C.S. Lewis

(Warner Joseph Miller) #1

Today Clive Staple Lewis (Christian apologist, novelist, and medievalist) would have been 120 years old! He still remains one of my favorite thinkers and writers!!

What is your favorite book and/or quote from Clive Staples Lewis?

**C.S. Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was a British writer and lay theologian. He held academic positions in English literature at both Oxford University(Magdalen College 1, 1925–1954) and Cambridge University (Magdalene College, 1954–1963). He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain. (From Wikipedia)

(Johniel John-Edward) #2

Indeed. He is the one I love for his simplicity and straight forward letters. Favorite book is “ Mere Christianity”

(SeanO) #3

@WarnerMiller Didn’t even realize it! ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ helped deepen my devotional life as a kid and ‘Mere Christianity’ helped me grow in maturity as a teenager.

I think the two things that have stood out to me most were the lessons Lewis taught about humility and his brilliant visions of eternal life in his books.

God does not love us because we are good, He makes us good because He love us.

As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.

And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before. The Last Battle

(Warner Joseph Miller) #4

Those are great ones, man. Mere Christianity along with Ravi Zacharias’ book, Jesus Among Other Gods have each had the most profound impact on my walk – both orthodoxy and orthopraxy – with regard to literature…with exception to the Bible, of course.

(Warner Joseph Miller) #5

Yes! His simplicity, storytelling and insights have been foundational for me. He’s definitely impacted how I teach and communicate biblical/spiritual things.

(Michael John Pavia) #6

hi Warner,

my favorite is from Mere Christianity… Chapter 3

“I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him, ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God’. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

God Bless!

(Tabitha Gallman) #7

I got the Complete C.S.Lewis Signature Classics one year for Christmas and have only read the Screwtape Letters. I do plan on reading the other books, but I have to admit it probably takes me twice as long as most people to read because I have to go back and read passages again to grasp what he is saying. (Although he seems to be an easier read than G.K. Chesterton, lol.)

I highlighted a lot of passages, but two in particular are in chapter 6 and 19:
“There is no good at all in inflaming his hatred of Germans if, at the same time, a pernicious habit of charity is growing up between him and his mother, his employer, and the man he meets in the train.”.
This reminds me of Jesus’ reply to the Pharisees concerning the second command to “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

And the other line that stood out to me is in chapter 19:
“Nothing matters at all except the tendency of a given state of mind, in given circumstances, to move a particular patient at a particular moment nearer to the Enemy or nearer to us.”
I believe this is why we need to be in prayer “continually” because the warring of the mind is a constant struggle in our everyday life.

C.S. Lewis must have meditated on the word all the time. I thank God for C.S. Lewis, a man of intellect and faith that shared his God given talent with us.

(Keldon Scott) #8

Definitely Mere Christianity. Very Solid. :slight_smile: I like the connection to Jesus Among Other Gods, too as i have described Ravi as the 21st century CS Lewis.

(Kathleen) #9

Two words: Screwtape. Letters. :smiling_imp::fire:

This is the only book I’ve ever had to step away from because I saw so much of the stuff I didn’t like in myself so plainly on the page! It took me a while to come back to it, but the whole experience of reading and interacting with it was so rewarding.

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #10

I love Lewis! I have read Mere Christianity and Screwtape Letters as well as the Narnia series.
This quote from screwtaple letters stands out for me (remeber that it is satire so th Enemy means God in the eyes of Screwtape):

About the general connection between Christianity and politics, our position is more delicate. Certainly we do not want men to allow their Christianity to flow over into their political life, for the establishment of anything like a really just society would be a major disaster. On the other hand we do want, and want very much, to make men treat Christianity as a means; preferably, of course, as a means to their own advancement, but, failing that, as a means to anything—even to social justice. the thing to do is to get a man at first to value social justice as a thing which the Enemy demands, and then work him on to the stage at which he values Christianity because it may produce social justice. For the Enemy will not be used as a convenience. Men or nations who think they can revive the Faith in order to make a good society might just as well think they can use the stairs of Heaven as a short cut to the nearest chemist’s shop. Fortunately it is quite easy to coax humans round this little corner. Only today I have found a passage in a Christian writer where he recommends his own version of Christianity on the ground that ‘only such a faith can outlast the death of old cultures and the birth of new civilisations’. You see the little rift? ‘Believe this, not because it is true, but for some other reason.’ That’s the game.
Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape

(chandra kishore sardar) #11

I have always loved fantasy as my genre for movies. The first time I watched ‘The chronicles of Narnia’ it was simply engrossing and amusing but after a couple of years when i watched it again I knew exactly what it was portraying. I just love it.
I havent finished reading Mere Christianity fully but its also one of my favourites.
Such a profound life he lived and the legacy he left.

