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In the fall of 2022, I was a scholar-in-residence at The Kilns, the former home of C. S. Lewis—a special place with a storied history.

Last week, I had the opportunity to return to the U.K. and spend a couple more days at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford, this time delivering four guest lectures for a course, “Christianity and Contemporary Culture.”

We looked at several aspects of the Western world today—a world influenced (1) by the Enlightenment Story that personalizes God and privatizes religion and (2) by the Romantic Story of expressive individualism, a world that (3) promotes its moral vision as common sense (and Christianity’s as implausible and even reprehensible), and (4) a disenchanted world where a flattened, immanent frame of reference leads people to embrace pseudoreligions to fill their hunger for salvation.

What made this recent trip special was being accompanied by my oldest son, Timothy. Below, I’m sharing a few pictures from our visit for the enjoyment of all my fellow Anglophiles! (See more of The Kilns from my previous visit.)

Just down the lane from where we stayed in Oxfordshire is a church with origins in the 900s, whose current structure dates from the 1200s, with additions and modifications in the 1400s and 1600s. I spent several mornings here, doing my usual prayer and Bible reading all alone in this old church, reciting out loud creeds, psalms, and ancient prayers from God’s people, surrounded by the graves of many men and women who worshiped here through the centuries.
Speaking of old churches, it was a joy to be once again with brothers and sisters at St. Ebbe’s in Oxford, a church that stretches back to the 700s yet continues to maintain a vibrant evangelical witness in the Church of England, led by the great expositor Vaughan Roberts.
One of the highlights of the week was returning to The Kilns, Lewis’s home for more than 30 years, and seeing the place immersed in the fullness of spring.
My son and I visited The Kilns this time with friends Nathan and Leah Finn, who happened to be in Oxford the same week we were. It was a delight to walk through those rooms telling stories about Lewis and the cast of characters that once called this place home.
Something I love about Oxford’s various colleges and halls is the presence of chapels, where morning and evening prayer are still common. Beginning the day with chapel before courses begin is one of the ways those studying at Wycliffe Hall maintain a worshipful, Godward orientation to education.
It was an honor to again deliver guest lectures here and facilitate discussion about some of the most pressing issues affecting evangelism and mission in the Western world, with a wonderful group of church leaders and scholars from various countries and denominational traditions.
You never know who you might run into when visiting Oxford. I got the opportunity to spend a little time with the apologist Paul Copan, of Palm Beach Atlantic University, and his wife, Jacqueline, enjoying great conversation about Lewis and Tolkien, Elisabeth Elliot, and other people whose legacies have shaped the Christian world today.
I told my son to be prepared for on-and-off rain in London and Oxford all week, but aside from one night of continual rain, we didn’t need our umbrellas. It was unseasonably warm in London and then cool and overcast for most of our stay in Oxford. Here is one of my favorite spots in St. James’s Park, with some London landmarks visible in the distance.
Blenheim Palace, the birthplace and childhood home of Winston Churchill, really is a marvel—not just the house but the grounds also.
Broad Street in Oxford, with the Weston Library and Blackwell’s famous bookstore on the right and the Sheldonian Theatre off to the left. My son and I are visible in this live snapshot, walking with a pastor to King’s Arms after courses had concluded, where I enjoyed the best fish and chips I’ve had in England.

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