C.S. Lewis was a famous twentieth century author of over thirty books. Lewis is often referred to as one of the most influential writers of his day. Some of his works include, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Great Divorce, Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters and Out of the Silent Planet. Lewis’ work is often admired by Evangelicals, yet his views and his journey to the Christian faith are often criticized by traditional Christians who deem his work as having too broad a view of Christianity.
An article in Christianity Today, published in Dec 2005 and entitled “C.S. Lewis Superstar” described Lewis as: “anything but a classic evangelical, socially or theologically. He smoked cigarettes and a pipe, and he regularly visited pubs to drink beer with friends. Though he shared basic Christian beliefs with evangelicals, he didn’t subscribe to biblical inerrancy or penal substitution. He believed in purgatory and baptismal regeneration.”
C.S. Lewis’ journey to the Christian faith wasn’t the typical path. In fact, to many it’s disturbing; as Lewis abandoned his childhood faith to become an atheist, after his mother’s death from cancer as a child had left him disillusioned. The pain and the anger he had toward God for not healing his mother, led him on a road to destruction. Yet, after years of struggle, Lewis finally surrendered. It is said that he knelt in prayer and was forced to admit “that God was God.”
His convert back to Christianity, led many to refer to him as “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.” Today, for some, his testimony provides valuable lessons for Christians in sharing the Gospel of Christ with unbelievers. Nevertheless there are still those who haven’t accepted him, and some have even questioned whether he was indeed a Christian.
Whether you are a fan of C.S. Lewis’ work or not, these days you can hardly go a day without seeing one of his quotes on social media. There is no doubt that he has left us with an arguably powerful body of work and a plethora of teachings, which evidently, may or may not inspire you. However, just in case you have never had the liberty of stumbling across any of these thought provoking excerpts; here’s a list of his most famous quotes on faith and spirituality for you to reflect upon:
1. “I gave in, and admitted that God was God.”
2. “There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.”
3. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
4. “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
5. “God of Christian theology… Something which is directing the universe, and which appears in me as a law urging me to do right and making me feel responsible and uncomfortable when I do wrong.”
6. “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.'”
7. “We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”
8. “To love at all is to be vulnerable”
9. “Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.”
10. “The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self–all your wishes and precautions–to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call “ourselves,” to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be “good.”
11.” I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.”
12. “Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.”
13. “Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature.”
14. “Joy is the serious business of heaven”
15. “It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to.“
16. “Forgiveness does not mean excusing“
17. “We do not want merely to see beauty . . . We want something else which can hardly be put into words – to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.“
What are your thoughts on C.S. Lewis’ faith, journey or body of work? Feel free to share them below.