This is the secondand final podcast on the book The Four Loves by C S Lewis. Lewis organized his book around the four types of human love, using the Greek words for them. They are
Storge – affection
Philia – Friendship
Eros – the love of other, which is distinct from sexuality
Agape – Charity,the love of God.
In this podcast we cover the last 3 types, friendship, eros, and the love of God. Here we must note two things to avoid misunderstandings. First, Eros does not mean mere sensuality or sexuality, a part of our nature that we share with the animal kingdom. Eros is the intense, almost jealous love for another person. Second the love of God can be interpreted in two ways; the giving love of God which flows to us, and our devotion for God that God’s love calls forth in response. Lewis discusses both variations and we cover them in the podcast.
Again, as before, Lewis describes each type of love and suggests how they mirror some aspect of the divine love, and how the unaided human love can go wrong.
This is the first podcast on The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis.In this short but thoughtful work Jack analyzes the four types of love that can exist between persons. He identifies them by their Greek names as follows:
Storge – affection
Philia – Friendship
Eros – the love for a particular other (distinct from sexuality)
Agape – the love of God
In addition, he includes a description of both our needs and pleasures, and discussions of the love of nature and the love of country.
In general, his approach is to identify what is good about our loves as well as what can go bad. No one love is better than another, and all of them need to be controlled by the Love of God to assume their proper in our hearts.
This podcast covers the material on our needs and pleasures, the loves of nature and of our country, and a review of the first type of love, Storge (affection).
This show covers God in the Dock, a collection of essays and letters by C.. S. Lewis. The title (God in the Dock) is taken from one of the essays and refers to the place where the defendant stands in the English court system. The essays cover a wide range of topics and show the scope of Jack’s work.
There are essays on theological topics, such as miracles, essays on ethics and essays on what the editor calls “semi-theological topics”. For example, the essay God in the Dock describes the difficulties that Lewis had (and the we still have) in presenting the Good News of the Christian religion to an audience of unbelievers. There are also interviews as well as some letters that Lewis wrote in response to questions and criticisms of his writings. All of them are very good, and you are sure to find several essays that appeal especially to you.
Since there is no theme or development in the book, we cover three of the essays in order to give you a sample of what they are like and what subjects they cover. We cover “God in the Dock”, as well as “Miracles” and “Work and Prayer”. You are sure to find others that appeal to you as you read the book.
This is the final podcast in our three-part series on C S Lewis’ Mere Christianity. It covers the last Section of the book, Book IV, which focuses on the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and how it relates to salvation. Jack has no problem getting into theology. While he agrees that the experience of God is our primary goal, he points out that theological doctrines (like the Trinity) can function as maps or guides to this goal.
Salvation can be thought of in two ways. First, as a change in status whereby we go from being sinners and guilty before God to being forgiven and guilt-free. Second, as a process whereby our self-centered nature is replaced by God’s nature, that is, we are made fit creatures for Heaven. Jack emphasizes this second approach in this part of Mere Christianity, although he would most certainly agree that the other approach is also true. He discusses the nature of a super-personal God, a God that remains one and yet contains three personalities, and how we can actually participate in the life of this God, if we will it. Lewis also points out that this does really costs us ourselves as we currently are but results in our real selves as God intended us to be.
Jack also adds a helpful chapter on God’s relationship to time. (Essentially, how we get into difficulties by thinking of God as inside time as we are). However, we did not have time to cover it in this podcast
This is the second podcast in a three-part series on one of C S Lewis’ most important books, Mere Christianity. In this section we cover Christian morality, how Christians ought to behave. (Of course this may be different from how they actually behave). Jack (C S Lewis was known as Jack) argued for the truth of Christianity in the previous sections, and now he assumes that Christianity is true and asks the question what implications that has for us.
Jack has organized this section as follows. First he defines the scope of morality or Christian behavior, and illustrates its three parts by the use of an image of ships in convoy. Next he looks at four principles or virtues that almost all people everywhere recognize as valid: They are
Prudence = common sense
Temperance = moderation in all our pleasures
Justice = honesty and fairness
Fortitude = courage
This done, Lewis addresses some controversial topics.
