ERROL CASTENS: It wasn’t only JFK … C.S. Lewis made his mark



Elsewhere in these pages and virtually all news media are memories and analyses of the tragic events besetting John F. Kennedy 50 years ago today, and speculations about what might have been.

Had JFK not gone to Dallas, Nov. 22, 1963, would be remembered best as the day the world lost scholar, fantasy writer and Christian apologist extraordinaire C. S. Lewis.

The 50th anniversary of his death merits reflecting on a few of his quotes:

• “There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion (‘Man’s search for God!’) suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us?” – from “Miracles”

• “In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that – and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison – you do not know God at all. As long as you are proud you cannot know God.” – from “Mere Christianity”

• “The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose.” – from “Mere Christianity”

• “There have been men before now who got so interested in proving the existence of God that they came to care nothing for God Himself … as if the good Lord had nothing to do but exist! There have been some who were so occupied in spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ.” – from “The Great Divorce”

• “Christians have often disputed as to whether what leads the Christian home is good actions, or Faith in Christ. … It seems to me like asking which blade in a pair of scissors is most necessary.” – from “Mere Christianity”

• “‘Oh, of course. I’m wrong. Everything I say or do is wrong, according to you.’ ‘But of course!’ said the Spirit, shining with love and mirth so that my eyes were dazzled. ‘That’s what we all find when we reach this country. We’ve all been wrong! That’s the great joke. There’s no need to go on pretending one was right! After that we begin living.’” – from “The Great Divorce”

• “It is easy enough to remove the particular kinds of graft or bullying that go on under the present system: but as long as men are twisters or bullies they will find some new way of carrying on the old game under the new system. You cannot make men good by law: and without good men you cannot have a good society.” – from “Mere Christianity”

• “The Life-Force is a sort of tame God. You can switch it on when you want, but it will not bother you. All the thrills of religion and none of the cost. Is the “life-Force the greatest achievement of wishful thinking the world has yet seen?” – from “Mere Christianity”

Contact Daily Journal reporter Errol Castens at or (662) 816-1282.

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