Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful for C. S. Lewis 2011

Hans Wild photo from Life Magazine

After leaving a Christian legacy that is stronger today than during his lifetime, C. S. Lewis passed into the presence of his Lord forty-eight years ago today.

Lewis's passing was little noticed at the time because he died the same day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Here is a quotation from a favorite Lewis book, Mere Christianity (from The Case for Christianity).
"Another possible objection is this.  Why is God landing in this enemy-occupied world in disguise and starting a sort of secret society to undermine the devil?  Why is He not landing in force, invading it?  Is is that He is not strong enough?  Well, Christians think He is going to land in force; we do not know when.  But we can guess why He is delaying.  He wants to give us the chance of joining His side freely.  I do not suppose you and I would have thought much of a Frenchman who waited till the Allies were marching into Germany and then announced he was on our side.  God will invade.  But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realise what it will be like when He does.  When that happens, it is the end of the world.  When the author walks on to the stage the play is over.  God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else–something it never entered your head to conceive–comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left?  For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature.  It will be too late then to choose your side.  There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up.  That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not.  Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side.  God is holding back to give us that chance.  It will not last for ever.  We must take it or leave it."
Lewis housekeeper Mollie Miller's nephews playing at the Lewis house in 1973


James Nicholas said...

C.S. Lewis is a great hero of mine. I loved 'The Case for Christianity.' I remember rainy days in the mid-1990's reading this book at a local coffee shop. England during the dark days of WWII, and there was C. S. Lewis, Jack to his friends, giving a series of talks on the radio in 1942. He had been asked by the British government to give those talks in an effort to help encourage the people. They certainly encouraged me. In those days I read so much Lewis he almost felt like a friend. Thanks for sharing this.

T. D. said...

I know what you mean about Lewis feeling like a friend. He's the kind of author who talks to you not at you.

A friend and I visited his house just after Warren Lewis's death. That's where the 1973 photo comes from.