Tuesday, November 29, 2011

#282


I was sitting at my computer, organizing upcoming posts while listening to the radio, when The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor aired.  I was barely paying attention when he mentioned a young man becoming an atheist when he was 14 and then coming back to the Christian faith in his 30's.  I listened in and discovered Garrison was talking about C.S. Lewis.  It seems today is his birthday.  Who knew?  I always commemorate his death, which is easy to remember being the same day JFK was assassinated, but I do not believe I have ever celebrated his birthday with a post.  Since NPR has commemorated the day I will follow suite.

Clive Staples Lewis (Jack) born in Belfast today in 1898.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

#281

Pulpit Lewis used when delivering "The Weight of Glory" on 8 June 1941.

Our next meeting will be Monday, November 28th - Meeting at the C. Burr Artz Library in the Trust Conference Room at 6:15pm.  Our topic for discussion will be the sermon "The Weight of Glory". 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

#279



I recently listened to an audio lecture series from The Teaching Company titled Books That Have Made History: Books That Can Change Your Life, taught by J. Rufus Fears (I borrowed my copy from the Frederick County Public Library).  A few years back we read and discussed "On the Reading of Old Books" - an essay found in God in the Dock and originally found as the introduction to Sister Penelope's translation of St. Anthanasius' On the Incarnation.  Professor Fears hits on some of the points Lewis did in his essay.  Get a hold of this series and take a ride through literary history in 36 lectures from Shakespeare to Solzhenitsyn, Beowulf to Bonhoeffer, and so on...

A quote from Lewis's essay:

"Every age has its own outlook.  It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes.  We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period.  And that means the old books...The only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can only be done by reading old books."

Friday, November 11, 2011

#278



On January 11, 2011 - post #184, I began a year long track through C.S. Lewis and his broadcast talks.  Posting a quote from the chapter in Mere Christianity that was broadcast over the airwaves with the BBC in four series in 1941, 1942, and 1944.  I used Justin Phillips' wonderful book C.S. Lewis In a Time of War: The World War II Broadcasts That Riveted a Nation and Became the Classic Mere Christianity (to provide you with the full title) as my guide.  This book was first published in the UK under the title C.S. Lewis at the BBC: Messages of Hope in the Darkness of War (see cover below).  I use this post to say I am finished and to again encourage you to read Phillips' book.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

#277



On November 8, 1942, C.S. Lewis gave his 8th and final talk in this series.  This would become in Mere Christianity Book 3/Chapter 12 'Faith'.

A Quote, a quote I have posted on this blog before (2007 - #13), but one well worth ending this year long journey through Mere Christianity with:


I think all Christians would agree with me if I said that though Christianity seems at the first to be all about morality, all about duties and rules and guilt and virtue, yet it leads you on, out of all that, into something beyond. One has a glimpse of a country where they do not talk of those things, except perhaps as a joke. Every one there is filled full with what we should call goodness as a mirror is filled with light. But they do not call it goodness. They do not call it anything. They are not thinking of it. They are too busy looking at the source from which it comes. But this is near the stage where the road passes over the rim of our world. No one’s eyes can see very far beyond that: lots of people’s eyes can see further than mine.

Friday, November 4, 2011

#276


The band Sixpence None the Richer found their name from the previous quote in Mere Christianity.  See this link for, a now vintage clip (I remember the night it happened - I am getting old!), with Leigh Nash - lead singer, explaining to Dave where the band's name comes from: 
Sixpence None the Richer on David Letterman

It would seem Dave knows Mere Christianity, his thought about being reminded of truth is similar to Lewis's:
"As Dr Johnson said, 'People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.'  The real job of every moral teacher is to keep on bringing us back, time after time, to the old simple principles which we are all so anxious not to see..." - Book 3/Chapter 3, first paragraph

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

#275

On November 1, 1942, Lewis gave his seventh talk for this series with the BBC.  In Mere Christianity this would become Book 3/Chapter 11 'Faith':

Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God.  If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already.  So that when we talk of a man doing anything for God or giving anything to God, I will tell you what it is really like.  It is like a small child going to its father and saying, ‘Daddy, give me sixpence to buy you a birthday present.’  Of course, the father does, and he is pleased with the child’s present.  It is all very nice and proper, but only an idiot would think that the father is sixpence to the good on the transaction.  When a man has made these two discoveries* God can really get to work.  It is after this that real life begins.  The man is awake now.

* The first discovery Lewis mentions earlier in the chapter is summed up with this quote: “God has been waiting for the moment at which you discover that there is no question of earning a pass mark in this exam.  Or putting Him in your debt.”

#1045

The Christmas season, for me, usually means my annual trip to the movie theater.  I average about one trip a year and as far as I can r...