Page 6, 31st July 1992

31st July 1992
Page 6
Page 6, 31st July 1992 — Unorthodox beliefs
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Organisations: Infernal Civil Service

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Unorthodox beliefs

Daily Readings with C S Lewis edited by Walter Hooper (Fount, £4.99) Sian Bronock

THIS is a collection of short extracts taken from several of the theological works of C S Lewis.

The book consists of Lewis' meanderings through his interpretations of Christian beliefs, most of which are not a little unorthodox.

Perhaps this lack of conformity is explained by Hopper's foreword, which charts Lewis' early religious upbringing, subsequent loss of faith and eventual conversion back to Christianity, after which he described himself as "the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England".

It is easy to believe that he was still struggling against his newfound faith when he wrote such works as God in the Dock, as he appears to possess a very secular attitude to religious matters.

The most enjoyable extracts in this collection come from The Screwtape Letters. a witty series of correspondence between an administration worker in the Infernal Civil Service and his young colleague who is working on earth attempting to steal someone's soul. These letters display Lewis' talent for instructing without seeming to do so.

Unfortunately Lewis does not display this skill in his straight forward theological work, which tends to be dry and dull.

Lewis should have been content with the achievement that he is perhaps most famous for he was the author of the classic children's books, The Chronicles of Narnia. These books do have parallels to his Christian beliefs while remaining infinitely readable. In contrast, this collection was disappointing.




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