Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Favourite Author Number One: C.S.Lewis

My favourite author is well-known writer, C.S. Lewis. Born in 1898 in Belfast, Ireland, Lewis was sent to England for schooling with his older brother, Warren, after their mother died. His education continued between the two countries, and later Lewis was accepted to study at Oxford. He also served in the military and was wounded in France in 1918. He was a highly respected academic, prolific writer, and much loved teacher.

An avowed atheist, Lewis came to faith in Christ in 1931, as he tells it in his autobiography Surprised by Joy ‘the most reluctant convert in all of England’.  I gave in, and admitted that God was God, he said. After this he spoke and wrote extensively to explain his change of heart.  He was able to take profound spiritual truths and explain them in such a way that everyone could understand. This was powerful, because he was speaking from the heart and from his own experience.

His writing included expository books (explaining the Christian faith), and allegorical stories such as The Screwtape Letters. He is also well-known for his seven-part Narnia Chronicles, the first of which was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, published in 1950.

Lewis was single for most of his life, but in the 1950s he met an American divorcee, Joy Davidman, with whom he struck up a great friendship. They were married in 1957 when she was seriously ill with cancer. Remarkably she recovered and they had two wonderful years together before the cancer returned and she died. This story is told very emotionally in the film Shadowlands.

After Joy’s death Lewis’ preaching changed. Having spoken so eloquently about coping with grief, he now had his own personal grief to deal with. Another book was in the making, A Grief Observed, which was published in 1961. The teaching of Lewis reached new depths.

I find C.S.Lewis has a way of explaining matters of faith in an easy and logical manner, and I very much enjoy reading his books. He advised writers to know exactly what they want to say, and to be sure they are saying exactly that. Lewis died on 22 November, 1963, the same day President John Kennedy was shot.

A favourite quote from Lewis:-

There will be no sceptics in hell, neither atheists, infidels nor agnostics. Eternity will make everyone a Bible believer.

Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.

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.

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."

We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

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