Top 20 C.S. Lewis Quotes

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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17 Comments on Top 20 C.S. Lewis Quotes

  1. Thanks for that Paul – I too am a huge C.S. Lewis fan and one I came across just today that really captured my attention was “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself, less.” C.S. Lewis. Have been pondering on that scripture that many find “challenging” Mark 8:34 “When He had called the people to [Himself], with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” and this particular C.S. Lewis quote summed it up for me in a nutshell!

  2. william Seabrooke // November 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm // Reply

    Interesting that he passed from this life the same date as the 35th President of the United States John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

  3. Thanks, C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite Authors. I’ve read many of his works, noteable “The Problem with Pain”. I’ve wrestled with this issue for years as a Christian but like some in the past with similar feelings, I have not turned my back on God. By His grace I move onward, willing to learn more from Him.

    I’ve read may comments about Lewis’s book and this is one of my favorites.
    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    C.S. Lewis first wrote this book in 1940. In this manuscript Lewis considers the problem of suffering from a theoretical and theological viewpoint. The existence of pain in a world created by a good and loving God is a fundamental dilemma and perhaps one of the most common objections to Christianity.

    Lewis touches on some very key points of basic theology. But, he does so in a way that is bold, informative and energizing.

    In discussing the omnipotent and good natures of God, Lewis wrestles with two ideas that no sinful human could begin to understand. He does a splendid job comparing created and Creator so as to remind us that because of our nature man can not comprehend God’s. However, Lewis makes a valiant effort to help us get a better grasp on God’s perfect love.

    The heart of the book is centered on a review of man. Lewis investigates the fall of man and man’s wickedness and pain. Aware of the reader’s humanity he reminds us that we are imperfect, sinful and contain no qualities that are redeeming to a perfect being. Our pain, while unpleasant, is in fact well deserved and compassionately lenient.

    The conclusion is not – why does God allow pain? But, instead – why does he allow any of us a respite from our suffering? There is nothing in man deserving of relief or reward, but, through the grace and mercy of God, He has determined that He will provide some of us an eternity free from pain. How sweet that will be.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
    Blessings,

    Dano

  4. my favorite from “mere christianity”…

    “The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says “Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill a tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked – the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.”

    so much perspective in one little paragraph… sigh.

    have you heard of the band wavorly? the songs on their album “conquering the fear of flight” were influenced by c s lewis’ writings too! 🙂

  5. One I read recently has become a real favourite:

    ” We don’t need more people writing Christian books, what we need is more Christians writing good books.”

    Thanks for the Gospel in Ten words by the way Paul, it would definitely sit for me in the latter.

  6. Norman Silva // December 13, 2012 at 4:34 am // Reply

    For all of you that were raised with C.S. Lewis’ teaching, here is an interesting article. There are many books about his beliefs that the discerning Christian should be concerned about…

  7. Norman Silva // December 13, 2012 at 7:58 am // Reply

    Got it Paul – thanks.

  8. “If you think of this world as a place simply intended for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place for training and correction and it’s not so bad.”

    ― C.S. Lewis

  9. Emeth speaking of Aslan, “Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek…And since then, O Kings and Ladies, I have been wandering to find him and my happiness is so great that it even weakens me like a wound. And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me Beloved, me who am but as a dog

    C.S. Lewis

  10. LIVING AS a beleiver or on the belief that there is a supernatural being that started human life, simply means living simply..Not about running your mouth, but being an example with ongoing stable minds and comminment to “doing the right thing”, for our peers to soak in and carry on these characteristics to another loved one., and so on. Its easy to be bad, its harder to remain good. I want a challege in life……heee, heee

  11. sunil maverick // November 30, 2013 at 7:04 am // Reply

    Thanks Paul…for sharing .. love

  12. ari rottenberg // July 17, 2014 at 10:54 am // Reply

    I have a question about the phrase “Let’s pray that the human race never escapes from Earth”

    I’ve seen that quote posted on a number of websites but have no other information about it. Was it included in one of his books? Was it mentioned in a talk or an article?

  13. I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the horses the new strength of fear for the last mill so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.

  14. “And since then, O Kings and Ladies, I have been wandering to find him and my happiness is so great that it even weakens me like a wound. And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me, Beloved, me who am but as a dog.” –Emeth, “The Last Battle” by C.S. Lewis

  15. shirley jenkins // November 30, 2016 at 8:53 pm // Reply

    The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely,voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight,compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water Mere Christianity ..

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