Lessons from C. S. Lewis for Today (His Birthday)
Today marks the 113th year since C. S. Lewis was born, and his writing is still making a major impact on the lives of people throughout the world. PreChristians and Christians alike read and are influenced by his work while much of today’s Christian writing and media does not engage the world. Why is that?
The first reason is that C. S. Lewis wrote for the world. He was not writing for the already convinced. He was not writing for Christian bookstores and Christian critics. He was writing to inspire the imagination of people who did not agree with him. He wanted to inform people who were skeptical. Too often today, our communication is aimed at the convinced. When that is the case, we take too much for granted, we assume too much prior knowledge from our audience, and we become combative rather than inspirational.
Most of Lewis’ work first appeared in public media. He had to connect to an unbelieving audience or the paper would stop asking him for his columns and radio stations would stop giving him air time. Captive audiences inspire laziness and inhibit creative and persuasive thought. Good outreach, inspiration, teaching, and communication is most likely to happen when we are competing to be heard along with all the other voices in the world. Then we need to push our creativity, our ability to find common ground with others, and our ability to relate to felt needs and interests. C. S. Lewis became a master of this. The power of his writing comes in part to the fact that he wasn’t singing for the choir…
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For the first time ever, these seven essential volumes by C. S. Lewis are available in a single edition. This remarkable book presents the classic works Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, A Grief Observed, and Lewis’s prophetic examination of universal values, The Abolition of Man. Beautiful and timeless, this is a vital collection by one of the greatest literary figures of the twentieth century.
Lewis reached a vast audience during his lifetime, and books such as Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters continue to be regarded as among the best spiritual writing of all time. With his uncanny grasp of human nature, Lewis offers a refreshing antidote to the modern world’s consumerism and moral relativism. This new edition of his most celebrated books highlights Lewis’s compassion for humanity and his relevance for the twenty-first century.
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