The City Podcast Special: What Good Are Debates?

by Timothy Motte on November 6, 2013

The City, a podcast of Houston Baptist University: Smart. Sane. Spiritual.

Featuring: Mary Jo Sharp, Dr. Holly Ordway, Dr. John Mark Reynolds

This coming Saturday, November 9th, HBU Provost Dr. John Mark Reynolds will debate Co-President of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Dan Barker on the question, “Does God exist?”

To help you get the most out of this debate, here is a special podcast with Dr. Reynolds, moderator and organizer Mary Jo Sharp, and director of Apologetics at HBU, Dr. Holly Ordway.

What is the value of these kinds of theological or philosophical debates? What attitude should the audience bring to it? What attitude should the participants bring to it?

Register for the debate here. It’s free.

If you can’t be there in person, you can watch it live at


Email us at with your thoughts, questions, or suggestions for future episodes.

Announcements from Lou Markos

by Lou Markos on July 5, 2013

Dear Friends,

I’d like to share with you some exciting news:


I have just published a new book titled Heaven and Hell: Visions of the Afterlife in the Western Poetic Tradition. Here is a quick synopsis of what it covers:

For thousands of years, philosophers, theologians, and poets have tried to pierce through the veil of death to gaze with wonder, fear, and awe on the final and eternal state of the soul. Indeed, the four great epic poets of the Western tradition (Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Milton) structured their epics in part around a descent into the underworld that is both spiritual and physical, both allegorical and geographical. This book not only considers closely these epic journeys to the “other side,” but explores the chain of influences that connects the poets to such writers as Plato, Cicero, St. John, St. Paul, Bunyan, Blake, and C. S. Lewis. Written in a narrative, “man of letters” style and complete with an annotated bibliography, a timeline, a who’s who, and an extensive glossary of Jewish, Christian, and mythological terms, this user-friendly book will help readers understand how heaven and hell have been depicted for the last 3,000 years.

This book is my follow up to From Achilles to Christ: Why Christians Should Read the Pagan Classics (IVP, 2007). It can be purchased through my amazon author page.


The Honors College at Houston Baptist University (for which I’ve taught the Greco-Roman freshman curriculum for the last four years) is about to make an exciting change. We will be moving to an Oxford/Cambridge model in which I will give nine 100 minute lectures per semester on literature-history-philosophy to supplement 4 hours per week of intense Socratic dialogue in classes of 15 or fewer students. I will be giving my lectures on Tuesdays from 4:20-6:00pm. We have chosen that late time to accommodate high schools (especially classical Christian academies) and homeschoolers who would like to sit in on one of my lectures. In the Fall, I will lecture on ancient Greek myth, epic, tragedy, and history with specific lectures on the Iliad and Odyssey; in the Spring, I will lecture on Roman myth, epic and history with specific lectures on the Aeneid and the Metamorphoses.



On Thursday, July 18, at 6:30pm, I will give a talk titled “The Foundation of Rome: The Frescoes of the Capitoline Museum” for the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. The speech is part of the MFA’s artful Thursday program and is free and open to the public. In the speech I will tell the history of ancient Rome from Aeneas to the Punic Wars, illustrating the stories with slides of Renaissance frescoes housed in the Capitoline museum in Rome.


In the Fall of 2013, I will teach a special class on The Lord of the Rings at HBU. Here is a description:

Although The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia are both undergirded by a Christian worldview, the links to Christianity are less clear and direct in Tolkien’s great epic fantasy. In this class we will explore how Tolkien, while reviving the reputation of the fairy tale and sub-creating a medieval-like world that runs by its own codes and values, found a way to integrate his rich creativity and love of language with his deep Catholic faith. We will further discuss how The Lord of the Rings, together with The Silmarillion and The Hobbit, were influenced by Norse mythology, Beowulf, and Tolkien’s friendship with C. S. Lewis.
Because the class will be raising issues of broad and perennial interest, HBU has granted me special permission to open up the class to the wider Houston community. The class will meet every Monday from 4:00-6:30pm from August 26 to December 2; however, there will be no class on September 2 (Labor Day) or October 21 (when I will be giving my midterm).

Sign up for the class at a cost of only $150 (which is 1/3 the normal auditing price).


On Wednesdays, October 2, 9, 16, and 23, 2013, from 7-9pm, I will offer a four-week class on The Iliad for the Rice School of Continuing Education. Register for my class online. (note: the catalog for the Fall is not yet up on the website but should be by August).

