The Book I Chose

I chose to bring Till We Have Faces by CS Lewis. That's the book I brought to the Reader's Retreat last weekend.

I don't know that anyone has had as large an impact on my imagination as Lewis. He got ahold of me before Jesus ever did. I was a Narnian before I was a Christian. And the Christian tree of life that was planted in me was planted on Narnian soil.

As I got older, I found myself fascinated by Lewis' more apologetic writings: first The Screwtape Letters, then Mere Christianity and then the rest (Four Loves, The Problem of Pain, The Abolition of Man, Miracles, and the ironically titled Surprised by Joy). Somewhere in there I read his letters and The Joyful Christian and his book on MacDonald.

My mind was becoming mechanical. Christianity was becoming a set of propositional truths. Right answers abounded left and right. Lewis started to bend me and make me cold.

But then he straightened me out. The Great Divorce thawed the ice and the Space Trilogy cracked it. A Grief Observed rolled me back into the land of the lively. Stories washed over me.

And that's when I discovered Lewis the professor. His preface writings to Paradise Lost and to De Incarnatione Verbi Dei. The Discarded Image. He was a postmodern before postmodernity was a thing.

And then Till We Have Faces.

I've never read another book like it.


  1. Great post Steve. Did I tell you our third and youngest daughter's name is Istra? Now is the part where I shamelessly invite myself to any Readers Retreat you organize in the future. Have you read An Experiment in Criticism? It is one that I have not read but was suggested by Eugene Peterson in one of his recent books. I am hoping to get to it soon.

  2. Thanks, Josh. I haven't read it. I've read excerpts from it. The same goes with God in the Dock and a bunch of his essay-work. I still have a lot of reading to do.