Sunday, 14 January 2007

cs lewis quote

David quoted from a CS Lewis letter this morning, which reminded me how clearly he wrote (he also quoted a striking passage from Douglas Coupland's Life After God). Then reading last June's Monthly Record this afternoon (yes, doing a bit of catching up), David Robertson also quoted from CS Lewis in an article. The quote, from God in the Dock, is:

'I believe that any Christian who is qualified to write a good popular book on any science may do much more by this than by any directly apologetic work. The diffficulty we are up against is this. We can make people attend to the Christian point of view for half an hour or so; but the moment they have gone away from our lecture or laid down our article, they are plunged back into a world where the opposite position is taken for granted. As long as that situation exists, widespread success is simply impossible. What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects with their Christianity latent. You can see this most easily if you look at it the other way round. Our Faith is not likely to be shaken by any book on Hinduism. But if whenever we read an elementary book on Geology, Botany, Politics or Astronomy, we found that its implications were Hindu, that would shake us. It is not the books written in direct defence of Materialism that make the modern man a materialist; it is the materialistic assumptions in all the other books. In the same way it is not books on Christianity that will really trouble him. But he would be troubled if, whenever he wanted a cheap popular introduction to some science, the best work on the market was always by a Christian.'

- I've got a shelf-full of CS Lewis, most of which I've read. The ones I've read most recently I didn't like so much; I did wonder if it was because CSL was more 'for me' when I was a student and less so now, but it's perhaps more likely that I've been mopping up the lesser material latterly. I do have a big volume of letters to Arthur Greeves which I should plunge into some day; and other letters would probably be good (I'm not sure what there is now; I read a volume of letters to children a long time ago. Mine are mostly the little yellow Fontana paperbacks, and I've certainly seen a new series of collected works in fewer, fatter volumes in bookshops).

I'm working my way through Douglas Coupland also, who I like a lot.

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