This podcast covers a delightful and informative little book, C. S. Lewis Letters to Children. As Lewis became a well-known author, he started receiving letters from all kinds of people, and he felt obligated to reply. When he began publishing the Chronicles of Narnia, he began to receive and to reply to letters from children. This book is a collection of some of these letters. In addition, Jack (Lewis went by the nickname Jack) was a godfather to Sarah, the daughter of one of his pupils, and some letters from Lewis to Sarah are included in this collection. The letters in letters in the book begin in 1944 and end the day before Jack’s death in 1963. They were never intended to be published, so they show Lewis as he really was, with “his guard down”, as it were. They provide insights into his living conditions as well as into the Christian life, and are quite often amusing. This is a short book but well worth your time reading.
The show notes for this podcast are found at this link – Show Notes
This comes via a suggestion from Tim Parish, one of the folks who subscribe to our podcasts.
I am a regular listener of the podcast and had some encouraging news to pass on(in case you do not already know about this).
Heath McNease is a young Christian songwriter and performer that has an appreciation for CS Lewis, and has just released an album of songs based on various Lewis works. It is really cool to see a new generation taking up the banner…
In this podcast we look at The Narnia Code, a very interesting book and companion DVD that describes the overall plan or logic that C. S. Lewis may have used when he wrote “The Chronicles of Narnia“. I used the word “may” because not all Lewis scholars are in agreement with the findings of this book. However, it’s theory seems to solve at least two literary problems in the Chronicles and has considerable evidence to back it up. In addition, studying the book and applying its principles to the stories in the Chronicles will significantly increase your enjoyment and understanding of the depth of Jack’s work.
Briefly stated, Michael Ward, the author of The Narnia Code (and also the larger volume Planet Narnia) believes that he has found the plan to Chronicles, a plan that was deliberately hidden by Jack as a prank or practical joke. Lewis was a medieval scholar for all of his life, and he knew and appreciated the medieval view of the cosmos. In this view, there are seven heavenly bodies that circle around the earth, and each body has certain characteristics or spirits that influence life on earth. Each of the books in the Chronicles were written to illustrate the influences or spirits of one of the medieval heavenly bodies. They are as follows:
Jupiter, the King of the planets – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Mars, the bringer of war – Prince Caspian
The Sun, the source of light – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Venus – The Magician’s Nephew
Mercury, the messenger – The Horse and His Boy
The Moon – The Silver Chair
Saturn – The Last Battle
More information can be found at the Narnia Code website
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.
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 second of two podcasts on The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis. This book is the last in the Chronicles of Narnia and tells of the end of Narnia and the discovery of the real Narnia in Aslan’s country, Heaven. From a theological point of view we cover the Last Judgment, Salvation, and Heaven as described by Lewis in this book. The tale contains some of his most beautiful writing as well as some of his best insights about human nature and God. Ultimately it is a message of renewal and hope. Nevertheless, we have to concede that it is unflinching in its insistence that all countries except God’s own must come to an end someday, and that everyone must undergo the experience of death.
The show looks at the forebodings of the end, the examples of treachery and betrayal in the tale, how beings are chosen to enter Heaven, and the salvation of a noble, God-seeking heathen who does not know Aslan.
This is the first of a two-part series covering the final book in the Chronicles of Narnia, The Last Battle.
In this book Lewis brings the story of Narnia to a fitting end. It is both a story of treachery, bravery, and battle, and a book that deals with the themes of good, evil, the meaning of language, and the final judgment and afterlife. Lewis answers the questions of what a Narnian heaven will be like and how Narnians and persons from our world enter that heaven.
All of the main characters from the previous books appear, except for one person. We also meet the last King of Narnia, a talking Ape, a talking Donkey and a band of renegade dwarfs.
This podcast focuses on the relationship between Good and God as well as looking at four different paths that lead to evil
In honor of July 4th, this show starts with a review of C. S. Lewis’ service in the British Army, including combat in the trenches in France in WW I. It covers some of the consequences of that experience, both good and bad, and how they affected his life. Next, we take a look at Prince Caspian, the second book in theChronicles of Narnia. We’ll review how the themes of Desire and Faith play out in this book by looking at some of the important characters that we meet.