New Sampler For C. S. Lewis Fans

Christian Reflections, by C. S. Lewis, edited by Walter Hooper (Eerdmans, 1967, 176 pp., $3.95) is reviewed by Robert L. Cleath, editorial assistant,CHRISTIANITY TODAY.

The late C. S. Lewis was considered by thousands of his readers to be not only a writer of great intellectual power and imaginative style but also a dearly loved friend. As an essayist, novelist, literary critic, and lay apologist for the Christian faith, he communicates in an especially personal way with those who share his deep devotion to Jesus Christ and appreciate his disdain for pomposity and fuzzy thinking. For many agnostics struggling to find meaning in life and for Christians stifled by the oppressive atmosphere of man-made piety, his writings are a breath of fresh air. They demonstrate that a thoroughgoing biblical supernaturalist can more than hold his own in the free-swinging world of ideas and can also be a connoisseur of cultural values. Lewis died in 1963, but his incisive thought and irrepressible spirit are still very much alive in Christian Reflections, a new collection of his essays ably edited by Walter Hooper.

Hooper has brought together fourteen of Lewis’s papers—some written for periodicals, others unpublished lectures delivered to societies in and around Oxford and Cambridge—that span the last twenty years of his life. His Christian insights are focused on such topics as literature, culture, ethics, “the poison of subjectivism,” church music, the Psalms, the language of religion, petitionary prayer, and biblical criticism. In each essay we find, as Clyde Kilby discovered in his study of Lewis’s works, “a mind sharp as a scalpel and intent as a surgeon upon the separation of the diseased from the healthy.” ...

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