Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Angle of Approach: C. S. Lewis

A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. . . . God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

Here's how I begin my new book on C. S. Lewis and his crises...

I am writing this book for one primary purpose. This is not a biography of C. S. Lewis, a critical denunciation of his theology, nor a piece of hagiography. Instead I am addressing the question of why Lewis remains so popular, selling more books today than when he died in 1963, and why, after decades of reading his work, he still speaks to me. Here’s my answer: Lewis’s voice still resonates because his crises and their resolutions in his work reflect our own crises and guide us toward resolution.

Though not writing a biography, I will begin by telling the story of Lewis’s life through the troubles and complexities that shaped him. I will then pursue his thought through his writings—which is what he’s best known for—and the way his books, articles, and published addresses offer us access to his wisdom. I approach it this way because Lewis’s crises informed his writing, and they give it the power that still resonates today for his readers.

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