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The author of the book: C.S. Lewis
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Language: English
Edition: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Date of issue: January 16th 2008
Format files: PDF
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Reader ratings: 5.3

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I once heard a pastor/theologian say CS Lewis was overrated. Now, I like this person and have found his work helpful. But I can't help but wonder he made this judgment based on reading very few Lewis books and knowing nothing about Lewis' life. The more I learn about Lewis, the more I am amazed by his work. Yet, if you just read Mere Christianity and The Chronicles of Narnia, maybe also Screwtape Letter, sure, he may seem over-rated.

God in the Dock is the longest Lewis book I've seen, maybe only his collected Letters are longer. There are dozens of essays in here covering a variety of topics. As any collection of essays will be, some are fantastic and a few are not. If you have read a lot of Lewis you will see ideas from his other works coming out here. I think this book, along with the essay collection Weight of Glory, are must-reads to fully understand Lewis though it also makes sense to save them till you've read the bulk of his work.

In one essay, maybe two, Lewis argues that part of the test for ordination should be translating a passage from a heavy theological book into language the common man can understand. I assume this is why some see him as overrated. His most popular books, such as Mere Christianity, are targeted at people who do not read thick and heavy theology books. He may come across a bit simplistic in those works. Don't get me wrong, I think Mere Christianity is great. My point is, Lewis is much more complex than a reading of a few of his books can show.

He may not have quoted theologians, but he was familiar with academics. I think, had he wanted to, he could have written a thick and heavy theology book. He was more than capable of the research. Instead, he wrote short books and essays and taught at university. Through that, his work has been more influential than anyone writing thick and heavy theology books in the 20th century.

I highly recommend this series of essays. There is so much here that is thoughtful and relevant. As I said, some of it is familiar: Christianity as true myth, question of how we can trust our senses if they evolved only for survival, his musings on prayer. Some things are unique, such as his talk on politics. I almost want to say until you read this, and a good biography or two, you don't know Lewis.

You should know Lewis. Read this one.


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CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.

Lewis was married to poet Joy Davidman.


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