Many are familiar with C.S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia” whether the books or the not horrible movie remakes in the last 10 years.
But Lewis was so much more than just a children’s author. He was an incredibly sharp mind and Christian apologist and one of my all time favorite authors.
He was also very good friends with J.R.R. Tolkien who won the “most initials in their name” contest over Lewis by one. They would often share and critique each other’s work over a pint and created a literary group called “The Inklings”. In fact, the relationship was so close between the two that Tolkien’s character Treebeard was based on Lewis’s deep voice and the giant steps he took as he would walk up and down the stairs while giving lectures to students.
50 years ago, Lewis quietly passed away but his death was overshadowed by the assassination of JFK, who apparently also wanted in on the initials as name game.
In honor of his passing, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite Lewis quotes.
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…”” – The Four Loves
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” – The Four Loves
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?” – Mere Christianity
“Make your choice, adventurous Stranger,
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had.” – The Magician’s Nephew
If you’re new to Lewis and are interested in reading more of his work, I’d recommend:
Til We Have Faces
The Great Divorce
The Problem of Pain
or to learn more about his life, check out Alister McGrath’s new bio on Lewis Lewis – A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet