CS Lewis: Words to Live By

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CS Lewis: Words to Live By

Apr 13, 2021, 8:44pm

This 2007 compendium of Lewis quotes was edited by Paul Ford with topics listed in alphabetic order and a thematic index at the end. It covers a wide range of Lewis' letters as well as his books, and I think it illustrates very effectively the Lewis instinct to draw his reader into his thinking, rather than casting about a series of aphorisms and proverbs.
Here's a sample on education:
The student is half afraid to meet one of the great (authors) face to face. He feels himself inadequate and thinks he will not understand him. But if he only knew, the great man just because of his greatness is much more intelligible than most modern commentators. The simplest student will be able to understand a great deal of what Plato said, but hardly anyone can understand some modern books on Platonism...

Apr 21, 2021, 2:52pm

A Lewis quote on Christianity:
Those who have always lived within the Christian fold may be too easily dispirited (by the divisions of Christendom). They are bad, but (we) don't know what it looks like from without. Seen from there...despite all the divisions, it still appears (as it truly is) an immensely formidable unity.
From God in the Dock

Edited: Jun 22, 2021, 7:26pm

Equality- (from Lewis' Present Concerns)
The demand for equality has two sources: one of them is among the noblest, the other is the basest, of human emotions. The noble source is the desire for fairness. The other source is the hatred of superiority...
There is in every person a tendency to resent the existence of what is stronger, subtler, or better than themselves (only corrigible by good training from without and persistent moral effort from within)...

Jul 2, 2021, 2:07pm

From Mere Christianity
(God's) command "Be perfect" is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command...if we let Him...

Edited: Aug 9, 2021, 5:26am

>2 eschator83: Lewis may have been half-right at the time (1944, I think), but his statement is certainly wrong now. The spread of international media has made the divisions of Christendom even more apparent from the outside, and the mainstream churches have a constant battle to distance themselves in popular perception from rabid sectarians of various kinds. To quote Lewis now looks like wishful thinking.

Aug 21, 2021, 1:42pm

I feel very sorry for you and your apparent disdain for wishful thinking. May I suggest another term, virtually synonymous, Hope. It is a Grace of God and I pray you will seek it.

Edited: Sep 5, 2021, 5:47pm

Wishful thinking is not the same as either hope or aspiration, and does not seem admirable to me.
"wishful thinking: thinking, esp. belief or expectation, that is influenced by one's wishes to the extent that relevant (consciously) known facts are (subconsciously) ignored or distorted" (Oxford English Dictionary)

"I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing."
(T. S. Eliot, for whom, I believe, C. S. Lewis had some disdain.)