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Your First Encounter With Lewis

The man. The myth.

Postby gameld » 14 Sep 2008, 18:57

i know that as a kid, before my parents' divorce, they read the chronicles of narnia to me. they also had the animated LWW that i'd watch over and over again (i've always liked stories of knights in shining armor). beyond that, though, i didn't really delve into it. i don't even remember much of what my parents read except there was a giant in some scene in some book of the series.
later, in middle school, i read 'out of the silent planet'. i thought it was cool but didn't delve then, either.
it wasn't until a few years ago that i truly 'discovered' lewis. i read the excellent book 'the question of God' which pits lewis against freud. in reading it i found freud to be boring, foolish, and illogical in his approach to religion whereas lewis seemed to have something to say and said it well. after that i searched my house and found every lewis book i had. once i'd devoured most of those i've slowly (as finances allow) collected whatever else i can get. i'm saving narnia and the space trilogy for last once i get my hands on the following:
letters to malcolm
spirits in bondage
the problem of pain
the pilgrim's regress
of other worlds

i'll worry about his letters, diaries, and academic works later (assuming viable opportunity)
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Postby Tuke » 14 Sep 2008, 19:23

Yeah, The Question of God was brilliant. Freud and Lewis were well matched foils for one another. The most poignant section for me was the description of Freud's physician assisted suicide. The man whom many considered an expert on human psyche and nature ran out of answers.
"The 'great golden chain of Concord' has united the whole of Edmund Spenser's world.... Nothing is repressed; nothing is insubordinate. To read him is to grow in mental health." The Allegory Of Love (Faerie Queene)

2 Corinthians IV.17 The Weight of Glory
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Postby Karen » 14 Sep 2008, 19:39

Freud had terminal cancer, and was in excruciating pain. These days he would have hospice care and be given small amounts of morphine to keep him comfortable until he died naturally. Back then, his doctor did the merciful thing and gave him larger doses.

By 1939, at the age of 83 years, he had endured for many years the necessity of using crude prostheses simply to talk and eat, terrible suffering from more than 30 surgical procedures, repeated courses of primitive x-ray and radium therapy, and disruptions to his life from Nazi persecution. In spite of the suffering from his chronic illness and disrupted professional life, his record of productivity during those 16 years was impressive. When his pain was no longer bearable, however, he asked his physician to honor a long-standing agreement to assist him in preemption of certain death from cancer. (Arch Intern Med. 1999;159:1521-1525)
I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. -- Jorge Luis Borges
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Postby friendojack » 13 Oct 2008, 01:31

Hi I'm new here. Great thread! My first C.S. Lewis was the Lion the witch and the Wardrobe cartoon as a young child. It really did very little for me then. But 20 something years later I found Mere Christianity in a second hand store and I was hooked. Since then I have read the Screwtape Letters and then I read the Narnia books with my children and absolutely loved every last one(especially the Horse and His boy). And right now I am working on The Last Night on Earth and 7 Other Essays by C.S. lewis and so far so good. I have also read a great bio called Jack and His times though I can't recall who wrote it.

I really love everything Lewis and look foward to reading it all!!
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Postby Larry W. » 18 Oct 2008, 19:11

My first encounter was my third grade teacher reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe aloud in elementary school. She was quite good at dramatizing stories. I was fortunate to have the same teacher in the fifth grade. At that time she read us The Horse and His Boy and The Silver Chair. This was around 1963 and 1965, and the Narnia books were considered among the new children's classics. Younger children would have the books read aloud to them to spark their interest. When they became a few years older they would read the books on their own. Perhaps this is still the trend since the books may be a little easier for older children to understand.

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Postby teomiriam » 20 Oct 2008, 15:07

Surprisingly, like many of you here, my first encounter with C.S. Lewis was Mere Christianity which I read sometime in early high-school and I simply loved it. It was such a revelation to me. Afterwards I started reading the Chronicles of Narnia, which I read in less than two weeks and although I had midterms and such at the time I just couldn't stop reading them. Soon after my life's goal, so to say, became to read whatever Lewis ever wrote. I am still working at it of course, but I just finished Surprised by Joy, and I am thinking which one to get next. A Grief Observed or God in the Dock probably, when I get my hands on them :toothy-grin:
I know the topic didn't include our favourite book also, but I would have to say The Problem of Pain and The Four Loves are on top of my list.
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Screwtape to Narnia to 360 Degrees

Postby friendofaslan » 01 Nov 2008, 01:39

I never heard of C. S. Lewis until I arrived at university for my last 2 years. I attended a non-denominational student ministry study on this book with an odd title called Screwtape Letters. I was hooked after the first session. What a mind! What wit! What challenge! What inspiration! From there, I went straight to The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and literally inhaled the rest of the Narnia books. I read all the C. S. Lewis I could, and he became a major part of my college reading and discourse with other students. I had planned to write my Master's thesis on Sir Walter Scott, but soon switched to Lewis and the Narnia books. Years later, I would return to that same university and lead a study on the very book that started my spiritual and literary journey. Now, I include Lewis in my literature courses . . . and hope to "steal past watchful dragons."
Last edited by friendofaslan on 01 Nov 2008, 18:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby agingjb » 01 Nov 2008, 11:29

I started with "Out of the Silent Planet", picked as one of the many science fiction stories around at the time (1955ish).

