Skip to main content

Book: If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis


I call If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis a “semi-biography” because I cannot name a genre it truly belongs in. There’s some biographical information on Lewis as well as summaries of his literature. McGrath does some analysis of the history of Lewis’ time, and of Lewis’ effect on history. This is a book that’s hard to put in the right place on the shelf.



If I had lunch with C.S. Lewis, he’d probably be so horrified at my informal table manners that we would not get to any of the subjects in Alister McGrath’s new If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis. Then again, being deceased, Lewis may not care. As it is, we must settle for the imaginary luncheons envisioned in McGrath’s semi-biography.
I’m not sure quite what I expected here. Part of me expected If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis to be a fictionalized account of actual lunch meetings. That’s not what we have here, and I think I’m glad. That sounds like a good idea, but it would have required McGrath to reword Lewis’ actual words.
Instead, If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis takes quotes from Lewis’ writings and places these as answers to to major themes. These themes are seen throughout Lewis’ works, such as the importance of friendship or the need for education.
I liked this after I adapted to the changed expectation. It’s a friendlier intro to the life of Lewis than a straight-up biography. McGrath also weaves Lewis’ theology and literature together well in If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis. This one’s a win.

(Note: I did receive a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for the review.)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Independence Day 2017

I don’t know if Thomas Paine will be aggrieved that I paste his thoughts from Common Sense here, from the electronic edition. It’s a Public Domain work at this point, so hopefully none will be bothered that I am not paying for it...I think there is value in seeing the underlying reasons of Independence. I find a couple of things noteworthy in his introduction:First, he speaks of those who disagree and, while calling those out, holds the strength of his affirmative argument will be enough to straighten them out. We could do well to think more like that.Second, his final sentence should be a required view: the influence of reason and principle. Not self-interest masquerading as principle. Not party propaganda disguised as reason.That being said, not everything Paine said is right. If he and I lived at the same time, we’d argue religion over a great deal. However, the idea of “natural rights of man” follows from the idea of humanity as a special creation—that all are created equal and en…