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Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.
In his "Preface to Paradise Lost", Lewis wrote the following: "The first qualification for judging any piece of workmanship from a corkscrew to a cathedral is to know *what* it is - what it was intended to do and how it was meant to be used. After that has been discovered the temperance reformer may decide that the corkscrew was made for a bad purpose, and the communist may think the same about the cathedral. But such questions come later. The first thing is to understand the object before you: as long as you think the corkscrew was meant for opening tins or the cathedral for entertaining tourists you can say nothing to purpose about them." This is a splendid piece of writing, but the idea presented is no way an original one - Plato and Aristotle said the same, said it clearly, and said it over two thousand years before Lewis did. If you had been able to confront Lewis with this fact, he might have said "Exactly." This brings us to one of the great themes of Lewis's writing, evident nowhere more so than in "Mere Christianity": the defense of traditional wisdom against prejudice of our age that would reject it for no other reason than that it is traditional. Lewis often encountered those who complained that his ideas were old-fashioned, and his standard reply was that theirs would soon be as well, so in that they were equal. I admit I couldn't help but smile at the complaint by one Amazon reviewer that Lewis's ideas on sexuality were "decades old". The complaint is quite mistaken: the ideas are not decades old but thousands of years old. And it is here that we have part of the answer to the problem of understanding the kind of thing "Mere Christianity" is: it is nothing new. It is in fact very, very old.Read more ›
CS Lewis is one of the great modern Christian writers. His writings are non-denominational, and can be appreciated by people of any faith. This box set contains some (though not all!) of his best work. 'Mere Christianity' is a great introduction to Lewis's way of thinking. Originally a series of radio addresses, this work details why Lewis is a Christian, and presents a case for Christianity that is compelling, to say the least. 'The Screwtape Letters' is my personal favorite. It is fiction, written from the unique point of view of a master devil named Screwtape. The master is trying to teach his nephew how to win souls for the devil through temptation. This one will definitely change the way you look at sin. 'The Problem of Pain.' -- what is pain? Well, Lewis tackles this subject here, and argues that God gives us pain because he loves us, and in order to mold us to his will. 'A Grief Observed' is a very intimate work, written after Lewis's wife died. It is, quite simply, a very honest and unique look at grieving, which shows this master Christian apologist, who seems to always have all the answers, vulnerable and without a solution. 'The Great Divorce' is Lewis's 'Divine Comedy.' This is a great look at Heaven and Hell, and presents the very compelling idea that people will go to Hell, not because they are forced to, but because they simply won't tolerate Heaven. 'Miracles' examines the question "can miracles occur?" For Lewis, the answer is yes, and this book shows how the Creator of Nature and mankind can work miracles without interrupting the 'natural' flow of things. Buying these books together in a set is a good way to get these six classics at a great price. This is a wonderful starting point for anyone interested in Christian theology. No one interested in Christian thinker should be without these masterpieces by CS Lewis.
After reading several books on a similar topic that did nothing but confuse me, I was glad that I came upon C.S. Lewis's work. All of the other books about the existence of God are way off in their own world, and discourage anyone who feels lost in their ideas about God. This book really explained the reasons that God must exist, and then moved on to easily describe the major beliefs of Christians, without leaving anyone out in the cold on what the key issues actually are. This book is perfect for the agnostic, the atheist, and even the Christian that wants to know the logical and simple reasons that C.S. Lewis came to be a Christian. Over and over, his words made me see even the simplest concepts of religion in a completely new light. I was greatly impressed and have already read this book multiple times.
C. S. Lewis rejects the boundaries that divide Christianity's many denominations. While religious belief is not a concern for some, to many more it is an extremely serious decision, requiring deep thought and the entire energy of the mind.
In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis leads all the Christian religions to common ground. This book is in fact a defense of the beliefs common to all Christians at all times. Originally, these ideas were contained in three separate books. Prior to 1943 they were only heard as informal radio broadcasts. This is why you will see colloquialisms used and the conversational style of the writing.
When you read C. S. Lewis' work, you can hear his voice. Sometimes I forget I am reading. Like a friend with a cup of coffee in hand, he sits across from us. He then leads us up a ladder of logical thinking. He starts on the lowest step and gives us confidence to climb the next step. He guides us through an incredible thought process to a conclusion, which is perhaps so logical it becomes irrevocable truth.
If you were to fall off a real ladder, your body would simply be obeying the laws of Gravity. He brilliantly explains how there is an eternal Law of Human Nature. This is the law of how mankind "ought" to behave in order to maintain a safe and happy society where everyone plays fair. Unfortunately, we all know how our society has failed to practice this law in all aspects of life.
If you want a definition for this law it can only be "morals." A word from which many reel, as if a light was shining brightly in their eyes. To others: it is a light by which they see the path they walk through life. C. S. Lewis divides morality into three main sections: the actions, reasons behind the actions and why man was created.Read more ›