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Books By C.S. Lewis – Top 10 (Clive Staples Lewis)

Oct 06, 2013

"Many people, especially in the religious world, can name at least one book penned by C.S. Lewis, but did you know that he walked away from religion until he was thirty two?"

Many people, especially in the religious world, can name at least one book penned by C.S. Lewis, but did you know that he walked away from religion until he was thirty two? He lived until just days before his 65th birthday, which means he only spent half of his life as a writer. His books have been made into numerous movies, some of which have been recreated. While reading any of this scripts, you get a sense of who he was and his firm beliefs in his faith.

He was extremely talented as an author and had connections with many other great authors and theologians of his time, including J.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings). Lewis was a professor at Oxford University and Cambridge University. In human eyes, he was extremely successful, but what is most remarkable is how personable he remained even after accumulating awards, wealth and fame.

Here are the top 10 books by C.S. Lewis.

10. A Mind Awake

If you are looking for a book that offers the best writings from many of his books, you will highly enjoy A Mind Awake. Lewis tackled topics that were often difficult to discuss (and still can be). Topics included the nature of man, the moral world, sin, the Christian commitment, and Heaven and Hell. It’s a neat way to see his writings brought together.

9. Yours Jack

If you were alive during Lewis’ lifetime and wrote to him, chances were very high that he would personally write back. I can only imagine how much mail he received and the time that was required to respond. These personal letters were later published as a collection titled Yours Jack. It doesn’t include every letter that Lewis wrote, but rather, a great selection dating from the 1930s through the 1960s.

“The Truth" ">Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

8. God in the Dock

In this collection of essays, Lewis focuses on how Christians often place God on trial as many people question God’s actions and motives. These writings focus on his personal beliefs about the Deity of Christ, religious observances, Christian apologetics, miracles and the decline of religion.

7. Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

Although some think this book has been the least successful one from the C.S. Lewis collection, the writing and themes do not disappoint. He saw a need to guide people to seeing the importance of prayer and did so by setting up the book as though writing letters to a friend. He covers many different types of prayer, including petitions, worship, penitential, and also prayers for the dead. The topics seem less mainstream (even for his time period), but he also has a strong focus on developing an intimate prayer life as a means to connect with God.

6. The Great Divorce

This book is a wonderful piece of work and truly takes you on another imaginative journey, but this time it focuses on Heaven and Hell. It reminds me of Mitch Album’s The Five People You Meet In Heaven because it unravels truths about life. The Great Divorce follows five ghosts and they are given the option to return to Earth or go to Heaven and most of them choose going back to Earth because it is familiar. It brings life into how the Bible describes Heaven and is another timeless writing that applies to our lives today.

5. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

I don’t normally highlight just one book in a series, but The Chronicles of Narnia have become so well known because of the remake of the movies starting in 2005. This book is the first in the series that follows the mystical adventures of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy as they find a secret door leading to the magical land of Narnia. They befriend talking animals and learn that the land covered in snow is under the manipulative control of the White Witch. All six books in the series portray good versus evil and unfold an incredible story of fantasy that generations of children and adults have come to love.

“The Truth" ">Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

4. A Grief Observed

By the time Lewis’ young wife died in 1960, he had already created a name as a compelling author. It’s not surprising that he turned to writing in order to overcome his grief. He did not originally tend on releasing these writings to the public, but was later convinced he could help other people grieve. The book was first published under the pseudonym N.W. Clerk to avoid attention, but was released under his name after he died. Lewis showed the raw emotion and thoughts that overwhelming grief can overtake each day through his writing.

3. Mere Christianity

Lewis took on a huge challenge when he wrote Mere Christianity. He was formerly an atheist, so he wrote about the foundational elements of Christianity in order to appeal to those who were considered intellectual during his time and also people with a basic education. Topics include why Christ is the savior, why Jesus’ death and the resurrection reconciles the world to God and why the doctrine of the Trinity is central to the Christian life.

2. The Problem of Pain

People have always experienced pain and even after thousands of years, many still question why God allows good people to suffer and for evil to seemingly reign. An intriguing aspect of this book is that Lewis wrote a chapter called “Animal Pain”. Natural events and those caused by mankind happen daily, which is why this book is timeless.

1. The Screwtape Letters

If you have read many of Lewis’ books, you will notice that he set up several as letters. The Screwtape Letters is setup this way and centered around a devil in the Infernal Civil Service who is mentoring his beginner nephew Wormwood. Wormwood is attacking a young man who just became a Christian and through the letters, Lewis impresses upon readers how the devil views human feelings of failure and temptations to impact us on the deepest levels.

There are many great established and up-and-coming Christian authors today that still reference C.S. Lewis’ work. God has worked through Lewis tremendously, both while he was living and after he died. Although it’s easy to wish that Lewis were still around today, I think his work will continue to be accessible for years to come and inspire writers that have yet to realize their calling.

Click on this link to see an article counting down top Christian authors.  Best Christian Authors:  20 Great Christian Writers

Resources- ESV Holy Bible, Youtube, photo credit: sfjalar via photopin cc

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