Category Archives: C.S. Lewis
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.
This week’s topic is ‘10 Books From X Genre That I’ve Recently Added To My TBR List.’ Rather than choosing a particular genre, I’ve chosen ten books on my currently reading list at Goodreads. These are books that I started a long time ago and for some reason or other I never got back to them. So I’ve made a separate TBR pile for them and hopefully this might inspire to pick them up and start reading them again. For some of them it’s been so long ago that I started them that I’ll have to go back to the beginning and start all over again. Here are the ten I picked:
- If I Had Lunch With C.S. Lewis:Exploring the Ideas of C.S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life by Alister McGrath
- Soccer in Sun and Shadow by Eduardo Galeano
- Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs
- Daddy Lenin and Other Stories by Guy Vanderhaeghe
- The Story of Kullervo by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Convictions Matter: The Function of Salvation Army Doctrines by Ray Harris
- In the First Circle by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
- George MacKay Brown: The Wound and the Gift by Ron Ferguson
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
- Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
It seems like a daunting list, but hopefully I’ll get some of them read soon.
I normally just use this blog for things pertaining to books, movies, sport, and other daily kinds of mundane fun things, but I feel the need to do something different today.
I think that the events in Manchester this week, along with the aftermath, have probably brought me to this, although it’s been on my mind for much longer.
It all boils down to this – our world needs more love. There is too much hatred and it comes from all sides everywhere and is not monopolized by any one group, nation, religion, or whatever tribe people align themselves with. There are fundamentalists everywhere, who will do anything, to the point of killing innocents, to make themselves heard. History repeats itself over and over again with the same results. I don’t pretend to understand everything, or have the solution to all the woes of the world, but our world could definitely use more love, along with some understanding.
Each day I read posts on Facebook and the social media platforms where people argue about everything and everything, where there often seems to be too much shouting and very little listening. Things often turn nasty when someone doesn’t agree with another person’s thoughts or ideas. It would be a boring world if we always agreed with each other, but why do differences of opinion often have to cause cessations of friendships or resort to name-calling, or worse. People often try to hide behind freedom of speech, but this freedom comes with responsibility and doesn’t mean that anyone has the right to continually put down others or destroy their character. It’s not wrong to disagree with another person over something, but it is crossing the line when the disagreement takes a personal turn. C.S. Lewis always enjoyed a good debate and had no problem disagreeing with others on a variety of matters, but he never allowed such disagreements to lead to personal acrimony (for a good article on this read C.S. Lewis and the Art of Disagreement).
It seems lately, though, that some issues have become more polarizing than others. One only need to mention the name ‘Trump’ and things can soon get out of hand. Some claim he is God’s chosen man, others say there’s no way he can be, and then the barbs start flying and things often get out of hand. By the way, from where I’m sitting, I can see no evidence that he could have been specially chosen by God. First of all, such a claim doesn’t seem scriptural to me, and secondly, his life certainly does not reflect it, in my opinion. Nothing that he has done so far as the leader of one of the most powerful nations on earth has persuaded me otherwise. In fact, with each passing day it seems like his actions take him further and further away from the possibility of there being any reflection in his life of being a follower of Jesus. Even this week at the NATO meetings in Europe Trump has shown himself to be an ignorant boor, as he pushed himself to the front like a spoiled schoolboy, in the process shoving Dusko Markovic, the Prime Minister of Montenegro and leader of NATO, aside, then beaming like an imbecile when he got to the front. This shows a severe lack of respect and dignity, and is behaviour that belittles the position he was elected to. It’s hard to imagine Jesus behaving like this.
There are two key passages in scripture which point to the conclusions that I have come to. The first one is in Matthew 22 where one of the experts in the Law asks Jesus what the greatest commandment is. Jesus replies: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” If someone fails to follow these commandments then everything else they do negates any claims they may have to be a follower of Jesus. There is very little love for anyone but himself in the way that Trump shows himself on the world stage.
The second passage that comes to mind is in Matthew 25 where Jesus talks about the separation of those who have fed the hungry, given water to the thirsty, clothed the naked, looked after the sick, and visited the imprisoned from those who have failed to do that. To those who did these things he says: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Then he invites them into their inheritance. However, to those who have failed to do this things he says: “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Later he adds “I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Most of the proposals Trump has made so far will do little or nothing for the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, or imprisoned (i.e. the poor), so how can he be God’s chosen if he fails to follow the commands of God?
Basically, what I am saying is that it’s all about love, but not love of self before all else. If you are in doubt about the importance of this love thing, then take a few minutes to read the first letter of John. There’s enough in there to confirm, and add to, what I’ve already said. It’s not easy and I know there are times when I’ve fallen short in the commands to love, but I have to pick myself up and try again.
We live in a very broken world, but let’s not add any more hatred to it. Instead endeavour to follow the commands to love. In the end love will win. It may not seem like that at times, but it will.
Happy New Year to everyone!
The above two C.S. Lewis quotes seem appropriate as we enter 2017. I spent part of today thinking back on 2016, on some of the things that happened, as well as reflecting on things that I didn’t get done that I wish I had. I also spent some time wondering about 2017 and what I’d like to achieve in the months ahead. I’ll take some time to list some of those thoughts tomorrow. I’m not big on resolutions, but I like to have some goals in place at the start of the year. 2016 wasn’t that bad of a year, but I have a feeling that 2017 will be better. Time will tell.
Musing Mondays is a weekly meme, hosted by Jenn at Books And A Beat, that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
- I’m currently reading…
- Up next I think I’ll read…
- I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
- I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
- I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
- I can’t wait to get a copy of…
- I wish I could read ___, but…
- I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Are there any particular worlds in books in which you’d like to live?
It’s been a really long time since I did one of these posts, so I’ll answer a few of the prompts, as well as the random question, instead of choosing just one:
I’m currently reading: I always have too many books on the go, but one that I’m currently reading and enjoying is Beyond Loneliness: The Gift of God’s Friendship by Trevor Hudson. It’s the first book in this year’s Renovaré Book Club, which I joined again this year. Another book I’m trying to get through is The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov. This selection of classic short stories is the first I’ve read by Asimov. So far it’s a great read.
I can’t wait to get a copy of: either Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue or Rescuing Jesus by Deborah Jian Lee. They are both on my Christmas wish list and are two I’d really like to read soon.
Now the random question: Are there any particular worlds in books in which you’d like to live? There are two: Narnia or Middle-Earth. Both of these imaginary worlds are so different to where I am now, but Lewis and Tolkien created two vivid alternative worlds that would be exciting to live in, plus I think I’d make a good Hobbit!
Bookmark Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Aloi from guiltless reading. Take a picture of one of your favourite bookmarks, post it on your blog, and head over to guiltless reading to share a to your post.
It’s been a while since I participated in this, but I’m going to try to get back on schedule again! I thought I’d quickly share the following bookmark of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, from this summer’s Stratford Festival presentation. We have tickets to see it tomorrow, so I’m quickly reading the book again as a refresher. It’s one of my favourite books from long ago anyway and I’ve lost count of the times I’ve read it.