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Alister McGrath's biography of C. S. Lewis was highly anticipated. Its release earlier this year raised expectations that the definitive account of Lewis's life had finally arrived.

Very often, when encountering such hype, it pays to be skeptical. ...

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Thomas Gary

November 26, 2013  12:58am

A man of Lewis' era and religious beliefs would not enter into some aspects of his life - good or bad - in an autobiography. He wouldn't want to discuss sexual matters, such as some of his dalliances as a younger man. He could easily find WW One to be too crude or vile to mention it much. CS Lewis, I imagine, would be a complex man, one who maybe could not even explain himself at times. If he was warm he also suffered from great loneliness. He survived and did his best and came to know God through Jesus. McGrath might not get that obvious factor - Lewis' autobiography is ultimately about God. Peace.

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Jim Ricker

November 25, 2013  6:49pm

pop - unfortunately all those negatives are just as popular with the regenerate as all the faux controversies (such as the latest with Costco) prove. Ignorance, wisdom and understanding is not the domain of the saved as is evidenced by plenty of examples.

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Pop Seal

November 24, 2013  2:10pm

Speculation, skepticism, and slander are big sellers among the unregenerate. Biblical illiterates go for anything that remotely satisfies their desire to justify their unstudied opinions. Many critics of the Bible only demonstrate that the Bible is a book for adults and should be left to adults, to paraphrase Lewis.

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James Alexander

November 23, 2013  11:36am

Having read most of the C.S. Lewis biographies and his letters as collected by Walter Hooper, Jerry Root is correct. Lewis was a very complicated and private man. He wrote with a purpose and did exclude items that did not fit his purpose in that particular genre. McGrath's biography actually makes some of the same errors as that of A. N. Wilson. The main lesson to be learned from Lewis's relationship with Mrs. Moore is that he took his promises seriously. The issue of any romantic aspect to that relationship is overshadowed by Lewis's faithful service and how that characteristic informed his life e.g. his care of Warnie.

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James Wheeler

November 22, 2013  5:18pm

B L Edwards...you need to back up this claim. Though Lewis was jovial, he was not particularly open. This is part of the Irish way of folks in Lewis' time. At least that is how James Houston remembers him.

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B L EDWARDS JR

November 22, 2013  4:38pm

Right on, Jerry. Your intuition is superior to McGrath's "speculation." On the contrary, Lewis reveals himself in letters and friendships and his devotion to Christ to be quite a warm and disclosive personality. Selah.

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James Wheeler

November 22, 2013  3:09pm

I think Root makes some interesting commentary on Mcgrath's approach. I think Mcgrath is more of an evidentalist and fact based sort of writer, as opposed to being more of a story teller. However, i disagree with Roots claim that "There are moments in the book when one senses the real Lewis has dropped out of the narrative, or been replaced by a figment of the biographer's imagination." That seemed like rhetoric or overstatement. I actually think it is quite fair to question what Lewis concealed or did not note in his autobiographical writings. He was not known as a warm and self-revealing personality, therefore any writer would have to reach and speculate to understand some of his deeper motivations.

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