Here is a book on one of the intellectual giants of the 20th century, C. S. Lewis. Some would say that Lewis was the most influential Christian writer of his day. His repertoire of writings ranged from children’s materials, to imaginative literature, to Christian apologetics and theology. I was given his Mere Christianity as a young Christian, which sparked my interest in philosophy as a university student.
Large numbers have read his Chronicles of Narnia, imaginative stories, with delight and some of us, not particularly oriented to the fantasy genre have struggled to understand the imagery. In another book reviewed here Chuck Colson speaks of how influential Mere Christianity was upon him and his conversion.
While I have not always agreed with everything I have read by Lewis, I have recognized his genius and ability to make a person think. While that is often painful, it is necessary for spiritual and intellectual growth and development.
Being very much interested in cultural apologetics, I have read him with eagerness to understand, because he says what I have been attempting to communicate for years. In his apologetic, God in the Dock he says, “You must translate every bit of your Theology into the vernacular. This is very troublesome and it means you can say very little in half an hour, but it is essential. It is also the greatest service to your own thought. I have come to the conviction that if you cannot translate your thoughts into uneducated language, then your thoughts were confused.” I have been challenged by that thought for many years and have committed myself to doing just that.
For those who’ve been intimidated, but would like to read Lewis, this new volume may be just for you. This book is easy to read and not overwhelming. Patricia Klein has put together a year’s worth of daily readings from more than thirty Lewis’ books. It could be Lewis in “bite size”. Overall, it is a good compendium of some of Lewis’s thoughts.
Though it is a daily reading, not meant to take the place of your Scripture reading, it could be read as part of your daily thoughts and reflections. The following from the 17th of April will show you what I mean about thought provoking. In A Grief Observed, a little book written after the death of his wife, Joy, Lewis says, “Keeping promises to the dead, or to anyone else, is very well. But, I begin to see that ‘respect for the wishes of the dead’ is a trap.” You can read the rest of the comments on that day. Klein selected from Lewis’ most important works in this volume.