C.S. Lewis on Poetry

reflections on the psalmsFor my birthday, I was given a gift card to Barnes & Noble. It’s great to know the people in my life know me so well – coffee, beer and books. I’m pretty easy to please!

So I stopped in to Barnes & Noble over the weekend to browse the shelves to see if I might find a candidate worth purchasing with my gift card. I did find something. My choice fell to C.S. Lewis’s Reflections on the Psalms. I decided on it because a) I’m teaching Old Testament Survey this semester, and we’ll take a whole 3-hour session to cover biblical poetry and the Psalms and b) knowing I teach at a creative-hub, such as Visible Music College, it seems appropriate to share C.S. Lewis’s thoughts on the Psalms. Here was a creative and imaginative giant. More a philosopher and story-writer, over and above being a poet. Yet still, I believe he’ll have some beautiful thoughts to offer on the Psalms.

Here’s something I came across in the Intro chapter on God’s desire to speak, or incarnate, through poetry: Continue reading

The Great C.S. Lewis on Desire

weight-of-gloryMany might have read or heard this quote before from The Weight of Glory, but below is a stirring quote by the great C.S. Lewis on desire.

Perhaps every desire that does arise within, even every wicked desire, is simply calling us towards he who is The Desire. Maybe we should not immediately suppress, push away these desires, but rather ask why such desires truly exist.

Listen to Lewis: Continue reading

That Hideous Strength – Book Review

A few weeks back, I finished C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy, the last book being That Hideous Strength. Here is my review of the first novel, Out of the Silent Planet, and my review of the second, Perelandra.

To be honest, the Space Trilogy, has not been my favourite of fiction books. I love fiction books a lot. Specifically, I really enjoy both suspense and fantasy fiction. But Lewis’s Space Trilogy has felt more science fiction than fantasy fiction. And I think that is why I could not get into them as much as The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings or The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.

Still, I am glad I read these three books from one of the greatest Christian fiction writers of all time. No doubt the three books left some impact on me, as you can see from all three reviews.

But I think I actually enjoyed the first two in the series more than the last. For me, it took quite too long for the plot to develop in the third. Now, once it got going, I was more and more interested in seeing how things played out in the battle between the evil, scientific institute of N.I.C.E. and that of the good guys, headed up by none other than Dr. Ransom. But it took a bit too long to draw me in and, thus, made it hard to keep my attention.

I think one main thing I appreciated from the book was the reminder of how evil is much more subtle than we think. The evil forces represented through the N.I.C.E. group was not easily spotted by the normal person. Now, for the main character, Mark, who was not awakened to any spiritual reality, you would expect such. And you would hope that those of us who are new creations would be much more discerning of situations (though not legalistically labelling everything as evil). But we can easily miss such at times. This is probably because ‘even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light’ (2 Cor 11:14). So that underlying theme in the book stands as a good reminder.

And I did like how Lewis drew in the legendary characters of Merlin and the Pendragon name (the surname/last name of King Arthur). Probably because my wife and I enjoy watching the BBC series, Merlin, on Saturday evenings.

Though this book in particular, and the trilogy as a whole, was not my favourite, as I said, I am still glad I took the time to read the books. And, you know, I wouldn’t be surprised if I picked this series up again one day in the future – to enjoy and to learn.

Two Upcoming Book Reviews

I have two book reviews to post over the next couple of weeks.

The first is of Andrew Perriman’s newest title, The Future of the People of God: Reading Romans Before and After Western Christendom. Whereas the new Pauline perspective is a challenge to much of western, reformed understandings of certain theological terminology in Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, Perriman takes the challenge even further, looking to firmly situate the book in its historical-narrative context. I look forward to sharing some thoughts……and questions. You can visit his personal blog here.

After taking a little longer to read than expected, I am just about finished with the third and final book of C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, That Hideous Strength. You can read my reviews of the first two books: Out of the Silent Plant review and Perelandra review.

Because I am away on holiday this week, I will look to post the review of Perriman’s book next week. Then, the following week, I should post a review on Lewis’ book.