This is the second podcast on “The Screwtape Letters”, one of the most popular books and most unusual books that C S Lewis wrote. To review, it is a set of letters from one senior devil (Screwtape) to a junior devil (Wormwood). Wormwood has just graduated from Hell’s Tempters College and posted to tempt a man on earth. Screwtape, a successful tempter, advises Wormwood on how to proceed. Since the book is written from a devil’s point of view, it is a work of inversion or reversal in that what is black to us is white to them, and what is bad is good.
In this podcast we take a look at three of the major subjects that Lewis covers, temptation, church, and prayer. More show notes for this podcast can be found by clicking here.
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.
Today’s book is The World’s Last Night and Other Essays.It is a collection of seven essays from later in C S Lewis’ life, after he was 50 years of age. They were written during a of some significant changes in his life. For one thing, he switched universities, going from Oxford to Cambridge. For another, Lewis met and married his wife, Joy Davidman Gresham. (You might remember this story from the excellent move Shadowlands).These essays give us a good picture of Jack’s thoughts and beliefs at this time and provide us with some good material for our own reflection and learning.
We cover three of the essays in this podcast and leave the rest for your reading pleasure.
The first piece we cover is entitled “The Efficacy of Prayer” and reviews what it means to ask “Does prayer work”.
The second essay in the podcast is “Screwtape Proposes a Toast” and is a biting commentary on the modern educational system and its unfortunate results in society. It is presented as a speech a senior devil in Hell gives to graduates of Hell’s Tempters College and is well worth reading.
The final selection is “The World’s Last Night” and it addresses the idea of the Second Return of Christ, the sudden end of the world when God steps onto the stage. It is considered one of Jack’s best essays and needs careful reading and refelction.
This post covers The Silver Chair, the fourth book (using the order that they were originally published)in the Chronicles of Narnia. At the start we cover some news about an exhibition on the Chronicles of Narnia that may be coming to a city near you soon. In addition, we take a look at what was going on in Jack’s life while he wrote these tales and what he thought about some modern educational trends.
The Silver Chair features Eustace from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as one hero and introduces us to two new ones, Jill Pole (Eustace’s fellow student at Experiment House) and Puddleglum the Marshwriggle, one of the most liked Narnia characters created by Lewis.
The tale is a “quest” narrative in that Eustace and Jill are given a task by Aslan and must travel to many strange lands to accomplish it. Puddleglum acts as their guide. Aslan gives Jill four signs to guide them in their mission, and the book’s question is “Will the heroes follow the signs or not?”. The book also raises questions about devotion and obedience to God and whether God and Heaven are just fantasies, just the wish-fulfillment of dreams, or are they something that really exist.