CS Lewis Classroom

A short course with Dr. Peter Kreeft

May 4th SURPRISED BY JOY is his spiritual autobiography and conversion story. I guarantee you will find at least those two things in it: great surprises and great joy. Its central theme is Augustine’s “restless heart,” and the heart’s search for a joy that is indefinable and unattainable yet demanding.

May 11th  MERE CHRISTIANITY is his very clear, simple, and direct summary of Christianity for a BBC radio audience. Next to the Gospels, this is the book I recommend first to all non-Christians who want to know just what Christianity is. It remarkably combines clarity and profundity, and is equally praised by orthodox Catholics and Protestants.

May 18th THE PROBLEM OF PAIN, despite its shortness, is the most adequate and clear answer I know to the strongest argument for atheism and against faith in the Christian God. Also, 1 have never read any better account of both Heaven and Hell than the two short chapters in this book.

May 25th A GRIEF OBSERVED is a brief personal diary Lewis kept to record his agonizing reactions to the painful death of his young wife. It is a modern version of the Book of Job: the most harrowingly honest and helpful book I know about death and grieving, and strengthening our faith when it is most threatened. Books (3) and (4) naturally go together as the objective and subjective, intellectual and emotional, theological and personal, aspects of human suffering.

June 1st TILL WE HAVE FACES is Lewis’ very best book, and, I am convinced, one of the greatest novels ever written both for style (clear and clean) and content (deep and dark). Located in pagan, pre-Christian times, it plumbs the profundities of God’s providential plan for our messy lives, explores the turbulent relationship between faith and reason, and asks questions like “why must holy places be dark places?” Lewis’ wife helped him write this book; no mere man could have written it alone.

June 8th THE GREAT DIVORCE is a theological fantasy about Heaven and Hell and the everyday choices we make that determine our eternal destiny. It’s Dante’s “Divine Comedy” miniaturized, modernized, and psychologized. I’ve seen it performed on stage on four different occasions for four very different audiences, and all four were stunned to silence at it.