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7 of My Favourite Christian C. S. Lewis Books that You Would Love Too!

Updated on September 10, 2014
Heidi Vincent profile image

Ms. Vincent is an M.B.A graduate, Business Consultant and health, wellness & natural healing enthusiast, who reads a lot on those subjects.

Why I'm Hooked on C. S. Lewis!

I was born a Catholic, had received all of the relevant Sacraments of the Catholic Church, went to Church weekly but as I grew older, as a young adult, I felt like something was missing. So I began to read books from different spiritual authors - Catholic & non-Catholic in order to deepen my spirituality and fill that missing void.

My spiritual search ultimately led me back to my Catholic faith and propelled me to look deeper and more meaningfully into the customs, traditions, ceremonies, saints, prayers and beliefs in the Catholic Church.

The books that I credit most for providing me with the enlightenment that I sought were C. S. Lewis' books. The first C. S Lewis book that I read was titled, 'The Screwtape Letters', which is a very delightful conversation between Satan and his nephew Wormwood, who is a novice demon. C. S. Lewis shows us his comic side here but there are many serious lessons wrapped up within.

I began reading more and more of his books and I was so captivated by his style of writing and his logic that in many instances I found myself nodding vigorously, as I marveled at how perfectly he had managed to explain things.

When you love something or someone, then most times, without you even realizing it (since it is other people who will tell you about your obsession) you talk incessantly about that person or that thing. Well, on one of my birthdays, a friend of mine bought me 2 C. S. Lewis books that I did not yet have in my collection - 'Fern-seed & Elephants' and 'The Dark Tower'.

You cannot imagine how I looked at that present (gift) with wide eyed jubilation, as I excitedly exclaimed something to the effect of, "How did you know!" And he looked at me in puzzlement, as if it was so obvious, and replied in a very matter-of-fact way something to the effect of "Because you talk about him all the time."

I love all of C. S. Lewis books, to varying degrees, so in this lens (article), I will share with you my 7 favourite ones and why I love them.

Christian Bestsellers-Christian Books-Spiritual Books-Christian Gift Ideas-C.S. Lewis Books

5 stars for 'The Great Divorce' by C S Lewis

C S Lewis' Full Name

What does the C and S in C. S. Lewis stand for?

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C. S. Lewis Classic No. 1 - GOD IN THE DOCK

God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics
God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics

In this book, there are actually 13 short writings on different topics. 5 of my favourites are ‘God in the Dock’, ‘The Trouble with X’, ‘Miracles’, ‘We Have No “Right to Happiness” & ‘Priestesses in the Church’.

Each one expands on a different side of Christianity. Whether you agree or not at the end, C. S. Lewis will have expanded your thinking.

To tease you, the one that I will expound upon here is ‘God in the Dock’, the one with the same name as the book itself. In it he speaks about an increasingly shocking absence of the sense of sin among modern men and women.

When you watch a detective movie, at some point in time the criminal is usually caught and brought to trial in a law court. Then from the dock – what is nowadays called the witness stand or box – the accused is cross examined by the prosecuting attorney.

Well C. S. Lewis shows how this new modern approach to sin has in some way caused a reversal of roles between God and man, whereby, whereas in earlier times man revered God, in our modern times we have given ourselves the superior role and we are constantly putting God on trial in the dock (witness box/stand), as if he were some lowly accused criminal, and we the ‘hot shot’ prosecuting lawyer.

 

Sibling's Name

What is C S Lewis' brother's name?

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C. S. Lewis Classic No. 2 - THE GREAT DIVORCE

I wrote an expanded version of the story in ‘The Great Divorce: Heaven or Hell says C S Lewis’, which you will enjoy reading here.

The Great Divorce
The Great Divorce

If you love fables, gripping novels and exciting storytelling, like me, then you will absolutely love this debate and very visual journey into Purgatory, Heaven and Hell, which is told in the form of allegory, beginning with passengers at a bus station.

What was definitely most shocking for me was how non-physical Hell was portrayed but how terribly excruciating it was. It is one of those stories which makes no judgments but leaves the reader with PLENTY food for thought.

The characters/personalities are people you’ve met in your lifetime, which is another characteristic that makes this story so captivating and thought provoking.

One of the most interesting deductions from the fable is that our experiences of Heaven and/or Hell begin while we are on earth and not when we die? Hmmmm??? What do YOU think?

I read this book like a novel you can’t put down! One something of the kind that I heard someone correctly describe as the kind of book where you tell yourself you’ll stop and go to bed after this paragraph, and then after this page, and then after this chapter… (smile). You know what I mean!

 

Birth Country

In what country was C S Lewis born?

