c.s. lewis

 
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C.S. Lewis, known affectionally as “Jack” to his friends and family, was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1898. From an early age he was interested in the concepts of myth, story, adventure, and imagination—themes that would eventually define his work. Though not a theologian in the typical sense, Lewis’s writings addressed numerous theological topics. He continues to be one of the most widely read authors among evangelicals today and one of the most influential writers over the last 100 years. Though he has been most warmly received in America, he is beloved around the world, primarily due to his Chronicles of Narnia series and his popular apologetic book Mere Christianity.  

Lewis’s testimony of turning from atheism to Christianity is one of the most interesting and well-known aspects of his life. After his conversion, Lewis continued as a scholar of literature at Oxford and Cambridge. He had the rare ability to write for two different audiences: the academy and the average Christian reader (including children).

His writing, whether fiction or non-fiction, continually drives readers back to the true Story, that of the Son of God becoming a man for the redemption of mankind. Lewis wanted his readers “to imagine themselves as living in a world far bigger than the one that confronts them immediately.”[1] He stressed that there exists an even more real world, where God dwells, that we have been hard-wired to desire. He puts it this way in The Weight of Glory:

At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendors we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so. Someday, God willing, we shall get in. 

C.S. Lewis’s life was devoted to cracking that door open, through the use of words, and giving believers a glimpse of not only the beauty to come in the future, but the beauty around them today.

Where to Begin

Non-Fiction:

Mere Christianity

Surprised by Joy

The Weight of Glory

Fiction:

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Screwtape Letters

The Great Divorce

Lewis’s Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength)

Biography/Other:

Live Like a Narnian by Joe Rigney.

The Narnian by Alan Jacobs.

[1] Wesley A. Kort, Reading C. S. Lewis: A Commentary (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), 15.