Two Score and Ten Years Ago #50Years

Today the web is abuzz with articles about a man who died fifty years ago today. His life had a tremendous impact on society and, personally, it has touched me in a number of ways. In fact, my first published article, in the early 1990s, was in my hometown newspaper and in it I quoted one of this man’s most famous sayings:

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

Excerpt From: C. S. Lewis. “Mere Christianity.” iBooks.

Yes, Clive Staples Lewis. My story with his writings is long and varied. In brief, when I first came to faith I avoided the Chronicles of Narnia because it was that dreaded “fantasy writing” I associated with my earlier “heathen years.” Thankfully, after coming to faith, I attended a good undergraduate school and found out, wonder of wonders, that Lewis is a Christian and, in fact, the same Lewis who had written Mere Christianity. (My daughter reminds me to use the present tense since I’ve often told her our God is a God of the living, not the dead. So, I try to refer to those gone on before us in the present tense.) For some reason, I had not made the real connect between the CS Lewis who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia and the CS Lewis who wrote Mere Christianity. Weird, eh?

Since those days, I have come back to reading fantasy of all stripes and have enjoy it immensely. The writers don’t have to be Christian and, in fact, I read many who are not people of faith at all. I realize many of these writers are speaking about the journey of faith even when they don’t realize it. (Though I suspect more realize it than are willing to admit it.)

Of course, I attribute this return to reading fantasy to CS Lewis and even though some find his Narnia books a bit childish this is what I enjoy about them the most! It’s a time where I can return to the beauty of childhood where animals talk, there is mystery in the world which cannot always be answered, Father Christmas is roaming about, and there is a Great Lion who will protect, teach, and guide us as we journey with Him through strange and interesting lands.

So, on this day, I am remembering a great writer and a great man. Someone who has, in my opinion, had a greater impact on people of faith in the 20th century than most any other writer. Most of all, though, I am reminded of the above quote which stuck in the heart of a young wannabe preacher over twenty years ago and still speaks to me today.

God’s Best Always and in All Ways,


This entry was posted in authors, Christianity, church, CS Lewis, faith, Fantasy, geek, Ministry, nerd, preacher, reading, religion, Science Fiction, spirituality, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

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