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C. S. Lewis Classic No. 3 - THE 4 LOVES

The Four Loves
The Four Loves

You will agree with me that ‘LOVE’ is a loose term bandied about these days. Here C. S. Lewis makes clear distinction about what people mean when they use that word, with 4 very apt descriptions - Affection, Friendship, Eros & Charity – which he expands upon in ascending order of intensity.

In John 15, Jesus states, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”. That’s a really great love indeed as Jesus demonstrated by dying on the cross for us and the kind of love C. S. Lewis describes as ‘Charity’. It is the highest of the 4 loves and, quite rightly, is only worthy of God, who he describes as, and I agree, is ‘Love Himself’.

I know I have said it before, “I love God!” But really, do I? When C. S. Lewis explained what this love entails, my ‘love’ of God sounded really worthless since my ‘love’, as is the case with all of mankind is a ‘need-love’ unlike God’s ‘gift-love’.

His descriptions of Eros are at times erotic, so good is his narrative, but he also explains that having started as a ‘need-pleasure’, it needs active help from the lovers to survive beyond the initial erotic physical feelings.

Friendship and affection, the lowest of the 4 loves, we have all experienced.I loved the colourful and real life examples used by C. S. Lewis at every turn to demonstrate why he had classified a particular ‘love’ in the way he had.

I tell you, your level of reasoning will be greatly expanded and your eyes opened wide (physically and spiritually). And, well, the next time you’re about to blurt out or whisper in excitement, “I LOVE you!” you will really pause and think after reading this book.

 

C S Lewis Date of Death

When did C S Lewis die?

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C. S. Lewis Classic No. 4 - THE PROBLEM OF PAIN

The Problem of Pain
The Problem of Pain

Who hasn’t experienced pain?

Following the introduction, C. S. Lewis delves right into ‘explaining’ the problem of pain in a simplistic 3-sentence paragraph. But then I loved the way that he moved on to show that it is necessary to move beyond that almost childlike explanation, that many people have, by broadening our understanding of such terms, in relation to God, like ‘omnipotence’, ‘goodness’, ‘almighty’, ‘happy’ and so on.

He makes a bold, but to me, very true statement, that, four-fifths of man’s suffering and pain is caused by man himself (not God whom mankind loves to blame) through avarice, stupidity, the manufacture of devices such as guns and bombs and the establishment of destructive practices such as slavery.

Unfortunately, he shows that when we begin to ignore God and treat him as an airman treats his parachute - “there for emergencies but he hopes he’ll never have to use it.” – God uses pain as his megaphone to rouse us by taking away our false sense of happiness and self-sufficiency and steering us back to Him, wherein lies our true source of happiness.

He also makes 6 breathtaking propositions about pain and human suffering that again left me thinking in spiritually expansive ways that I had not thought before.C. S. Lewis leaves the reader with hope though, since he quite insightfully points out that whatever the kind, level or intensity of pain, it will never multiply without end and that “when it is over, it is over and the natural sequel is joy”. The analogy that comes to my mind is that of childbirth, I suppose.

 

C S Lewis Marriage Date

What year did C S Lewis marry American poet, Joy Davidman Gresham?

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C. S. Lewis Classic No. 5 - MERE CHRISTIANITY

Mere Christianity
Mere Christianity

This is one of the first set of C. S. Lewis books that I bought dating back to August 2002.

Remember, I said to you in my introduction that I was going through a spiritual search? So this book spoke to many of the things that I needed deeper answers for concerning my Christian faith.

To give you an idea of why I found it helpful, I will list the 4 broad Books covered in the 33 chapters:

1. Right & Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe

2. What Christians Believe

3. Christian Behaviour

4. Beyond Personality: Or First Steps in the Doctrine of the Trinity

See what I mean? The titles for each of the chapters under the Books speak to irresistibly real and recurring topics that every Christian battles at one time or another in his or her spiritual journey.

Things such as, Social morality, Sexual morality, Forgiveness, Faith, Is Christianity Hard or Easy?, Counting the Cost, and more.I found a treasure trove of insightful answers and provocative questions to propel me forward in my spiritual journey.

 

Conversion Year

In what year did C S Lewis convert from atheism to Christianity?

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C. S. Lewis Classic No. 6 - PRAYER: LETTERS TO MALCOLM

Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer
Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

This is the last book that C. S. Lewis wrote.

It is one of my favourites because it is written on a subject that has become very important to me as I strengthen my spirituality - personal or private prayer.

Although he starts of by saying he doesn’t want to speak about the Liturgy and collective prayer, he does go a bit into explaining why with 1 or 2 hilarious anecdotes. Such as the man who, in speaking about clergymen who were constantly focusing on the next novelty to introduce during service said, “I wish they’d remember that the charge to Peter was Feed my sheep "Try experiments on my rats, or even, Teach my performing dogs new tricks".

