By C S Lewis; Clyde S Kilby
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Additional resources for A mind awake; an anthology of C.S. Lewis
Only words, words; to be led out to battle against other words. Till We Have Faces, bk 2, ch. 4 In reading Chesterton, as in reading MacDonald, I did not know what I was letting myself in for. A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. ' God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous. Surprised by Joy, ch. 12 4. THE FREE SELF Thus, and not otherwise, the world was made. Either something or nothing must depend on individual choices. Perelandra, ch. 11 The sin, both of men and of angels, was rendered possible by the fact that God gave them free will: thus surrendering a portion of His omnipotence (it is again a deathlike or descending movement) because He saw that from a world of free creatures, even though they fell, He could work out (and this is the reascent) a deeper happiness and a fuller splendour than any world of automata would admit.
Good writing always pleases both by the excellence of its parts and the perfection of the whole. Here we have the parts, and it is hoped that they may make the reader turn, or turn again, to the whole body of Lewis's works. Because this is primarily a collection of Lewis's remarks on Christian themes it omits most of his comments, pungent as many of them are, on literature, criticism and other purely scholarly subjects. Nevertheless, it was one of the distinguishing aspects of Lewis's thought that his Christian books were marked by a profound logic ('brevity comparable to St Paul's' and argument 'distilled to the unanswerable', said the New York Times of one book of his), and his scholarly works never ignored the Christian philosophy at the base of his thought.
Though severely wounded on the western front in World War I, he made light of his military service. Believing the modern world to be quite literally in a hellish tailspin, he was nevertheless a man of unceasing personal cheerfulness. A man of massive intellect, he was at the same time a true mystic in the sense of believing absolutely in God. Actually Lewis is paradoxical on a small view, not much so on a large. The world is so little used to seeing a believer that it is easy to see him as an oddity.