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Author Topic: C.S. Lewis, anyone?  (Read 1788 times) Average Rating: 0
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David
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« on: January 08, 2003, 05:09:41 PM »

A number of converts to Orthodoxy at my parish were profoundly influenced by the writings of C.S. Lewis, as was I.  In my high school years it was his book Mere Christianity that was a primary instigator for my leaving my fascinations with Taoism and becoming a Christian.  It was also his writings that led me to believe that there must be more to Christian worship than the weekly circus at my local Baptist church.  

Mere Christianity, Till We Have Faces, The Screwtape Letters, and The Great Divorce all hold a special place in my development from "pagan" outsider to Orthodox Christian.  Does anyone else have any similar experiences?
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2003, 05:47:25 PM »

Absolutely — Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters (click the titles) were formative for me, along with contact with two local conservative high-Episcopal churches, when I was about 20, and I recommend them to everyone.

All these pointed to a real, solid Christianity crashing neither on the Scylla of devotional/millennial/charismatic hysteria nor on the Charybdis of AmChurch dissent/modernism/liberal Protestantism/agnosticism. In short, where I’ve dropped anchor today, dead center in the historic mainstream of orthodox, catholic Christianity, the historic, apostolic Church.

In fact, on this board (or its predecessor, byzantines.org) I have described my faith as ‘mere Christianity’ with icons!

Lewis was fascinating — more Catholic than his many evangelical/Jesus Freak admirers in the ’70s and ’80s knew (or admitted). He believed in purgatory. He went to Confession (starting late, around 1939 — he died in 1963, the same day JFK was murdered). The Irish-born Lewis had some residual Protestant prejudice against the Catholic Church he never quite shook in his lifetime, and he never identified himself with the Anglo-Catholic movement but he went to one of Oxford’s many Anglo-Catholic churches, in Headington, simply out of obedience because he lived in the parish.

I also read the Narnia books when I was 10 but of course didn’t fully appreciate their message at the time. Good stuff, too, even though Lewis’ friend J.R.R. Tolkien, a sound Catholic, thought they were too heavy-handed with the religious allegory.
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2003, 06:17:56 PM »

I am currently reading Mere Christianity.  I like it so far and it is a great book.
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2003, 03:39:45 PM »

It is interesting how many people have found the words of an Anglican so helpful in the Christian faith.  Some good can come out of Canterbury.  Smiley
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"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2003, 06:58:49 PM »

C.S. Lewis didn't really play a part in my spiritual development per se, but I'd certainly agree that he can be very insightful. Even the books in which I disagreed with his conclusions and/or assertions at least made me think, and allowed me to disagree respectfully, and not think him way out in left field (like I think when reading some--though not all--Anglicans today). I still read books from the Chronicles of Narnia every once in a while (usually "The Voyage of the 'Dawn Treader'" or "The Last Battle"), and will probably read "Screwtape Letters a number of times again throughout my lifetime.

On a different note, an "Anglican" that I think often gets overlooked by Protestants is G.K. Chesterton. While he did later convert to Catholicism, he wrote some really good stuff while an Anglican, including the insightful "Orthodoxy". The only problem is, every time I read Chesterton now I hear the voice that is used in the G.K. Chesterton show on EWTN. That drives me crazy! Cool
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2003, 03:42:35 PM »

Neo Tobiah,

Since you've enjoyed much of Lewis' work I reccomend that at some point you read Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold, and The Great Divorce.  Till We Have Faces is a retelling of the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche that contrasts a pagan culture with that of an atheistic rationalist culture.  It has many allusions to sacramental and apophatic theology.  The Great Divorce is Lewis' story of a man's journey from heaven to hell and has many ideas that Orthodoxy would agree with.  I still very much enjoy all of the books that you posted, but I think much of the "meat" of Lewis can be found in these two meaningful fictions.
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2003, 04:15:40 PM »

Bad news....there already is an orthodoxanswers.com (.org is a redirect to the same site).  It's ran by this guy:

 Domain: orthodoxanswers.org

 [Edit]

Anyone familiar with him?  There are a few articles there from Fr. Jack Sparks, Dn. John Whiteford, Bishop Nataniel of Vienna, and Fr. Josiah Trenham.  Since the domain was registered on Sept 22 2002 he legitimately beat us to the idea.  Instead of the Protestant approach of making our own version of essentially the same site, perhaps we should contact the webmaster and see if he would like us to submit articles and help in other ways.  His site seems well done, and the only problem now is lack of articles.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2003, 07:58:35 AM by Robert » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2003, 03:18:26 PM »

Along with the books mentioned, Lewis wrote the Space Trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and "That Hideous Strength", both Science Fiction and Religion. Then there's an interesting short story "The Shoddy Lands", among his other works.

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"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
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