Tuesday, April 29, 2014

If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life By Alister McGrath

ISBN13: 9781414383781
About the book:  (front inside of book jacket)  We all want to learn from people who have shown themselves to be thoughtful and helpful in dealing with those big questions.  That’s why so many of us turn to close friends or trust colleagues.  “Let’s have lunch!” is not really suggestion that we just eat food together; it’s a request to spend time together, to get to know people better, and to talk things through.  We want to listen to someone who has been through difficult situations like the ones that we’re now facing, and learn how they coped with them.  This short book is a distillation of what Lewis thought about the greatest questions of life. My hope is that Lewis’s thoughts on these matters will help you determine how to live your life well.” –Dr. Alister McGrath

Review:  “If I had lunch with C.S. Lewis” is an interesting book.  It is not a light read, but is also not “over your head.”   It is better read in bits and pieces and the format of the book makes this easy to do.  Each chapter could easily be pulled out and set in a separate article.  The author poses eight questions that one might ask if he or she had an opportunity to have lunch with C.S. Lewis…the meaning of life, friendship, education, the problem of pain and ending with hope and heaven. 

If you are a fan of C.S. Lewis, then you most definitely will enjoy this book.  Given the wealth of information that one can find to read about Mr. Lewis’s life, Dr. McGrath’s book is just a snapshot that can pique your interest in either reading more of C.S. Lewis or going back to visit a favorite Lewis writing. 

The final “lunch” or question that Dr. McGrath has chosen to include in his book is Lewis on Hope and Heaven.  The last two-three paragraphs, McGrath writes about how in his research he came across photographs of Lewis “in small groups of people; others in larger gatherings.  It was easy to identify Lewis himself and some of those who played an important role in his life. But time after time, I could not identify some of the other people in the photographs.  Nor could any of those I consulted who had expert knowledge of Lewis’ family history.” (pg 206).    McGrath goes on to state how these people were important to Lewis even though they were forgotten, but that C.S. Lewis himself would remind us that we are remembered by God and that’s what really matters.  He states, “Human history may forget about us, as it has forgotten so many. But our names are engraved on God’s hands, and written in the Book of Life – a fitting, even inspiring, thought with which to end our series of lunches with Lewis.” (pg 207)

The author, in my opinion, missed a huge opportunity that perhaps Lewis himself would have pointed out.  The only way your name is “written in the Book of Life” is that you’ve accepted the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary and asked him to save your soul. 

For one who is promoted as one of the world’s leading Christian theologians (back jacket cover), it seems an irresponsible ending to an otherwise good book. (rev. P.Howard)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.

1 comment:

  1. I've always thought of C.S. Lewis as a religious intellectual. You make me feel like I could get to know him in this book. Thanks for reviewing it.


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