C. S. Lewis class

 C. S. Lewis has often been described as one of the most influential Christian writers of the twentieth century. For example, in an article called “The Top 50 Books that have Shaped Evangelicals,” Christianity Today listed Lewis’s Mere Christianity as one of the top three books that have influenced American Evangelicalism. A couple of years ago a Huffington Post article titled “Spiritual Classics: 25 Books Every Christian Should Read” lists Mere Christianity as one of the most important books written throughout the history of the church, placing it in a list with The Confessions of St. Augustine and Thomas a Kempis’s The Imitation of Christ. And it is not just his nonfiction that gets attention. According to various online lists of bestselling books of all time, C. S. Lewis’s children’s book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is one of the top ten, having sold more than 85 million copies since its first publication in 1950. .

So the question becomes, WHY is Lewis so popular? There are several answers to this question. He is popular because he is able to take difficult theological concepts and reword them in such a way that readers with no theological background can understand and enjoy them. He is popular because he worked in so many different fields: not only did he write apologetics and children’s literature, but he also wrote science fiction, poetry, literary theory, novels, sermons, and even memoir.
Because Lewis was able to work in such different genres, he was comfortable using both rational thought and the imagination to help others in their spiritual journey. In fact, he often used both to explore the same themes. For example, he tackles the idea of education and what it is supposed to do in both the nonfiction study The Abolition of Man and the dystopian novel That Hideous Strength. In The Four Loves he examines four different ways of relating to other people that are commonly called “love,” and then in the book Till We Have Faces he explores not only what love is, but also how it is both used and abused. In the two books that made his name a household word in WWII Britain, Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters, he explores both what Christians believe and how Christians should live.
Starting Thursday, January 21, Urbana Theological Seminary will be offering a sixteen week course on C. S. Lewis. In this course we will be reading and discussing several of his works. We will also be taking a one-day road trip to the Wade Center, a museum/study center at Wheaton College that focuses on Lewis and six other authors.
If you would like to know more about this class, contact mgreen@urbanatheologicalseminary.org. To register, go to http://www.urbanatheologicalseminary.org/courses/spring, or contact mgreen@urbanatheologicalseminary.org for registration help. This is going to be an awesome class—you don’t want to miss it!