Lacking Lenses


Some time ago, while writing an essay I picked up my very old copy of CS Lewis’ “Problem of Pain”. I noticed a date on the front inside cover. It said 1985. 28 years ago. Reading Alister McGrath’s biography of Lewis on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Lewis’ death, has made me want to read some of Lewis’ books again.

The last time I picked up Lewis’ book to read for no particular reason (such as essay research material), I had barely read half a dozen chapters when my life was thrown into turmoil. I had re-read just the first few letters of Screwtape when my father died. That was over 6 years ago now, and since then I have only read parts of his books.

So I’m not so sure I can happily pick up something to read again.

Other than a prompting to read Lewis’ books, McGrath has also made me look up You Tube clips on his (McGrath’s) debates with Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. And so on Anzac Day as well as yesterday, I had the Apple TV on and was searching various clips. I chanced upon a McGrath lecture in what looked like a very old, cold and small English church. Ambience notwithstanding, relatively modern amenities such as a power-point presentation was available and a slide with a quote from Lewis often used by McGrath was projected onto a wall.

I believe in Christianity as I do in the risen sun not just because I see it but because by it I see everything else.

Or something like that. I can’t quite remember it verbatim, just the gist of it.

Maybe that explains why lately I sometimes feel I am not seeing things clearly. God, His word/Word, His people and His business – they have all been a bit remote recently. There is something about Hebrews 10:25 (or is it 24 or 26) I guess. Lewis, as McGrath pointed out, didn’t have a whole lot to say about the community of faith. His writings religious writings were about lay theology and apologetics which had to do with a personal intellect and philosophy. The collective is at best, a side mention or consequence, of that main focus.

So I guess I would not be looking at much of Lewis work anytime soon – as much as I am slowly savouring McGrath’s biography of him now.