Tag: Lewis

Joy: A Signpost, Not a Destination

“In a sense,” C. S. Lewis wrote in his autobiography, “the central story of my life is about nothing else.” What was that “nothing else”? He continued, “It is that of an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction.” Now he comes to the point: “I call it Joy, which is here a technical term and must be sharply distinguished both from Happiness and from Pleasure.” I presume that most people today would not see any… Read more »

Only the Scent or Echo of the Real Thing

“What does not satisfy when we find it,” wrote C. S. Lewis, “was not the thing we were desiring.” That short statement came in the middle of his first Christian book, The Pilgrim’s Regress, and it summarizes the whole point of the book, wherein the protagonist comes back to the Christian faith that he didn’t desire at the outset of his journey: he finally realizes that what he was running away from was the real thing after all. The book… Read more »

When the Curtain Comes Down on the Play

“It seems to me impossible to retain in any recognisable form our belief in the Divinity of Christ and the truth of the Christian revelation,” C. S. Lewis remarked, “while abandoning, or even persistently neglecting, the promised, and threatened, Return.” The world likes Christ’s first coming, His nativity, because we get presents and feel-good Hallmark movies—you know, that amorphous “Christmas spirit” that is bereft of the Christ of Christmas. The Second Coming concept, though, as Lewis notes, is, for some,… Read more »

This Is the Most Important Issue

Most who have read any C. S. Lewis at all are familiar with his oft-quoted Liar-Lunatic-God “trilemma” in Mere Christianity. It exposes the false notion that Jesus can be a great moral teacher while at the same claiming to be God. In a short essay entitled “What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ,” found in God in the Dock, Lewis addresses that subject again, but from a different angle. He begins by showing that Jesus does offer “clear, definite… Read more »

Teaching Narnia

I’m now a member of a church that has a strong education program. On Wednesday evenings, for an hour and a half each week, I’ve had the joy of teaching C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity (along with my book, America Discovers C. S. Lewis). I’ve now been asked—and have readily agreed—to teach The Chronicles of Narnia. I won’t try to cram them all into one semester; instead, I’ll divide them into a two-semester format, covering the… Read more »

A False Image of God

What is your image of God? What is mine? I think there are two false images (well, probably a lot more) that are opposites: the “good buddy” who is there to be my co-pilot (in which case He is only along for the ride—we still call the shots) or the far-away, unapproachable Being that is so very different from us that we can never understand Him. I’ll save that first false image for another time, perhaps, and focus today on… Read more »

The Source of True Humility

C. S. Lewis had a way of taking a concept and giving it new life, sometimes simply by illustration, other times by making sure we have the correct definition of that concept. Take humility, for instance. To the world at large, the word conjures up an image of weakness or some kind of constant self-belittling. Yet humility is actually a source of spiritual strength; neither does it mean one has no value. That’s never true in God’s eyes. Here’s how… Read more »