C. S. Lewis entering the wardrobe from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in East Belfast, Northern Ireland
You have probably heard the name C.S. Lewis, the author of the Chronicles of Narnia book series and the inspiration behind the movie sequel. The Screwtape Letters and The Space Trilogy are also good fiction reads. But there is more to Lewis than his fiction.
After 20 years of atheism, Lewis returned to his Christian roots and became a great defender of the faith. He wrote Mere Christianity, Miracles and the Problem with Pain to answer the skeptics’ criticisms of Christianity. I highly recommend picking up some C.S. Lewis non-fiction – you can never have too much in your library.
You may not know that C.S. Lewis was good friends with J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In fact, Lewis says Tolkien, who taught with Lewis at Oxford, was influential in his coming to faith. According to Lewis, he converted to Christianity after a late night conversation with Tolkien and another colleague.
A movie is in the making which describes their friendship to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Lewis’ death. The film, The Lion Awakes, is due to be released in 2013 – click here to see the concept trailer.
About Corey Sharpe
Where do we get our beliefs?
Three theological perspectives have significantly shaped my Christian identity: Evangelicalism, the early Methodist tradition and liberation theology.
From my coming to faith in a Baptist church and throughout my education in a Baptist school and college, I was nurtured by convictions that emphasized a spiritual rebirth, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the centrality of the Bible. Even when I disagree with certain aspects of evangelicalism, it has deeply influenced my sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
My seminary studies spawned my interest in early Methodism, particularly its approach to spiritual formation. Its leaders were convinced that only a foundation of doctrine and discipline would lead to a meaningful transformation of the heart and mind. In other words, having the mind of Christ enables me to be more like Christ.
Life in a suburban culture obscures the increasing gap between the poor and rich, as well as the Bible’s close identification with the poor. My doctoral work in socio-cultural context exposed me to liberation theology, which helps me see redemptive history as a history of oppressed groups, written from the perspective of the powerless, about a God who is actively involved with the poor in their struggles.
I am now the pastor at Huntingtown United Methodist Church in Calvert County, Maryland. Together my wife and I are raising 4 young theologians.
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I did know about the friendship between C S Lewis and Tolkein – sounds like it will make an interesting movie.
I am a C. S. Lewis fan. Have read many of the books you refer to. He gives me hope that my kids will come to know Him, too.
My daughter read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe in public elementary school. Wonder, looking back, if any of the second layer meaning was brought out? Somehow I doubt it.
Good morning, I agree Pastor Corey with you statement in reference to C.S. Lewis non-fiction – “you can never have too much in your library.”
I found Dr. Marcus Borg’s similarities between Jesus and Buddha interesting. when he describes them as being two religious figures who most resembled each other. He makes the comment that “Jesus subversive and alternative wisdom being very much like the Buddha’s teachings about the Four Noble Truths. One way he tries to reveal this is by imagining that if Jesus and Buddha ever meet personally neither one would try to convert the other but rather they would recognize each other by their wisdom.
Pastor Corey, have you read Stephen Arterburn and David Stoops,s book titled “Seven Keys to Spiritual Renewal – Biblical insights for your Journey of Faith”? I have just started reading it and was interested in your feedback.
For me critical study of different faiths have deepened and enriched my own faith. I think once in my studies I was able to distinguish the historical Jesus from the Christ of faith a whole new inner perspective of myself and where Christ was in myself a new door opened.
Books are my life and as my father always said I would be a student till the day I die. I was one of those ‘why’ children, when one why is answered their was and is always another one just around the corner waiting for an answer.I
I would be interested in any books that you may recommend for additional reading.
Have a fantastic day and may God Bless each and everyone of us in our quest to develope and have a closer relationship with Him.
Joyce Meyers has a great saying: “Your worst day with God is better than your best day without Him.”
Ann, I have not read the Arterburn/Stoops book. My current interest has been militant atheism (Dawkins, Hitchens and Mills — a movement Christianity must engage. I am now interested in Christian responses to militant atheism. Alister McGrath is probably the best. Right now I am reading Defending Constantine by Peter Leithart. My next read will be Defending the Crusades (can this be done?).
Where do you teach?
Sorry I am at Johns Hopkins Hospital waiting for test – I will get back with you when I get home.
Peter Leithart book on Defending Constantine is a great book – I read this sometime ago.
Defending the Crusades will depend on who’s side you are reading the text from? What books do you have in mind on this subject?
My course on Extremist groups and terrorism deal with the domestic terrorist groups – such as the Christian Identity, Turner Diaries. I can send you the list of books I require my students to read if you would be interested.
I teach graduate level courses for the military, intelligence and National Security individuals working on their Master Degrees and am a mentor and advisory for two PhD students – one at Cambridge University in England and the other, oh well not important.
By for now!!!