Tag: heaven

Screwtape’s Agony Is Our Reward

My students finished reading C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters this week. The final letter includes one of the most profound insights Lewis has ever offered as to what happens when a Christian dies. Even though it is described through the eyes of a demon (or perhaps because it is described in that way), one can get a glimpse of the glory that awaits those who have found the narrow path and remained faithful. Wormwood’s “patient” has died in a… Read more »

The Glorious Last Battle

I finished my project of preparing all seven books in the Chronicles of Narnia for teaching this fall and winter at my church. Each one was a joy to develop, but I looked forward the most to doing the final book in the series, The Last Battle. When I teach my basic C. S. Lewis course at the university, this is the one Narnia book I have students read. Most are already familiar with The Lion, the Witch, and the… Read more »

From the Portraits to the Original

The ongoing problem with humanity is not that we are so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good; rather, it’s the opposite: we’re so earthbound that we’re no good to heaven. We keep thinking that this world that we see around us, and those who populate it, will fulfill all our hopes. If we think that, we are terribly off-base. “The settled happiness and security which we all desire,” remarked C. S. Lewis, “God withholds from us by the very… Read more »

Aim at Heaven & You Will Get Earth Thrown In

I’m sure everyone has heard the complaint against some Christians who, we’re told, are “too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.” While that may sound rather clever, and it may be easy to pick up on the refrain because, after all, this is the world we live in, it nevertheless doesn’t hold up under close examination. History itself denies this cliché. C. S. Lewis can always be relied upon to make us rethink popular slogans. He tackles this one… Read more »

Only Two Kinds of People in the End

We love to talk about heaven. Hell, not so much. We get glimpses of both eternal destinations in Scripture, but not the full picture of either. C. S. Lewis is well known for perceiving both in imaginative ways. On the subject of hell, we naturally think of The Screwtape Letters, where in his preface he tells us, “We must picture Hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance,… Read more »

Heavenly Reality

Christians are told there is an actual place called Heaven. We have a very hard time picturing it because everything we have experienced throughout our lives is only a pale image of the real thing. We take it on faith that Heaven is real, but how do we really know what it is like? We imagine images such as the one above: ethereal, somewhat fanciful, perhaps. We really don’t know. We’re so tied to this world; our imaginations are so… Read more »

A New Name, Known Only to the One Who Receives It

“Your soul has a curious shape,” comments C. S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain. What does he mean? “It is a hollow made to fit a particular swelling in the infinite contours of the divine substance,” he explains. And if that explanation leaves you scratching your head, he tries another analogy: “Or a key to unlock one of the doors in the house with many mansions.” Lewis is pointing to the uniqueness of God’s creation of each one of… Read more »