Sex and marriage
Politics and morality
Christianity’s relationship to psychoanalysis
Forgiving our enemies
Next, we look at the sin of Pride and the virtue of Humility, and finally Jack reviews the virtues of faith, hope and charity.
Although this is intended for a Christian audience, it can be read with profit by folks from a variety of faith backgrounds, including those who have no faith at all.
This show can only give an overview of these topics, and I strongly recommend that you read the book yourself to get the complete picture.
This is the first podcast in a series of three on Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. This book is probably Jack’s most popular non-fiction work and it has been an important milestone in many people’s lives, including my own. It developed from a series of short talks that Jack gave on the BBC during WW II and is orientated towards a popular rather than academic audience. In it he describes the essence of Christian belief and why Jack thinks that Christianity is true.
The book is divided into four sections as follows
(1) Right and Wrong as a clue to the meaning on the universe
(2) What Christians Believe
(3) Christian Behavior
(4) Beyond Personality
We will cover the first two sections in this podcast. As always, I recommend reading the book to get the full force of Jack’s arguments.
In this podcast we attempt an almost impossible task – listing the “essential” books that you should read to get a comprehensive view of C S Lewis and his writings. This list is – of course – my opinion only, and others are welcome to put forth their own. When you have an author who has written over 60 books plus hundreds of essays and letters, there is such a wide field for disagreement.
I decided to restrict myself to three books of fiction, three of non-fiction, and three about C S Lewis or his writings, making a total of nine entries. I have tried to give a short description of each book and why I think it belongs in the list, as well as comments on other books that other C S Lewis fans may think should replace my choices. Emails and comments are always welcome, of course.
Here is my recommended essential C S Lewis reading list
This is the third and last podcast on The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis. The first podcasts covered whether there is anything like real external values or whether our values are based om only our subjective feelings. The second podcast review Jack’s answer that there is a universal Moral Law recognized by most people at most times in history, and his evidence for that claim. This part of the book (and this podcast) now looks to the future. It imagines what might happen if we proceed down the path of making morality and ethics entirely subjective in a world where the power of the state seems to be increasing every day. In addition, our ability to manipulate people via education and propaganda is also growing, leading to a bleak future. Jack envisions a day when a select few social planners decide to give their students the conscience or moral guide set by the planners. In this new day the vast majority of people will be manufactured, in an essential sense, and could be called post-human. They of course are not free – indeed the question has almost no meaning for them, for they respond as they have been condition. Lewis points out that even the planners are not really free, for although they have abandoned the Moral Law and conscience, they are in reality slaves to their emotional impulses.
However, Lewis closes this book with a ray of hope. He longs for a society where science not only measures the quality of things but also understands the quality or value of the things they study.
This is the second of 3 podcasts about TheAbolition of Man by C. S. Lewis. In the last podcast we covered the trend in education towards basing ethical values on reason and feeling, and the denial that external events have any real value aside from the feelings they cause in the observer.
In this podcast we cover the existence and applicability of an external universal moral law, as discussed in the second chapter in the Abolition of Man. Lewis names this moral code the Tao, using a concept from Chinese philosophy, partly because he wishes to emphasize that this moral code is recognized by most people in most cultures and ages. This idea that there is one rule of behavior for everyone is difficult for us to accept, having been educated to almost worship diversity as the highest good.
Jack sets himself two tasks in this chapter. First, to show that the Tao exists and is universal, and second, to show that you cannot develop any basis for ethics unless you accept the Tao. (He succeeds in accomplishing both tasks rather well). Jack does not identify the Tao only with Christian beliefs – he emphasizes the universal code that underlies all religions.
This is the first of 3 podcasts about TheAbolition of Man by C. S. Lewis. Although it’s more than 60 years old, this book is surprisingly relevant to some of the major problems we see in our culture today. It tells us why we see so many people in all walks of life who seem to lack a sense of right and wrong, that is, they lack a “moral compass”. Lewis points out that this began when we abandoned the classic concept of an external, universal moral code and incorporated relativistic assumptions in our educational practices. Jack maintains that this produces “men without chests”, people who have a head (the ability to reason) and a belly (the ability to feel), but nothing that connects them (the chest). They have no way of determining when to act contrary to their feelings.
This is one of the shortest and most philosophical of Jack’s books. It won’t read quickly like a novel but is well worth putting in the time to consider what he says.