Follow the Leader, Even When He’s Invisible: Discipleship in Prince Caspian (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction)

I sometimes wonder how I would have responded if Jesus had walked up near my fishing boat and said “Follow me.” Our willingness to follow anyone is mostly dependent on who we believe them to be and whether or not they are worth following. When it comes to Jesus, the depth of our commitment, the strength of our courage, and the sincerity of our love … Continue reading Follow the Leader, Even When He’s Invisible: Discipleship in Prince Caspian (Theology through the Eyes of Fiction)

Meaningful Teacher Evaluations (Educational Insights from Hogwarts #3)

Educational Insights from Hogwarts #3 In this article I continue the series regarding how Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix can give insight and/or start conversation about classical Christian education. Last week I explored how Educational Decree #22 raised questions about the role of the government in public and private schools. This week we take a look at Educational Decree #23 where Dolores … Continue reading Meaningful Teacher Evaluations (Educational Insights from Hogwarts #3)

Bent Out of Shape: The Nature of Sin in Out of the Silent Planet (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

 I have found in my experience that most people, even unbelievers, are fine with admitting they are sinners (though they disagree on what constitutes sin), but few really want to define what that means. I wouldn’t expect an unbeliever to understand the depths of sin, but I would hope that we as believers could do better. Often we can’t. Too often we view sin in … Continue reading Bent Out of Shape: The Nature of Sin in Out of the Silent Planet (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

Private Christian Schools and Government Involvement (Educational Insights from Hogwarts #2)

In last week’s post I mentioned that we would explore the eight educational decrees from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Today is the first of those educational decrees, though J. K. Rowling sets them in the context of her world, so the first in this book is labeled as Educational Decree #22. Educational Decree #22 In short, Educational Decree #22 relates to government hiring … Continue reading Private Christian Schools and Government Involvement (Educational Insights from Hogwarts #2)

Of Dragons, Beastly Boys, and Other Sinners: Eustace and Repentance in Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

 I’m often confronted by a stark contrast between what the Bible says about repentance and faith and the way many in the church portray it. It’s not my goal to explain how we got to this place, but I suspect a large part of the problem arose out of what was a serious and faithful desire for evangelism. Much of the evangelistic strategy of the … Continue reading Of Dragons, Beastly Boys, and Other Sinners: Eustace and Repentance in Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

Lessons from Dolores, Dumbledore, and More (Educational Insights from Hogwarts #1)

I recently re-read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and perhaps on account of all the study I have been doing about classical Christian education, it struck me how much of this book was about educational philosophy. I was even more surprised that despite the reality that Dolores Umbridge is cast in an evil light and Albus Dumbledore as the hero, the wisdom … Continue reading Lessons from Dolores, Dumbledore, and More (Educational Insights from Hogwarts #1)

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, Who’s the Ugliest of Them All? True Self-Reflection in the Fight Against Sin in Till We Have Faces (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction)

Why is it that the rich have such a difficult time entering the kingdom of God? I think it’s because those who never lack never feel that they have a need. But of course, as creatures created for fellowship with God that has been fractured by sin, we all have a need; a deep, desperate need for God and His salvation through Jesus. But before … Continue reading Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, Who’s the Ugliest of Them All? True Self-Reflection in the Fight Against Sin in Till We Have Faces (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction)

Salvation through Suffering in The Man Who Was Thursday (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

 In Jesus’ well-known Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7), Jesus tells his followers that they are blessed when others revile and persecute them in the name of Christ. The rest of the New Testament repeatedly affirms this reality. Paul says in 2 Timothy that all who aspire to live godly lives will face persecution. James says to count it as joy when we encounter various … Continue reading Salvation through Suffering in The Man Who Was Thursday (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

Can’t Beat the Real Thing: Rejecting Cheap Imitations of Christ in The Last Battle (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

I once had an encounter with a street evangelist who told me that the only true Bible was the King James Version. After thirty minutes, despite him admitting that the Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek, I had made no progress in convincing him of the reliability of other translations. As I walked away, however, he not only accused me of reading the wrong … Continue reading Can’t Beat the Real Thing: Rejecting Cheap Imitations of Christ in The Last Battle (Theology Through the Eyes of Fiction Series)

On Football and Folding Laundry

My brain is a strange blend of wild ideas and OCD organization. On the one hand I am a dreamer. I love to envision how things could be and dream up ideas for how to make it happen. I like to find creative outlets and explore new ideas. On the other hand, my brain likes order and precision. I alphabetize all my books, don’t leave … Continue reading On Football and Folding Laundry

The Blueness of Transparency (Mundane Meditations)

Not long ago I took a walk through the woods. My aim was to get some fresh air and some space from the craziness of life. I wandered for a while through the trees, thick with leaves that valiantly fought to grant me a respite from the oppressive heat. Soon, however, my path led me out into an open expanse and the full intensity of … Continue reading The Blueness of Transparency (Mundane Meditations)

Reclaiming the Classroom as a Workshop for Wisdom (2018 Conference Presentation)

The following is one of the sessions from our 2018 Conference co-hosted by School of the Ozarks and held at the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, MO. The full collection of presentations can be found at https://theclassicalthistle.com/2018-conference/. Reclaiming the Classroom as a Workshop for Wisdom  Kyle Rapinchuk, School of the Ozarks & The Classical Thistle Many works have been published in the past two decades … Continue reading Reclaiming the Classroom as a Workshop for Wisdom (2018 Conference Presentation)