Thursday, May 24, 2012

Clive Staples Lewis

I enjoy reading all sorts of things like fictional thrillers, historical fiction, historical fact, theology, biblical studies, and I have even read classic literature and Shakespeare.  I am not saying this to brag but to set a base.  I have read more than some but quite a bit less than most.  But it should seem that by the time I turned 30, earned a BA in Religion and an MDiv in Religion, spent 10 years in the local church setting, and now in a denomination setting that I should have read at least sections of most of the important theological and biblical studies that have shaped our understanding of scripture, church, and theology.

It turns out I am still not even close to scratching the surface.  There are thousands of great authors and historical figures that have shaped our understanding of present day theology, church life, and biblical studies. Some are obscure figures from the past that only most PhD's are aware of and then there are others that seem to show up time and again.  For the past 100 years or so people like Karl Barth, Immanuel Kant, Friederich Schleiermacher, Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Hans Kung, Feminist Theology, Liberation Theology, Robert Alter, Walter Brueggemann, NT Wright, Eugene Peterson, and hundreds others have shaped how we think today.  And if they have not shaped how we think they certainly have shaped the conversations we have.

I have read many of these authors.  Some of them I have read quite a bit of.  But there is a name missing from this list.  One I have completely missed.  One that is dear to the heart of many for his ability to take complex theological issues and turn them in conversational illustrations. No not Jesus' Parables, though those are quite good.  I am talking about Clive Staples Lewis.  Better known to most as C.S. Lewis.  For more information regarding the life of Lewis see this list of websites:
http://cslewis.com/about.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._S._Lewis
http://www.cslewis.org/

I have somehow missed his works of theology.  I have read the Narnia adventures but I am sure many have as well.  I recently realized my short coming when a young adult group in a church in Lincoln decided to read his "Screwtape Letters."   I like that they are reading books and having conversation, but I quickly realized if I was in that room with them, I would have nothing to say or contribute because I have not read it.  So I have decided to read the so called, "C.S. Lewis Signature Classics" this summer.

  1. Mere Christianity
  2. Screwtape Letters
  3. The Problem with Pain
  4. The Great Divorce
  5. A Grief Observed
  6. Miracles
The goal is to be aware of C.S. Lewis's thoughts but also to again stretch my spiritual imagination.  I will be writing about my readings often this summer.  Feel free to join the conversation by commenting on this blog.  You can get copies of these books at just about any book store or online in paperback or in digital format.  I look forward to sharing what I discover and hope you will join me as well.


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