19 June 2014

The brilliant C. S. Lewis

There are certain writers who are able to distill wisdom into small nuggets. I read these things and think, "I wish I'd said that!" One such writer is C. S. Lewis. He expresses great thoughts so simply that it seems to take me forever to get through some of his works, only because I find myself stopping to think about what just made me nod my head up and down in agreement. Here are only a few of his gems, and you probably have other favourites that you have discovered yourself.

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.

Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth, only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.

Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.

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.

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.

C. S. Lewis was, as most people know, an Anglican, although nearly everyone would like to claim him as one of their own. He was born on 29 November 1898, died on 22 November 1963, and possessed one of the great minds of the 20th century. Lewis was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, theologian, and Christian apologist. He held academic positions at both Oxford University (Magdalen College), 1925–1954, and Cambridge University (Magdalene College), 1954–1963.

The unanswerable question for many people is, "If he had lived longer, would he have become a Catholic?" Anglicans and other protestants (for obvious reasons) insist he would not have done so. However, I'm quite convinced he would have. When one considers what has happened to protestantism generally (and Anglicanism specifically) since the time of his death, it seems to me that with the incisive and logical mind he had, along with his deep love for God and His Truth, it would have been impossible for him to have remained where he was. I believe it would have become obvious to him that the only logical spiritual home for him must be where so many equally thoughtful men have ended up - in Rome.