C.S. Lewis Index
Mostly for my own use and reference, here I've kind of "cross-referenced" Lewis' works by category.
- "People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, "If you keep a lot of rules I'll reward you, and if you don't I'll do the other thing." I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that everytime you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your inummerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature." - MC, pg 87
- "If anyone says that sex, in itself, is bad, Christianity contradicts him at once. But, of course, when people say "Sex is nothing to be ashamed of," they mean "the state into which the sexual instinct has now got is nothing to be ashamed of." If they mean that, I think they are wrong. I think it is everything to be ashamed of. There is nothing to be ashamed of in enjoying your food: there would be everything to be ashamed of if half the world made food the main interest of their lives and spent their time looking at pictures of food and dribbling and smacking their lips." - MC, pg 92
Who was Jesus?
- "Among Pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was a part of God, or one with God: there was nothing very odd about it. But this man, since he was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. God, in their language, meant the Being outside the world Who had made it and was infinitely different from anything else. And when you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips." - MC, pg 55
- " I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I won't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at Hid feet and call HIm Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." - MC pg 56
- "And so what? We never have followed the advice of the great teachers. Why are we likely to begin now? Why are we more likely to follow Christ than any of the others? Because he is the best moral teacher?... If Christianity only means one more bit of good advice, then Christianity is of no importance. There has been no lack of good advice for the last four thousand years. A bit more makes no difference." - MC, pg 137
Is the Bible myth?
Particularity of Christianity
- "If you are a Christian you do not have to believe that all other religions are simply wrong all through... But of course, being a Christian does mean thinking that where Christianity differs from other religions, Christianity is right and they are wrong. As in arithmetic - there is only one right answer to a sum, but some of the wrong answers are much nearer being right than others." - MC, pg 43
- "Men are reluctant to pass over from the notion of an abstract and negative diety to the living God. I do not wonder. Here lies the deepest tap-root of Pantheism and of the objection to traditional imagery. It was hated not, at bottom, because it pictured Him as man but because is pictured Him as kind, or even as warrior. The Pantheist's God does nothing, demands nothing. He is there if you wish for Him, like a book on a shelf. He will not pursue you... But it is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone. "Look out!" we cry, "it's alive!" And therefore this is the very point at which many draw back - I would have done so myself if I could - and proceed no further with Christianity. An impersonal God - well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth, and goodness, inside our own heads - better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap - best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband - that is quite another matter." - Miracles, pg 93-94.
- "Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning." - MC, pg 46
- "Reality, in fact, is usually something you could not have guessed. That is one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It is a religion you could not have guessed. If it offered us just the kind of universe we had always expected, I should feel we were making it up. But, in fact, it is not the sort of thing anyone would have made up. It has just that queer twist about it that real things have." - MC pg 48
- "And that is how Theology started. People already knew about God in a vague way. Then came a man whoul claimed to be God; and yet he was not the sort of man you could dismiss as a lunatic. He made them belive Him. They met Him again after they had seen Him killed. And then, after they had been formed into a litle society or communitiy, they found God somehow inside them as well: directing them, making them able to do things they could not do before. And when they worked it all out they found they had arrived at the Christian defninition of the three-personal God." - MC, pg 144
- "It is not for us to say who, in the deepest sense, is or is not close to the spirit of Christ. We do not see into men's hearts. We cannot judge, and are indeed forbidden to judge.... We must therefore stick to the original, obvious meaning. The name Christians was first given at Antioch (Acts 6:26) to the disciples, to those who accepted the teachings of the apostles. There is no question of it's being restricted to to those who profited by that teaching as much as they should have." - MC, pg 11
- " But love, in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state of the will which we naturally have about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people." - MC, pg 115