Later, I discovered that Lewis had written much else, and my English teacher pointed me at his, and Tolkien's, works.
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Re: Your First Encounter With Lewis

Postby Zattara08 » 02 Dec 2008, 15:34

I am loving the new design of this forum! Nice job guys!

What amazes me about my first encounter with Lewis is that I remember it so clearly? I had always been a reader since I was a child then in fourth grade we watched the old BBC LWW. I was not to thrilled with the portrayal of the characters but picked up the book for the class and read the first three really quickly! I loved VODT because being a Navy brat it really related!

In many ways, Lewis helped me understand through the Narnia stories my understanding of propitiation as a young child and what it was Christ did for me. It wasn't till college I read all of the other books for Christianity and then this past summer finally read the first two of the space trilogy. Still haven't read the last.

Either way! I owe a lot to this man! Like I am sure all of you can say as well. Even if you are not a Christian!

God Bless!
"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K. Chesterton
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Re: Your First Encounter With Lewis

Postby Phoenix Talon » 03 Jan 2009, 15:08

It's funny, I'd read the Chronicles of Narnia before as a child and never truly understood the beauty of the series. It wasn't until my early years in high school when I reread the series, read "The Screwtape Letters" and "Mere Christianity" when I fell in love with his works. His writings have helped my faith exponentially and still continue to do so. My favorite is "Till We Have Faces" :-D
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Re: Your First Encounter With Lewis

Postby gameld » 06 Jan 2009, 14:38

right on, phoenix 'til we have faces is still my favorite of his fiction that i've read.

on another note, i have to ammend my previous list of books i haven't read by lewis:

spirits in bondage

that's it. i've managed to read the rest of them from my previous list. soon now, very soon, i can permit myself to read the space trilogy, and then it's off to narnia to remember that "children know that there are such things as dragons. fairy tales teach them that that there is st. george to slay the dragon."
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Re: Your First Encounter With Lewis

Postby Phoenix Talon » 07 Jan 2009, 02:17

I've only read "Out of the Silent Planet" but I really want to read the rest of the trilogy! I'm working on "Reflections on the Psalms" right now, I just finished the "Four Loves."

And I'm rereading "Till We Have Faces" again. Just cuz. Lol!

What are some other favorites?
"Are the gods not just?"
"Oh no, child. What would become of us if they were?" --Till We Have Faces
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Re: Your First Encounter With Lewis

Postby MoogieCha » 07 Jan 2009, 04:43

The Four Loves, which you've just finished, is one of my favourite Lewis books. What did you think of it?

Like others on here my first encounter with CS Lewis was the animated version of LWW.

My first encounter as an adult was through Mere Christianity. I may have mentioned this story a long time ago on here. Please bear with me. A fellow teacher whom I'd gotten to know quite well about 7 years ago told me he'd been searching for God for 10 years and had read up on all sorts of religions, but had found nothing satisfying. A "random" meeting during a morning commute had brought him in contact with a missionary friend of mine who introduced him to Mere Christianity. The missionary friend hadn't read the book himself. Neither had I, but after reading a commentary on google that the book was for Christians and was not written to convince non-believers to become Christian, I wondered if it would do my colleague any good.

On our commute home, my colleague tells me he's never read such a reasoned argument for Christianity before and is really taken with Lewis' writing style. On our next commute together he surprises me by saying that he's going to give "it" a try. When I ask for clarification, he says, "This Christian thing. I'm convinced, and I'm going to give it a try." To this day I haven't met anyone quite as deep a thinker as my colleague, so of course I run to get my own copy of Lewis' book and read it for myself. And with that my colleagues' life, and subsequently my own life, are never really the same again. God did an amazing work through Lewis' book and it remains one of my favourites.
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Re: Your First Encounter With Lewis

Postby Phoenix Talon » 08 Jan 2009, 00:31

I love Mere Christianity. The logical side of Christianity has always fascinated me and C.S Lewis wrote it very concisely and kept it interesting.

The Four Loves was hard to get through--I had to keep putting it down and thinking about it! But I really did enjoy it and it helped me gain perspective on my past relationships and how I connect with my family. I might reread it again, there were a few parts that need more soaking in.
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"Oh no, child. What would become of us if they were?" --Till We Have Faces
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Re: Your First Encounter With Lewis

Postby Áthas » 03 Feb 2009, 15:55

For me, it started with the Narnia-books too which my godparents from Kansas sent me. Then, the movie "Shadowlands" was aired on TV in 1997 and from then on, I was addicted.

Actually, C. S. Lewis and his works were the reason I chose English (focusing on Literature) at university, aiming at getting my docotrate in English literature and one day, hopefully, teaching at univeristy. I knew I wanted this since I was about 16.
To thine own self be true!!! (Shakespeare)
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