The End

I did it. I made it through Mere Christianity, Screwtape Letters, The Problem of Pain, A Grief Observed, The Weight of Glory, The Abolition of Man, The Great Divorce, The 4 Loves, Reflections on the Psalms, and Surprised by Joy.

During the journey, I also listened to Professor Timothy Shutt’s lecture series on the writing of C.S. Lewis and read many articles debating his works.

Overall it has been a great opportunity to spend time with a great writer and thinker. So, what insights came from a year of reading Lewis?

1. First and foremost – Lewis is incredibly accessible. I am amazed by the accessibility of his writing no matter the topic. If you look at his sentence structure it is almost maddeningly simple. I do not mean maddening in the sense that it drives you crazy, but in the sense that it makes you wonder why everyone cannot write with that kind of clarity.

2. Lewis is the best closer I have ever read. What I mean is that he can close a chapter better than anyone. Consistently, he drives his chapter to a conclusion with great one-liners and brilliant closing observations. Go look at the ending paragraphs of chapters in his books – more often than not they are absolutely amazing. I think I could have written a year’s worth of material on the closing paragraphs alone.

3. As I wrote about extensively during the year – his argument for God based on the moral law inside of us is still incredibly powerful. And his argument for something greater than ourselves (The Weight of Glory, Surprised by Joy) is nearly as good.

4. I also mentioned it throughout the year, but it bears repeating that Lewis’ best insights were not about God but about people. He understood people better than anyone I’ve ever read. He was amazingly aware of who people really were. His analysis of what we want, how we feel, how we think, and what we choose is beyond nearly all of today’s writers.

And that is what made him so great. As you read, you find your self saying, “He’s got me pegged.” Or, at least we say, “That is so true because So-and-So is just like that.”

When he is able to do that, the trap is sprung and you are ready to hear his solution.

So, I come to the end. I regret that I couldn’t go slower and chew on each part more thoroughly. But, also glad I chose the pace because I got a much better sense of his flow of thought and saw many more connections by continually moving.

My year with Lewis is over. On to next year – Bonhoeffer. Anyone interested?


Leave a Reply