The first half of 2024 is going to be a banner time for spreading the Good News through the lens of C. S. Lewis. So many opportunities have opened for me to do so that I want to share them one by one.
At Southeastern University, I will be teaching my Lewis course once again. Students will be exposed to the scope of Lewis’s writings—apologetic, fiction, and the more personal ones. They will begin with his autobiography, Surprised by Joy, which will be followed by Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Abolition of Man, That Hideous Strength, The Last Battle, A Grief Observed, and “The Weight of Glory.” If that sounds like a lot, it is. But I’ve taught the course a number of times during the past decade and it has always been fruitful spiritually for the students.
Our local Inklings group also will be continuing as this new year gets underway, meeting every other Friday. And I’ve been involved with teaching The Screwtape Letters to a home group of women who now style themselves “The Female Inklings.”
Then, at my church, All Saints’ Episcopal in Lakeland, Florida, I will have three opportunities to help others understand Lewis’s God-directed message better. The first two opportunities are already underway.
My Wednesday evening course on Lewis’s essays has gotten off to an excellent start. We have concentrated first on some of his theological essays and have completed “Christian Apologetics,” “God in the Dock,” “What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ?” “The Grand Miracle,” and “De Futilitate.” A few more of the theologically focused essays remain; then we will switch to Lewis’s insights on education and the various ways in which Christians should interact with the culture in which we live.
A new endeavor at the church is the inauguration of a discussion group/seminar to delve into The Abolition of Man in greater depth, primarily because this small book is so dense—yet so crucial—that it needs to be unpacked in short segments. The rector and I are ostensibly the leaders of this group, but the goal is to allow others to fully voice their questions and/or insights as they read the segments ahead of time and come prepared for the discussion. Michael Ward’s After Humanity serves as a complementary reading as we work our way through Abolition. We weren’t sure how many church members would be attracted to this offering, but we are gratified that approximately 20 have decided to come every other Friday afternoon for one hour to increase their understanding of this most essential book.
Later this spring, from late April into June, I will be taking interested church members through my new book dealing with Lewis and history.
The Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College has invited my co-author and me to speak about the book in April, along with a book signing. I love going to the Wade Center as often as I can, and to be invited as one of the speakers for an evening session is a special treat. While there, we will be recording a podcast about the book as well. And of course I will take advantage of the Wade’s resources as I contemplate what might be next in this area of scholarship where the Lord has led me over the past decade.
I love the life in reading, research, and teaching that the Lord has given me. I simply pray that whatever I do will be helpful in leading others closer to Him.