Too much C.S. Lewis? Not hardly

A writer for Relevant magazine is peeved that people like C.S. Lewis. Seriously. "I'm annoyed," he said, "with the public perception and exultation that has long outlasted him."While granting that Lewis deserves credit for his academic, literary, and theological work, the writer pointed out that the Oxford don "was born in 1898 . . . a decade after the setting of Back to the Future III. Annie Oakley was still the most popular woman in America. In 1898, the ink was hardly dry on the patent … [Read more...]

5 books to fill a gap in church history and doctrine

The Gospel Coalition is offering a four-year reading list to point evangelicals to "some of the key texts that have shaped the movement and its current leaders, and offer an historical sense and context to the current movement. . . ."There are some very good and useful books on the list, but I want to offer some supplemental texts. Up front let me say that these are not texts that have shaped evangelicalism. Rather, they are meant to fill a significant time gap in the GC list, which jumps … [Read more...]

Best novel of 2012? Doug Wilson’s ‘Evangellyfish’

What was the best novel of 2012? According to Christianity Today the answer is Doug Wilson's Evangellyfish.While he's best known for nonfiction books of theology, Christian living, and education, Wilson, who pastors Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, has written a raucous and ribald novel of manners about a megachurch pastor embroiled in a sex scandal.I'm sure the book will scandalize a few of its readers, too. But as I read it, I couldn’t help but think that the outrageous tale surely s … [Read more...]

Abraham Lincoln and the ‘bastard’ Jesus Christ

Abraham Lincoln's early years were marked by a rabid antagonism toward Christianity, but he ended his life as a believer.As my friend Stephen Mansfield details in his new book Lincoln's Battle with God (published by Thomas Nelson), he was an iconoclast, a gadfly, and an intellectual bully. Well versed in the contradictions and problems with Christian scripture and doctrine, he was more than happy to bat believers around the head with these things.Lincoln even published an incendiary … [Read more...]

Four books by C.S. Lewis you must read

C.S. Lewis never imagined the lasting influence he would have. "After I've been dead five years," he told his friend Owen Barfield, "no one will read anything I've written." Proving the old prof wrong, last month we marked the forty-ninth year of his passing, and Lewis is read today perhaps more than ever.Still, this is a reasonable thought for an author. Books are not immortal. They rarely live beyond the generation of their author and earliest readers, and usually they die much sooner … [Read more...]

Giving thanks for C.S. Lewis

Besides Thanksgiving, November 22 this year marks the 49th anniversary of C.S. Lewis' death.I read a newspaper obituary about Lewis that my grandmother kept. She preserved the entire paper. The event was buried in the back--barely two column inches if memory serves. The rest of paper, or at least the majority of it, was dedicated to reporting the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Both men died the same day. Coincidentally, both men answered to Jack.Though popular, this British author … [Read more...]

Fifty Shades of Let’s Get Serious

E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey sold over 10 million copies in its first six weeks here in the U.S., according to the publisher.If you're close to the publishing business, you know that number is high enough to induce acute tachycardia. Precious few books ever sell such quantities. But this book and its companion volumes are hardly precious, and there are some serious reasons to be concerned about the phenomenon.I've now read several exchanges among Christians in the blogosphere and on … [Read more...]