Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Joyful Christian

My latest C.S. Lewis read was The Joyful Christian. This book was first published in 1977, some 14 years after the author's death, and includes a selection of 127 "readings" covering the gamut of topics related to Christianity. The various selections ranged in length from a paragraph to several pages. Even though I had already read essentially all of these entries in their original works, this book was still a treat to work through and wrestle with. For those who have read any of Lewis' apologetics works, you will appreciate how in one breath his writing can be so open, so approachable, and so relatable. However, in the next breath the writing can be so obtuse and so impenetrable. Thus second and third passes through his works are entirely appropriate to catch another glimpse of truth and beauty, or to give a piece another go as it were.

In this book, you will note multiple selections from Lewis' great work, including The Four Loves, Letters to Malcolm, The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, and The Problem of Pain. Topics include Lewis's thoughts on outer space, other religions, the case for monotheism, joy, the nature of God, miracles, prayer, Christian virtues, morality, death, love, heaven, and hell. The different readings included are organized so as to have a natural flow, but each is self-contained. Each shows the depth and wonder of Lewis' thoughts. This book was just a great tour through the mind of one of the great writers of the last century. Sometimes in our modern, skeptical world, it is easy to lose sight of who our God is and what he has done for us. Spending time in a book like this can serve to restore and sharpen your faith.