Tolkien didn’t approve of C.S. Lewis’s somewhat odd insertion of Father Christmas into Narnia. You may have even wondered yourself, “Why does the jolly man dressed in red show up in the story?” And, like Tolkien, Lewis had other friends who encouraged him to leave this bit out. He didn’t. Why?
For I thought He projected us as a dramatist projects his characters,” C.S. Lewis said of God in Surprised by Joy, “and I could no more ‘meet’ Him, than Hamlet could meet Shakespeare.” Lewis likened his search for God unto that of a mouse and a cat. He was the mouse. He was not looking for the cat. It was the other way around.
The letters of C.S. Lewis are a treasure trove of spiritual encouragement. In a letter to a former student, Bede Griffiths, Lewis discusses the issue of a person who struggles with homosexual temptations. He encouraged Griffith to consider the struggle itself, though not unmarked by failure, as a “great triumph of Grace.”
Few things more powerfully affirm that we live in a messed up world than the headlines. Evil never misses the evening news. It’s always featured in one way or another.
Charles Henry Green, a lieutenant-colonel in the Royal Military Academy, wrote a book under a pseudonym about the spiritual state of Britain. The book considers why so many British college student were ignorant of the doctrines of Christianity. C.S. Lewis wrote the foreword for the book.
My favorite passage in all of C.S. Lewis’s writings is from his book Miracles. In in the chapter “The Grand Miracle” he compares the Incarnation to a missing part of a novel, or a lost section of a symphony. Here Lewis likens Christianity to the sunrise in that it sheds light on the human experience, an analogy he makes even more eloquently in his essay “Is Theology Poetry.” The following video has audio of the chapter and a wonderful and extremely clever sketch illustration (which I sadly admit I did not make).
The world might be surprised to discover that true Christians happen to think that Christianity is true. Like everyone else, we enjoy feasting and exchanging gifts, but we celebrate on the twenty-fifth day of December because we think something of significance happened some two thousand winters ago. Calling it Christmas, literally meaning Christ’s Mass, is no coincidence or mistake.
The prodigal son didn’t run out of money on his first day out of the home, Doug Wilson once pointed out to Christopher Hitchens. His point—his warning—was that secular humanism can only run so long on the fumes left over from a Christian worldview. It might take some years, but sooner or later the Christian capital will be overspent.