Thanks and blessings for the summer,

Lou Markos


The City Podcast: A Cinema School for Houston

by Timothy Motte on April 23, 2013

The City, a podcast of Houston Baptist University: Smart. Sane. Spiritual.

Featuring: Joshua Sikora, Cate MacDonald, and Dr. John Mark Reynolds

The old regime is changing.

Digital media and the internet mean that anyone can make films, anywhere.

That’s why Houston Baptist University has hired Joshua Sikora, an independent film director who has had success outside the studio system, to lead its new Cinema & New Media Arts program.

In this podcast Josh talks about the difference between media and film, the emerging need for more creative jobs than technical, and the advantages of being in Houston.


Keep up with the Cinema & New Media Arts program at their blog:

Email us at


Special Announcements

by Lou Markos on June 26, 2012

To view my full resume/vita, please click here.

My new book Literature: A Student’s Guide (Crossway, 2012) can now be purchased through Amazon at this link—Amazon is currently offering it for ½ off (only $6), so do check out the link.

My other new book, On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis (Moody, October, 2012) can now be pre-ordered from Amazon at this link.

To see my all my books available at Amazon, click this link.

I have co-written a screenplay on C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien (The Lion Awakes) that is currently in pre-production.  Click this link for information.

On Thursday, August 16, at 6:30pm, I will give a talk titled “The Eye of the Beholder: How to See the World like a Romantic Poet,” for the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. The speech is part of the MFA’s artful Thursday program and is free and open to the public.

In the Fall of 2012, I will teach a special class on The Chronicles of Narnia at HBU that will be opened to members of the Houston community. To sign up to sit in on the class (at a cost of only $150, which is 1/3 the normal auditing price) please click this link.

I have adapted the Helen of Euripides into modern English poetry.  The play will be performed at HBU on Friday, November 9, and off-Broadway starting September 11. To buy tickets for the off-Broadway showing, click this link.  (At a later date, I will provide a link to purchase tickets for the HBU showing).

To hear me give a 17-minute talk on my adaptation, click here.

Moving Day

by John Mark Reynolds on May 2, 2012

Do you actually move in virtual reality?

Yes, I think so. As a friend pointed out some physical assets were moved from one server to another and I now type a different web address to reach my page. This change in 0’s and 1’s exist.

I may no longer write at Disneyland, but please keep your hands and arms inside this new vehicle. My old friends at Scriptorium Daily will keep engaging in digital martyrdom, though they will suffer less now that I am gone. Having moved from Southern California for the weather here in Houston, my Macbook Air is now equipped with a dehumidifier.

My new Internet home now has all my old writing moved into it and you can rummage through the attic of my blogging mind. You will discover my imperfections there, but also that I keep trying out new ideas.

I hope charity covers a multitude of grammatical sins.

What is next? You can expect to hear about movies, Disney, Plato, Russia, the Packers, the Titanic, theater, Christianity, civilization and all my discontents. In short, the new house will be like the old house only with air conditioning . . . which intellectually may mean I become cool or my new blog home will be a hipster site.


The next few months will see a series of exciting new media and academic announcements at Houston Baptist University and I hope to be part of quite a few of them.

(I am thankful to Robin Dembroff, Randall and Kate Gremillion, and Pope Benedict XVI for input in to this column. Izzy Gremillion also helped, but she hates parenthetical references so I cannot mention her.)

New! The City: Winter 2008

by Benjamin Domenech on November 21, 2008

If you have not already received it, you will soon find in your mailbox the latest issue of The City for Winter 2008. It features many interesting articles, focusing in large part on American politics and the recent historic presidential election. There are also some excellent pieces on what it means to be a young evangelical, and the undercurrent of faith in the works of Cormac McCarthy.

The contents are as follows – we’ll be posting some of these here over the coming weeks:

where do we go from here: a forum
Joseph Knippenberg + David Blankenhorn
Francis Cianfrocca + Susan McWilliams
Peter Lawler + Ryan T. Anderson
Frederica Matthewes-Green

on faith
The New Evangelical Scandal + Matthew Lee Anderson
The Muslim Other + Louis Markos
God’s Love & Life’s Storms + Tony Woodlief

on books
Faith, Fear & Cormac McCarthy : Christopher Badeaux
Grand New Party? : Jon D. Schaff
Schama’s America : Joshua Trevino
The Poetry of Salvation : Micah Mattix

With two poems by the award-winning Catherine Tufariello and the Word Spoken by John Witherspoon.