Book Review: The Soul of C.S. Lewis

The Soul of C.S. Lewis: A Meditative Journey through Twenty-Six of His Best-Loved Writings

Written and edited by Wayne Martindale, Jerry Root, and Linda Washington

Whether the words Narnia, Screwtape, and the Weight of Glory lead down familiar paths in your reading habits, or if you are just being introduced to one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century, this book is a must-have. It is an invaluable spring-board into the broader range of Lewis’ thinking coupled to helpful comments and Biblical passages.

It is dedicated to the need for quiet reflection and the “interconnectedness of Scripture and life.”

Designed for the reader’s personal growth, each offering is one short page. The book is divided into four categories: Pilgrimage, Temptation and Triumph, Going Deeper, and Words of Grace. There are six chapters in each category from six different writings, with ten contemplative offerings from each work cited. The introduction is packed with valuable references and establishes the flow for the entire work.

This book is three hundred and seventeen pages of sustenance for our souls. It expands our ability to plumb the depths of God’s Word through the heart of C. S. Lewis.  The contributors vary from life-long Lewis scholars to those who have lived his mind in the realms of his fiction. All carry insight into Lewis’ connection to the mind of God.

Thankfully, his fiction works have been included and act as what they are: an expansion of his intellectual understanding of human nature. Story, for many of us, is the link that brings truth to life. The introduction states:

“Lewis himself was well aware that reason has its own weaknesses. If someone makes a bad decision or a questionable moral choice, reason is not so quick to challenge the choice and call the individual to repentance. It is more likely that reason will be marshaled by the will to make a host of rationalizations and excuses for the bad choice. Consequently, bad moral choices can lead to intellectual blindness; cleverness is no synonym for ethical clarity. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:18 that ‘wicked people…suppress the truth by their wickedness.’ Lewis recognized that reason, having been employed to justify a bad choice, will stand like a dragon guarding access to the heart, thus keeping one’s understanding darkened. Sometimes story alone makes it possible to get past a watchful dragon.”

We have been blessed with Lewis’ insight into the human soul. His ability to communicate that insight will stand for posterity. This book adds to that gift by helping us connect the dots between Lewis’ vast works, his enduring themes, and Scripture. It is the work of ten gifted writers who will help move this treasure into the minds and hearts of coming generations, adding their own depths of scholarship and understanding to us, the readers.

Tyndale House Publishers has graciously provided a complimentary copy of this book to the reviewer. Yea!

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