Damned Nonsense

by Liz Goodyear-Jones

“If you do not take the distinction between good and bad very seriously, then it is easy to say that anything you find in this world is a part of God…The Christian replies, “don’t talk damned nonsense.” For Christianity is a fighting religion. It thinks God made the world… but it also thinks that a great many things have gone wrong with the world that God made and God insists, and insists very loudly, on our putting them right again.” 

 C.S. Lewis – Mere Christianity

(taken from: A year with C.S.Lewis)

The thing for me about Lewis, who I will admit, I love and respect hugely, is that he is both acidic and totally devoted. When I was took a short course at Oxford, UK, I made a pilgrimage to his cherished pub, fondly called The Bird and Baby (real name: The Eagle and Child). The walls hold pictures of his great writing friends, who made up, The Inklings. The Inklings met regularly and  read their works to one another. I felt like I had walked back in time.

For years, Lewis was an avowed atheist. But with the development of his writing group, he came to be great friends with several devoted Catholics, one of whom, he respected greatly. Through many discussions with this man, Lewis gradually began to believe in God and then to become a Christian. The man’s name was J.R.R. Tolkien.

So, here is this greatly respected British writer and theologian, almost twenty years a teacher at Magdalen College, having pints with J.R.R. at the bird and the baby and winding up a Christian at the end of it all.

Reading his writings is much like going to the pub with C.S. Lewis, having a pint and leaving a little for home bit more in love with Christ. This is his feast day, November 22, the day he died.

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