Inklings of Truth



Here are some brief bios of authors that I frequently quote in my articles. Only a couple of those writers--Lewis and Williams--belonged to the original Inklings. This list also includes many who influenced them--or were influenced by them!

Although from widely varied backgrounds and denominations, all of these men and women defend their faith with intelligence and enthusiasm. I do not, of course, agree with everything they say.
But they are the Christian writers who have had the strongest influence on me.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: (1906-1945) Lutheran pastor and theologian who once led the seminary of the Confessing Church (German Christians who opposed the Nazi regime). He was hanged for his part in a plot to assassinate Hitler and is the subject of a recent documentary titled Bonhoeffer.

Frederick Buechner: (1926-) A former English teacher and chaplain, this American author and Presbyterian minister was nominated for a Pulitzer for his novel Godric. But he has also written many lyrical works of nonfiction.

G. K. Chesterton: (1874-1936) Sometimes called "the biggest writer of the 20th century" for his physical size and prolific output, this British journalist only joined the Catholic church late in his life. But, for most of his writing career, he defended the Christian faith with verve and unfailing good humor. Best known for his Father Brown mystery stories, he was also the author of about 80 books, hundreds of short stories and poems, and thousands of newspaper columns.

Elisabeth Elliot: (1926-2015) A daughter of missionaries and wife of martyred missionary, Jim Elliot, Elisabeth startled the world when she went to live for two years with the tribe that murdered her husband. She then became a well-known American author and speaker.

Madeleine L'Engle: (1918-2007) Famous for her children's science fiction, especially A Wrinkle in Time, this American author also wrote about her faith in such books as Walking on Water.

C. S. Lewis: (1898-1963) A professor of literature at Oxford, Lewis was probably the best-loved Christian apologist of the 20th century. An Irishman who lived in England for most of his life, he wrote the famous allegorical fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia, and several other novels in addition to his many nonfiction works. (The film, Shadowlands, portrays his marriage to an American divorcee, and the recent hit movie, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, is from his Narnia series.)

George MacDonald: (1824-1905) Best known for his fantasy novels, MacDonald was also a Scottish minister, author, and poet, who had a huge influence on Lewis and many other writers.

Dorothy Sayers: (1893-1957) Famous for her Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, this British author also wrote several works of Christian apologetics in addition to her plays and translations.

Fulton Sheen: (1895-1979) This extremely popular American Catholic archbishop hosted an Emmy-winning TV show called Life is Worth Living and wrote 60 books.

Hannah Whitall Smith: (1832-1911) Best known for her classic The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life, Smith was a Quaker who adopted Wesleyan doctrine. Although American, she lived in England for part of her life.

Helmut Thielicke: (1908-1986) A German theologian, Thielicke was rector of the University of Hamburg from 1960-1978. Like Bonhoeffer, he joined the Confessing Church during the Nazi era.

Charles Williams: (1886-1945) A good friend of Lewis and Tolkien, Williams worked for the Oxford University Press. This British writer is most famous for his "supernatural thrillers," although he also penned many nonfiction works on theology, literature, history, etc.

Philip Yancey: (1949-) Editor-at-large for Christianity Today, Yancey is a best-selling contemporary American author. Although originally disillusioned with Christianity because of his legalistic fundamentalist upbringing, he eventually returned to the faith--through the influence of writers such as Chesterton--and has become one of its most popular advocates.