When people ask me to name my favorite author, like many others I respond with the name of C.S. Lewis. Since I first heard The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a boy, I have been a fan. I have a bookshelf of his books. If he wrote it, I’ve read it. And you’ve probably read it too.
Is it too much of a stretch to say that Lewis was the most influential Christian writer of the 20th century?
Many Christian books are peppered with his quotes. Artists and movie-makers are inspired by his fiction.
If you’re a Lewis fan you may know that today is the 49th anniversary of his death. He passed away on 22 November 1963. There are few people whose deaths I remember each year, but Lewis’s is one of them. And one of the best ways to remember him is to read something he wrote. If you don’t have a copy of Perelandra or Screwtape handy, then my list of favorite C.S. Lewis quotes below may be the next best thing. Enjoy!
1. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.
2. Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.
3. Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.
4. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.
5. To enter heaven is to become more human than you ever succeeded in being on earth; to enter hell, is to be banished from humanity.
6. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth, only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.
7. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
8. Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.
9. Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.
10. Let’s pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere.
11. Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.
12. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
13. It’s so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see one.
14. There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “All right, then, have it your way.”
15. 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.
16. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.
17. You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.
18. No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.
19. Whatever is not eternal is eternally out of date.
20. We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade the presence of God. The whole world is crowded with Him.
Do you have a favorite C.S. Lewis quote? Write and tell us below.
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