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C. S. Lewis

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Clive Staples Lewis, more commonly known as C. S. Lewis is a renowned apologist writer, who uses logic and philosophy to support the tenets of his Christian faith. He is also known throughout the world as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia fantasy series. [1] His works have lead and are leading many people from childhood to eld into Christianity.

"“I am trying here to prevent anyone 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 the 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 patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (Mere Christianity 55, Lewis).

Biography

Plaque on a park-bench in Bangor, County Down

C.S. Lewis was born in 29 November 1898 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He graduated from Oxford University with a focus on literature and classic philosophy, and in 1925 he was awarded a fellowship teaching position at Magdalen College, which was part of the university.[1] In 1954, Lewis joined the faculty of Cambridge University as a professor of medieval and Renaissance English. [2] After 9 years, he resigned from his Cambridge position after experiencing heart trouble. [1]

Although Lewis had rejected Christianity in his early years and lived as an atheist though his 20s, he turned to theism in 1930 and to Christianity in 1931. This was partly with the help of his close friend and devout Roman Catholic J.R.R. Tolkien. His first publications were a collection of lyric verse and a long narrative poem which did not attract much attention. He turned to scholarly writing and prose fiction which were woven with Christian allusions and themes.[2] Through the works such as Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters, he explains, argues, and defends Christianity while utilizing logic and philosophy. His most famous works, the Chronicles of Narnia, also contains numerous Christian messages.

Lewis had to have many transfusions late in life, suffering from kidney problems. He once went into a coma, but he revived and continued to read. Those close to him observed that Lewis anticipated death with cheerfulness and peace. A week before his death, Jack shared with his brother these words: “Warnie, I have done all that I was sent into the world to do, and I am ready to go.” Warnie later remarked that he had never seen death looked in the face so tranquilly. Lewis died around five thirty on November 22, 1963. [3]

Quotes

  • "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." The Problem of Pain
  • "Everyone has noticed how hard it is to turn our thoughts to God when everything is going well with us... While what we call 'our own life' remains agreeable, we will not surrender it to Him. What, then, can God do in our interests but make 'our own life' less agreeable to us, and take away the plausible sources of false happiness?" The Problem of Pain
  • "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." Is Theology Poetry?
  • "There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way.'" The Great Divorce
  • "Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ." Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer
  • "Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ, and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in." Mere Christianity

Publications

Cover page of the first book of The Chronicles of Narnia series

Books

Spirits in Bondage (1919) The Pilgrim's Regress (1933) The Allegory of Love (1936) Out of the Silent Planet (1938) The Problem of Pain (1940)
The Screwtape Letters (1942) A Preface to Paradise Lost (1942) The Abolition of Man (1943) Perelandra (1943) The Great Divorce (1945)
That Hideous Strength (1945) Miracles (1947) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950) Prince Caspian (1951) Mere Christianity (1952)
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952) The Silver Chair (1953) The Horse and His Boy (1954) English Literature in the Sixteenth Century (1954) Surprised by Joy (1955)
The Magician's Nephew (1955) The Last Battle (1956) Till We Have Faces (1956) Reflections on the Psalms (1958) Studies in Words (1960)
The Four Loves (1960) The World's Last Night and Other Essays (1960) A Grief Observed (1961) An Experiment in Criticism (1961) They Asked for a Paper: Papers and Addresses (1962)
The Discarded Image (1964) Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (1964) The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses (1965) Of Other Worlds (1966) Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (1966)
God in the Dock (1970) The Dark Tower (1977) Boxen (1985) C.S. Lewis letters to children (1985) Present concerns (1986)

Lectures and Articles

  • De Descriptione Temporum (Lewis's Inaugural Lecture from The Chair of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University in 1954; full-text).
  • Beyond Personality, 1944 (Audio; BBC C.S. Lewis broadcast radio show)
  • We have no 'right to happiness'
  • 'Miserable Offenders': An Interpretation of Prayer Book Language
  • Screwtape proposes a Toast
  • On Three Ways of Writing for Children. From Of Other Worlds, 1963.
  • The Literary Impact of the Authorized Version (pdf). Athlon Press, 1950.
  • Three letters by C.S. Lewis to Sheldon Vanauken 1950-51; other personal correspondence
  • Introduction. Athanasius: On the incarnation: the treatise De incarnatione Verbi Dei. St. Vladimir's Press, 1996. Pp. 3-12.
  • Reluctant Convert. In: The Spirit of Man: Great Stories and Experiences of Spiritual Crisis, Inspiration, and the Joy of Life. W. Burnett, ed. Ayer, 1958. Pp. 326-346.
  • The Inner Ring. 1944.
  • Is Progress Possible? Willing Slaves of the Welfare State. The Observer, 1958.
  • Friendship (and copy). In: On the Contrary: Men and Women. Ed. M. Rainbolt and J. Fleetwood. SUNY Press, 1984. Pp. 43-50.
  • Priestess in the Church? 1948. 5 Pp. (pdf). Later published in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970).
  • Meditation in a Toolshed (pdf). Later published in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970).
  • On the Reading of Old Books (pdf). Later published in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970).
  • Man or Rabbit? (pdf). Later published in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970).
  • What are we to make of Jesus Christ? (pdf).Later published in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970).
  • Bulverism. Later published in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970).
  • C.S. Lewis: Poems. 13 selected poems by C.S. Lewis, 2004.
  • Last Will of C.S. Lewis. 1961.[4]

Video

This documentary seeks to answer the question of why C. S. Lewis—an Oxford scholar who specialized in Renaissance literature—still matters today.

Lewis's importance is heard through a renowned group of Christian pastors, artists, producers, writers and scholars. These include Tim and Kathy Keller, Chuck Colson, Doug Gresham, Eric Metaxas, Devin Brown, Micheal Flaherty, Mike Peterson, Phil Cooke, Mark Joseph, Craig Detweiler and Joseph Pearce.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Biography.com Editors C.S. Lewis Biography biography.com. Web. last updated Sept 2,2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Schakel. Peter C.S. Lewis. "Britannica". Web. last updated Feb. 11, 2014
  3. Severance, DianaDeath of C.S. Lewis. "The Trumpet". Web. written on April 27, 2012.
  4. Neufeldt-Fast. Arnold Articles Tyndale Seminary. Web. accessed on Oct 7,2016.