Monday, November 18, 2013

C. S. Lewis at the Threshold

OK, this will offend some of you, but please understand, as we approach the 50th anniversary of the death of C. S. Lewis, that while he was the first writer who opened the door of the Faith to me, and not to begrudge him in any way, still something needs to be said.  I wrote to a friend of mine, whose admiration for Lewis knows no bounds ...

I'm sorry I get a bit defensive about my writers.  Lewis is certainly very gifted, and as I say in my video interview from the conference, makes the best use of analogy of any apologist in modern times.
But he stopped short.  For understandable reasons, his Ulster background perhaps foremost among them, his squeamishness, his too precious and peculiar sensitivity.  He stopped at the doorway gazing in.  Ahead of him passed giants - there are things in Chesterton, Belloc, Tolkien and O'Connor that tear into the very fabric of existence.  Lewis catches a glimpse and plays around and gives us a share - but farther, deeper, richer go the others.

1 comment:

Kevin O'Brien said...

Timothy Jones, from Facebook, comments ...

***

For many, Lewis is accessible where Chesterton seems intractable. Chesterton is NOT intractable, of course. He's rich, complex and rewarding, like a great wine. But there's also a place in the world for White Zinfandel in a box. I don't think I could have grasped GKC in my early 20s, when I started reading Lewis, and his writing was probably good preparation for GKC.

He does have some very worthwhile original thoughts. Screwtape *really is* worthy of its popularity.