The C.S. Lewis Insitute

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and for that matter, the whole of the series of the Chronicles of Narnia have been longstanding family reads in our home. They’ve been my children’s first encounter with an author named C.S. Lewis, who has been instrumental in helping me to better understand, approach, and appreciate the goodness of God, the work of Jesus Christ, and the wonder of the Bible.

C.S. Lewis speaks my language, he can communicate in imaginings, in fairy tales, and experiments of thought. At the same time, when he does sit down to elaborate on theology, he does so with clarity, humor, and blesses many who read his works.

A Selection of my favorite works of Lewis

  • The Great Divorce An imaginative exploration of the differences between Heaven and Hell, and what it means to accept Christ and be saved.
  • The Space Trilogy – A collection of three books that attempt to tell a modern fairytale: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandria, and That Hideous Strength. The books do assume 1930’s-1940’s level of technology which can be a challenge for readers but hey… that’s when they were written! The space trilogy is a meaningful imagination of Christianity and the cosmos, of angels, and of the struggle between good and evil.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia – A collection of seven books set during WW2 and after about a group of children here in our earth and a magical land called Narnia. The series introduces oh so many Christian themes and teachings, but in a new format that is moving, not at all forced, and can bring up great conversation with the kiddos. The Disney movies are… *sigh*… sad representations of the books. I recommend reading the chronicles in the original order they were published (not the chronological order modern publishers want to put them in). Here’s the original publishing order: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician’s Nephew, The Last Battle.
  • Mere Christianity – Possibly the book Lewis is known best for, along with The Screwtape Letters. Mere Christianity is a collection of radio broadcasts explaining the basic beliefs and morality of Christianity. It’s compelling reading, solid theology, and usually the book that I buy as a gift for graduating High School seniors. It’s excellent college level reading.
  • Till We Have Faces – This book made me set it down in tears, at the end, and prompted a very meaningful week of prayer, and honestly a bit of a paradigm shift towards grace… I probably need to read it again come to think of it… God placed it in front of me at the precise moment I needed it. If you’re looking for Christianity, it’s deeply buried in this one, but that’s OK, it’s not really what he’s going for (though it’s there nonetheless). In this book, Lewis retells the myth of Cupid and Psyche. This one’s grown-ups only, and you’ll benefit from reading a bit of his other work before you pick up this one.

The C.S. Lewis Institute

Just this year I discovered this group of scholars and writers who do great work at the C.S. Lewis Institute. I was looking for new ways to connect with the Lord and stumbled upon a society that loved the same author I do. Here’s their website:

This Christmas I am thoroughly enjoying their Advent devotions which are based on Handel’s Messiah – If you like 17th century English oratorio’s you’ll love this! And you’ll recognize that world famous Hallelujah Chorus!

Apologies for not telling you about it sooner, but you can still join along right here:

The Scripture Passages of Handel’s Messiah – C.S. Lewis Institute (cslewisinstitute.org)

I’ve certainly not explored this entire website yet. They have a very significant list of resources under their “must reads” in the resources tab, that I plan to enjoy.

Lewis has been a fantastic guide for me in my walk of faith, one of many, but still an important one. It’s neat to see all these resources gathered together. I hope you find something there that will bless you.

And, if you have a favorite C.S. Lewis book, mention it in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “The C.S. Lewis Insitute”

  1. I think my favorite is “Screwtape Letters”. It is very readable in that the “corporate setting” is relatable, but it presents a very good explanation of the supernatural battle going on in and around us.

    1. I have a special place for “The Screwtape Letters”. It was the first Lewis book I read after accepting Christ in college. While I had grown up in the church, my early 20’s is when my faith became ‘my own’ and Screwtape was an early read for me. It’s been quite a while, I look forward to picking it up again. Thanks for the reminder!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *