superman and Marvel movies could point people to a better “savior.”

POEM: Love Constraining to Obedience
William Cowper
(1731 – 1800),

English Poet


C. S. Lewis loved poetry and wished he could be remembered most for his poems. They grab us in different ways than stories or prose. In each issue we feature a poem. William Cowper’s offering tilts our hearts toward obedience and joy.

Sermon – The Christian's Warfare
Dwight L. Moody,
Christian Evangelist


The great evangelist and preacher Dwight L. Moody didn’t shy away from weighty topics. This sermon on spiritual warfare is a welcome reminder of the nature of our experience in a fallen world.


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