He makes some interesting points about prayer. Like the fact that each person has a prayer method that is right for them and it should not be condemned by others. That some people operate best with ready-made prayers as opposed to using their own words and there is nothing wrong with that.

In the final analysis, it did not matter either way to him since he considered words as secondary in prayer. What he so beautifully described as “the movements of a conductor’s baton; not the music”.I really loved the frank dialogue and bantering in this book.

I really felt that I was privy to the private conversations, teasing and jokes among intimate friends as they seriously treat with the issue of prayer in the Christian’s life.

He even records his own experiences with prayer at varying times. There is a very realness to his writings that we can all relate to. Take the beginning of chapter 20 where he starts of: “I really must digress to tell you a bit of good news. Last week, while at prayer, I suddenly discovered – or felt as if I did – that I had forgiven someone I had been trying to forgive for over thirty years.”

You will really be encouraged and enlightened in your own personal/private prayer life by C. S. Lewis’ letters, as I have been.

 

C S Lewis Birthdate

When was C S Lewis born?

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C. S. Lewis Classic No. 7 - DAILY READINGS WITH C. S. LEWIS

A Year with C. S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works
A Year with C. S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works

I have repeatedly used this book as a daily reflection tool during my morning prayer time.

It comprises a total of 83 excerpts (yes I counted them myself) from C. S. Lewis’ books.Each excerpt bears a separate title, though some are taken from the same book in various cases, to sort of give the reader direction as to the focus of the excerpt.

Some of my favourite excerpts include, ‘What are we to make of Jesus Christ?’, ‘The Christian', The Materialist’, ‘Can someone lead a good life without Christianity?’, ‘God wants you to be a Saint’, ‘When Eros becomes a Demon’, ‘Ready-made Prayers’, ‘ “Hating” the people we love’… I had better stop now! I can go on and on.

If you want a gradual and easy introduction to C. S. Lewis before going out to buy the individual books themselves, then I would suggest buying this book to get a taste of the kind of the subject matters covered in each of his books.

Although they are short excerpts (they range from half a page to 2 pages) they each contain enough substance for deep and meaningful spiritual reflection.

 

Mother's death

What did C S Lewis' mother ( Flora Lewis) die from in 1908?

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Dying Gift

What did Flora Lewis give to each of her sons a few days before she died?

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delicious recipes, winning gift ideas and inspirational Catholic & Christian articles at http://www.thecatholiccontributor.com

Here are the answers to the 9 C S Lewis Quizz Questions throughout this lens (article):

1. What does the C and S in C. S. Lewis stand for? Clive Staples

2. What is C S Lewis' brother's name? Warren

3. In what country was C S Lewis born? Ireland

4. What did C S Lewis' mother (Flora Lewis) die from in 1908? Cancer

5. What did Flora Lewis give to each of her sons a few days before she died? Bible

6. In what year did C S Lewis convert from atheism to Christianity? 1929

7. When did C S Lewis die? November 22, 1963

8. When was C S Lewis born? November 29, 1898

9. What year did C S Lewis marry American poet, Joy Davidman Gresham? 1956

What is YOUR favourite C S Lewis book? Or YOUR favourite spiritual author?

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    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 2 years ago from GRENADA

      I definitely agree with you there, aesta1. For your next C. S. Lewis book, I recommend "The Great Divorce". If you like fables, you will love this one. You can read my review of it, to wet your appetite. Have a blessed weekend!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have only read The Screwtape Letters which I enjoyed very much. I should read his other books as well.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      I love C.S. Lewis, too. He was a phenomenal writer!

    • profile image

      Sundaycoffee 3 years ago

      Great reviews of C.S. Lewis' books. I have only read Mere Christianity and I liked it a lot. I'm planning to buy and read more of his writings.

    • profile image

      Sundaycoffee 3 years ago

      Great reviews of C.S. Lewis' books. I have only read Mere Christianity and I liked it a lot. I'm planning to buy and read more of his writings.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
      Author

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @Merrci: I am glad you read Mere Christianity, Merrci. That is the one that helped me so much in terms of strengthening my faith. Glad you're adding the others to your reading list. Thanks for your usual visits and have a very blessed week.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
      Author

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @Rhonda Lytle: You're welcome, poetvix! Glad you liked my descriptions and I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did. Thanks for your usual visits and have a very blessed week.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      My favorite is Mere Christianity. That was such a thoughtful book. There are several here I haven't read though that will now get added to my list! C S Lewis is a wonderful writer.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      I have not read these but you can bet I will. Your descriptions are great, to the point, honest and really well laid out. I'm thinking you could teach this :). Thank you for the recommendations. I'm looking forward to getting started!