What does Domino’s Pizza have in common with DNA?

You might be surprised, but the answer is C.S. Lewis.

C.S. Lewis’ book Mere Christianity contributed to the conversion of Francis Collins, the man who led the human genome project to completion under budget and well ahead of the deadline. Collins, as an atheist medical student, found Lewis’ use of the moral argument for God’s existence compelling. He followed in Lewis’ footsteps rejecting atheism and embracing the gospel.

Thomas Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza, and former owner of the Detroit Lions, after reading Lewis’ indictment against pride in Mere Christianity, sold the bulk of his shares in Domino’s, liquidated much of his assets, and gave the lion share of his wealth to Catholic charities.

Lewis’ impact is as diverse as it is lasting.

Starting last year I began teaching a class on C.S. Lewis’ life, writings, and legacy at Boyce College. I teach the class in my office over winter break with an attendance cap of twenty students. The cold time of year seems to be quite Narnian, and teaching it in my office feels very Lewisian.  We always share meals together, and students are expected to be well read in Lewis and to present in class. It’s one of the highlights of my professorial duties.

This summer is going to be a real treat, as I have the opportunity to take students to Oxford, England, for the Lewis course. We even get to hear from Walter Hooper, literary advisor of Lewis’ estate, give a lecture at the Kilns, Lewis’ home. It’s going to be great. You should consider joining us. More info will be available soon here: http://events.sbts.edu/.

When it comes to digging around in Lewis’ life and works, I get to do quite a bit. The first time I taught the class I crammed for it as if I were facing my doctoral defense all over again. That might be a slight overstatement, but you get the point. I’m now heading into my third time to teach the Lewis class, and I’ve developed the habit of reading one new biography in preparation. Much has been written about Lewis. So much so, it seems a bit indulgent to try to add anything at all. But that aside, let me indulge myself by offering three witnesses of Lewis’ legacy.

To be continued.

 (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)