One line from C.S. Lewis’s autobiography Surprised by Joy is both simple and profound: “That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.”
My friend Max McLean is bringing the story behind this line to life in his new film The Most Reluctant Convert. It premieres in select theaters across the country this Wednesday, November 3.
The appeal of The Chronicles comes back to a single character. Aslan, the Great Lion, who calls the children into Narnia, plays the central role in each adventure. It’s not exactly correct to call Aslan an “allegory” of Jesus. Lewis might prefer that we instead think of Aslan as Christ transposed into a Narnian key, a Creator and Lord fit for a world primarily inhabited by talking animals.
Earlier this week, Dr. Ward spoke with my colleague, Shane Morris, about the inconsistencies of modern culture and the similar realities Lewis observed. They talked about the sorts of ideas the world is planting in the cultural soil and what the harvest now looks like. Here’s a segment of that conversation:
The Abolition of Man is a book critically important for our cultural moment. In the book’s opening essay, C.S. Lewis thoroughly critiques modern education which, he says, fills students’ heads with knowledge and their bellies with passion, but does nothing to cultivate the chest.
C.S. Lewis once said that we should read three old books for every new one. I think we should read three C.S. Lewis books for every new one. He never faced the coronavirus, of course, but in the late 1940s, the world was coming to grips with another threat: nuclear annihilation. The bomb was only a few years old, and in the hands of sworn national enemies. The uncertainty of what exactly could happen, not to mention what might happen, was palpable.