His death went unnoticed, as he died the same day John F. Kennedy was shot. His books are some of the most widely read in English literature, with over 200 million sold worldwide. Nearly 50 years after his death, his books continue to sell a million copies a year. His name was Clive Staples Lewis, born Nov. 29, 1898.
At age 19, he fought in the trenches in World War I. An agnostic, C.S. Lewis became a professor at Oxford and Cambridge. C.S. Lewis credited his Catholic friend and fellow writer, J.R.R. Tolkien, author of “Lord of the Rings,” as being instrumental in his coming to faith in Christ.
Among C.S. Lewis’ most notable books are:
- “The Screwtape Letters”
- “The Problem of Pain”
- “Abolition of Man”
- “The Chronicles of Narnia,” which includes “The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe”
C.S. Lewis stated in the Oxford Socratic Club (1944. pp. 154-165): “If … I swallow the scientific cosmology as a whole, then not only can I not fit in Christianity, but I cannot even fit science. If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on bio-chemistry, and bio-chemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.”
In “Mere Christianity,” 1952, C.S. Lewis wrote: “All that we call human history – money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery – is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”
C.S. Lewis expressed in “Mere Christianity,” 1952: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell.
“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
In “The Screwtape Letters,” 1942, C.S. Lewis wrote: “The safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
C.S. Lewis wrote:
- “God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
- “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’”
- “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.”
C.S. Lewis wrote: “Christianity … is a religion you could not have guessed. … It is not the sort of thing anyone would have made up. It has just that queer twist about it that real things have.”
C.S. Lewis wrote in “Mere Christianity,” 1952: “The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a fetus in a woman’s body.”
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