Tag: Lewis

“We Make Men without Chests”

One book I always include in my C. S. Lewis course is his Abolition of Man. It’s a weighty book, and I sometimes wonder if my students will be able to grasp its message. Yet I also believe it is worth requiring it because the message is so relevant, even more so today than when the book was published during WWII. The overall theme is the replacement of the natural law God has implanted within his creation with whatever new… Read more »

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 »

God’s Law, Man’s Freedom, & Good Government: A Lewis Perspective

As a historian, and as someone who has also taught in a master’s program of government, I am naturally attuned to the politics of our day. That doesn’t mean I love politics or am particularly enamored of the way politics manifests itself through the aggrandizement of politicians’ egos. Yet I cannot divorce myself from it because it now seems to invade every aspect of our lives. What I do like is governing, in the sense that God is interested in… Read more »

The Moral Law, Comfort, & Wishful Thinking

I’m teaching my C. S. Lewis course at my university again this semester. The students began their Lewis reading with Surprised by Joy, his insightful autobiography. We are now focused on Mere Christianity and discussing the significance of that book. Every time I come back to it, I’m deeply impressed all over again, and I always seem to find nuggets of truth and wisdom that stand out more clearly than in my previous reading. This time I was struck particularly… Read more »

Narnia: Layers of Meaning

All summer I worked on developing courses on C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. In one sense, it was labor, but some labors provide spiritual satisfaction. This was one of those labors. I’m now presenting the fruit of that labor to a room of seventy people at my church who seem eager to learn what Lewis has given us in these presumably “children’s” tales. What they are discovering, I trust, is that they are just as meaningful to adults. I’m… Read more »

The God He Never Wanted to Meet

C. S. Lewis didn’t start out as a great Christian apologist. His imagination didn’t lead him to Narnia at first—that was a later development. In his earliest years, sent away to a boarding school at age nine, he had a kind of Christian faith, but only the kind that called for him to carry out certain duties such as prayer. And he lived in fear of hell. Perhaps that’s why he abandoned that childhood faith in his pre-teen years. One… Read more »

To Love at All Is to Be Vulnerable

Re-reading any work by C. S. Lewis is hardly a waste of one’s time. I go back continually to what he has written because I keep finding new treasures, even in passages that I already know to some extent. For instance, in The Four Loves, there is a part that is often quoted—I have quoted it—yet I forgot the context in which Lewis penned it. It’s in the final chapter, the one on “Charity.” The greater context is the concern… Read more »