(Monica Diane Hall) #12

My favorite C. S. Lewis quote is," Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less."

(SeanO) #13

@monicahall2448 So, I had to think really hard about how to do this humbly :wink: But this is a quote often attributed to Lewis that is not actually from Lewis. The C. S. Lewis Society has a list of quotes often misattributed to him. It is not a bad quote though. I’ve included a fuller Lewis quote on humility below.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life OR This Was Your LIfe! Preparing to Meet God Face to Face by Rich Howard and Jamie Lash

Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call ‘humble’ nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.

If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realise that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed. C. S. Lewis

(Monica Diane Hall) #14

Sorry. Got it straight from a c.s. lewis book. Won’t bother again.

(SeanO) #15

@monicahall2448 Please do bother :slight_smile: What do you like about the quote? What book were you reading?

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #16

Another one of my favourites of C.S. Lewis is how he explains the trinity:

“I warned you that Theology is practical. The whole purpose for which we exist is to be thus taken into the life of God. Wrong ideas about what that life is will make it harder. And now, for a few minutes, I must ask you to follow rather carefully.
You know that in space you can move in three ways - to left or right, backwards or forwards, up or down. Every direction is either one of these three or a compromise between them. They are called the three Dimensions. Now notice :his. If you are using only one dimension, you could draw only a straight line. If you are using two; you could draw a figure: say, a square. And a square is made up of four straight lines. Now a step further. If you have three dimensions, you can then build what we call a solid body: say, a cube - a thing like a dice or a lump of sugar. And a cube is made up of six squares.”
“Do you see the point? A world of one dimension would be a straight line. In a two-dimensional world, you still get straight lines, but many lines make one figure. In a three-dimensional world, you still get figures but many figures make one solid body. In other words, as you advance to more real and more complicated levels, you do not leave behind you the things you found on the simpler levels: you still have them, but combined in new ways - in ways you could not imagine if you knew only the simpler levels.”
“Now the Christian account of God involves just the same principle. The human level is a simple and rather empty level. On the human level one person is one being, and any two persons are two separate beings - just as, in two dimensions (say on a flat sheet of paper) one square is one figure, and any two squares are two separate figures. On the Divine level you still find personalities; but up there you find them combined in new ways which we, who do not live on that level, cannot imagine. In God’s dimension, so to speak, you find a being who is three Persons while remaining one Being, just as a cube is six squares while remaining one cube. “Of course we cannot fully conceive a Being like that: just as, if we were so made that we perceived only two dimensions in space we could never properly imagine a cube. But we can get a sort of faint notion of it. And when we do, we are then, for the first time in our lives, getting some positive idea, however faint, of something super-personal - something more than a person. It is something we could never have guessed, and yet, once we have been told, one almost feels one ought to have been able to guess it because it fits in so well with all the things we know already.”

I love that quote! He really helped me with understanding the trinity, and I haven’t heard a better explanation since.

(Omar Rushlive Lozada Arellano) #17

I love this quote as well. To add, I love a quote from him which best exemplifies the law of excluded middle. This law states that for any proposition, either that proposition is true, or its negation is true. This is the quote:

“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

I love what he said about his argument from desire as well in Mere Christianity:

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

(Johniel John-Edward) #18

Chandra-urge you to read mere Christianity😊.It’s amazing and clears out many mind blocks.

(chandra kishore sardar) #19

Surely! I am fond of his writing. Thank you John !!

(Monica Diane Hall) #20

I apologize for misquoting c. s. lewis. The quote is actually," Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call “humble” nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking of humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all." This is from Mere Christianity:Book 3 Christian behavior section 8 The Great Sin. This is meaningful to me as an example of true humility. In James 4:6 “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”