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Sunday, November 29, 2009

(Today, Sun, Nov 29) is the birthday of C.S. Lewis, (books by this author) born Clive Staples Lewis in Belfast (1898). He's best known probably for The Chronicles of Narnia, a seven-volume series of children's books. The first in the series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), begins: "Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids."

C.S. Lewis is well known also for his essays on Christianity. He'd been baptized and raised Anglican (in the Church of Ireland), became atheist as a teenager, then a theist in his 20s, and then, in his early 30s, he converted wholeheartedly to Christianity.

His great many religious writings include Mere Christianity (1952), based on theological talks he gave on the BBC during World War II; The Screwtape Letters, a novel of letters from a demon to his nephew (1942); and the allegorical novel The Great Divorce (1945), in which dwellers of hell ride a bus up to heaven. In an essay called "Is Theology Poetry?" he wrote: "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."

He taught English and medieval literature for three decades at Oxford University, where he was good friends with The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien.

C.S. Lewis died a week shy of his 65th birthday in Oxford, England, the same day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

He said, "Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness."

From The Writer's Almanac

C. S. Lewis's life had a profound impact on me and at least one of my friends. I bought a biography of Lewis and gave it to the friend, who was going through Denver on vacation, before I'd read it myself. Later I did read it and wondered if I'd done the right thing; the story was not light vacation-type reading.

My friend  called me years later and said, "I wanted you to know I never read that book you gave me until just a few days ago. I took it down from the shelf recently, and was blown away by it. I just got back from talking with the Pastor at my church here, and I've given my life to Christ."

Lewis believed in putting his faith into action. I think he'd like what we are trying to do here in Denver with Denver Speakers Corner. (Does anyone know if Lewis ever attended the Hyde Park Speakers Corner in London?) Our little group got some publicity in this morning's Denver Post: http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_13876192

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:29 AM

    Greetings. I’m just doing a blog search looking for other CSL fans who aren’t exclusively Narnia movie fans. I also made a CSL birthday post at my blog, but found no die-hards among my regular readers, so I’m wandering looking for kindred spirits! Stop by and see me if you get a minute!

    ReplyDelete

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