C.S. Lewis

Sharia or Sahara: What’s Behind the Genocide in Nigeria?

Despite its patent absurdity, the meme that terror has nothing to do with Islam never seems to die. A reminder of its tenacity comes from Northern Nigeria where assaults on Christians by Muslims are routinely referred to by government, media, and the “international community” as “clashes.” “Over 2,000 Nigerians killed in Farmers-Herdsmen clashes.” This typical headline [...]

When C.S. Lewis Befriended a Living Catholic Saint

When Luigi Calabria, a shoemaker married to a housemaid, died in Verona, Italy in 1882, the youngest of his seven sons, Giovanni, nine years old, had to quit school and take a job as an apprentice. A local parish priest, Don Pietro Scapini, privately tutored him for the minor seminary, from which he took a [...]

Motherhood and Civilization

Crowns fall fittingly upon the head of the Virgin during this month of May, but it is also fitting that they fall upon the head of every mother. Mothers possess hearts that act like God’s megaphone. It is of the very nature of mothers to be God’s proxy in a world weary of God. Even [...]

Why the Left Is So Seductive

Much has been written in recent decades, and with good reason, about the institutions that shape culture (academia, the mainstream media, the entertainment industry), their liberal bias, and how they can be effective evangelists for the Left. However, this essay will explore forces within the human person—formidable but not irresistible—that go back to the Garden [...]

Not a Tame Lion: The “Deplorable” C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis was not Catholic, much less a theologian who teaches with an authority Catholics are obliged to recognize. As an eloquent proponent of natural law and the close colleague of important Catholic writers like J.R.R. Tolkien and Elizabeth Anscombe, however, the Anglican Lewis is surely someone whose significance we must acknowledge. Unfortunately, among some [...]

Evangelical Admiration for the Medieval Church

Over Christmas break, the family and I found ourselves with a detailed 3-D jigsaw puzzle of Paris’s famous Notre Dame. While it did not take as long to complete the puzzle as it took to build the medieval cathedral (182 years, according to Wikipedia), it did present challenges. Our son-in-law, now completing a doctorate in [...]

Balancing Humility and Ambition for the Inner Ring

In his new book How to Think, Alan Jacobs brings up a 1944 lecture by the British writer C.S. Lewis that summarizes well the state of politics three-quarters of a century later and an ocean away—not surprising perhaps, given that his observation is one that humanity has experienced for millennia. In his lecture at King’s [...]

Myth and the Desire for the Transcendent

There is within our present society a profound and pervasive sensitivity that something is amiss, a deep and desperate yearning for things higher than our modern materialistic society has within its power to offer. Burrowed in the innermost secret place of every man and woman there is a sense, an inherent knowledge, that much of [...]

C.S. Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew

For those who are concerned with important books, The Magician’s Nephew should be a concern. It is important because in reading this book, the young reader should experience that particular delight when a book surprises you with the completely unexpected. And the surprise at the end of The Magician’s Nephew is of the first order. [...]

When the Benedict Option is the Only Option

Much has been written about Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option. It has been portrayed as not so much an option as an opting out. Critics have said it is a call to run away from the public square, an escape, an indefensible retreat, and an admission of defeat. The Benedict Option is thought to be a [...]

Logan, Technocracy, and the Abolition of Man

The newly released film Logan, the final appearance of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, the metal-clawed and brooding member of the X-Men, is indeed a film heavy on violence and profanity. It does, however, offer a fascinating view of what is possible when man uses technological advancement divorced from any conception of nature and the good. [...]

How “Educators” Kill Creativity

How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world! Fie on ’t, ah fie! 'Tis an unweeded garden That grows to seed. Things rank and gross in nature Possess it merely. Hamlet, I, ii, 133-8 Recently, a document about education in Australia found its way onto my desk. Hereafter [...]

The Wisdom Of Saint Mary Of Bethany

Six days before the Passover, one day before Palm Sunday, and not long before Holy Week, Jesus came to Bethany to where Lazarus was with his siblings, Martha and Mary (John 12:1-8). Parallel accounts in Matthew (26:6-13) and Mark (14:3-9) tell us that they were at the house of Simon the leper. While Martha served [...]

Lessons from Lewis: On C.S. Lewis’ The Silver Chair

When I first read and re-read the seven Narnia books, The Silver Chair was easily my favorite. Many years later, this is still the case, and for several reasons. In it we find the Marsh-wiggle Puddleglum, who (rivaled only by Repicheep the mouse) is perhaps the most memorable character in the entire series. It has [...]

Abolishing the Moral Order

In The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis argued that all the celebratory talk about man’s increasing ability to control nature had a dark side in which some men took control over other men with nature as the instrument. But, so long as the Judeo-Christian understanding of man was dominant, it would be difficult for tyrants [...]

The Babble of Babel

“Noise — Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile … We will make the whole universe a noise in the end.” – Screwtape Perhaps it was providence (or editorial insight) that led to two particular articles being published in Crisis Magazine on the same day. On the [...]

C. S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength

Published in 1945 as the third volume of a series with Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra, Lewis’ novel portrays the clash of two world views that reflect the cultural wars of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries—the civilization of love versus the culture of death. Set in the quiet, rural village of Edgestow [...]

Lessons from Lewis: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

A mark of excellent children’s literature is that it appeals to adults. My children insist that I read to them on a daily basis and I insist on reading them books that I too enjoy. Fortunately, it is not very difficult to find such books: ones that I genuinely enjoy reading and that they genuinely [...]

What Christian Education is Not

A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed.  ∼ G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1908). Christian education cannot be utilitarian. In fact, it will only be Christian in as much as it ceases to be utilitarian. One of the most destructive myths in recent decades has been [...]

Looking to Heaven Brings Blessings to Earth

In Catholic tradition, three senses of Scripture—the allegorical, the moral, and the anagogical—are built upon the foundation of the literal sense. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church 117, in the anagogical sense we “view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us to our true homeland: thus the Church on [...]

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

Believe it or not, there really is a religious movement called “Chrislam.” It began in Nigeria in the 1980s as an attempt to foster peace between Muslims and Christians by blending elements of Islam and Christianity. Its followers stress the commonalities between the two faiths and they recognize both the Koran and the Bible as [...]

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