Dr Holly Ordway is a poet, academic, and Christian apologist on the faculty of Houston Baptist University. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an MA in English Literature from UNC Chapel Hill, and an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. She writes, speaks, and teaches on cultural apologetics, specifically the role of imagination and literature in apologetics, with special attention to the work of CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and Charles Williams.
Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms (Ignatius Press, 2014)
The revised, significantly expanded second edition of my memoir.
This is the story of a glorious defeat.
Ordway, an atheist academic, was convinced that faith was superstitious nonsense. As a well-educated college English professor, she saw no need for just-so stories about God. Secure in her fortress of atheism, she was safe (or so she thought) from any assault by irrational faith.
But then something happened . . . How did she come to “lay down her arms” in surrender to Christ – and then, a few years later, enter into the Catholic Church?
This is the moving account of her unusual journey. It is the story of an academic becoming convinced of the truth of Christianity on rational grounds – but also the account of God’s grace acting in and through her imagination.
It is the tale of an unfolding, developing relationship with God, told with directness and honesty – and of a painful surrender at the foot of the Cross. It is the account of a lifelong, transformative love of reading – and the story of how a competitive fencer put down her sabre to pick up the sword of the Spirit.
Above all, this book is a tale of grace, acting in and through human beings but always issuing from God and leading back to Him. And it is the story of a woman being brought home.
Articles and reviews (academic):
Review: The Ideal of Kingship in the Writings of Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien by Christopher Scarf. Sehnsucht: The C.S. Lewis Journal. Forthcoming, vol. 7, 2013.
“C.S. Lewis: An Integrated Vision.” Renewing Minds: A Journal of Christian Thought. Winter 2013.
Review: Plain to the Inward Eye: Selected Essays on C.S. Lewis by Don W. King. Mythlore: The Journal of the Mythopoeic Society. Fall 2013.
“Further Up and Further In: Representations of Heaven in Tolkien and Lewis.” Journal of Inklings Studies, Vol. 3 no. 1, April 2013.
Review: Imaginative Apologetics, ed. Andrew Davison. Themelios: An International Journal for Students of Theological and Religious Studies. Spring 2013.
Review: C.S. Lewis and the Middle Ages by Robert Boenig. Mythlore: The Journal of the Mythopoeic Society. Spring/Summer 2013.
Review: The Loss and the Silence: Aspects of Modernism in the Works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams by Margaret Hiley. Mythlore: The Journal of the Mythopoeic Society. 119/120, Fall/Winter 2012.
Review of Mythopoeic Narnia: Memory, Metaphor, and Metamorphosis in The Chronicles of Narnia by Salwa Khoddam. Mythlore: The Journal of the Mythopoeic Society. 117/118, Spring/Summer 2012Mythlore 117/118.
Review of Arda Reconstructed: The Creation of the Published Silmarillion. Mythprint, the monthly bulletin of the Mythopoeic Society. November (Volume 48:11, #352).
“Teaching Process, Not Product: Two Techniques.” inside english: Journal of the English Council of California Two-Year Colleges. 2006.
“Guy Gavriel Kay.” Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 251: Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors. 2002.
“Broceliande.” Sehnsucht: The C.S. Lewis Journal. Forthcoming, vol. 7, 2013.
“A Twitch upon the Thread.” Windhover: A Journal of Christian Literature. Volume 18, Spring 2014.
“Maps.” Dappled Things: A Quarterly of Ideas, Art, and Faith. Spring 2013
“Light.” Californios Review. Winter 2013.
“Temptation in the Wired Wilderness.” God and Nature. Summer 2012.
Articles and reviews (popular):
Interview in Christianity magazine, August 2013.
“Confronting the Apologetic Challenges of a Secular Culture: Reflections on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Christian Research Journal. Vol. 35. no. 5. Winter 2012.
“Truth in Darkness: The Hunger Games as an Unexpected Resource for Apologists.” Christian Research Journal. Vol. 35 no. 2. Spring 2012.
“What Has Poetry to Do with Apologetics? T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Journey of the Magi’ for the Apologist.” Christian Research Journal. Vol. 34 no. 6. Winter 2011.
“Why Is Atheism Popular and What Can We Do About It?” Rick Warren’s Ministry Newsletter: June 23, 2010.
“The Garden, the Cross, and the Tomb.” Neue Magazine: April 10, 2009.
“In Whose Image Are You Made?” ENTSCHEIDUNG (German edition of DECISION, published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association). April, 2008.