Reading C S Lewis (his books on christianity)
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27-06-2013, 06:37 PM (This post was last modified: 30-06-2013 06:19 PM by Happy.)
Reading C S Lewis (his books on christianity)
I think this one is going to be a runt, I apologise in advanceSmile
Ok, my mom is a hardcore christian, she doesn’t know I’m an atheist, she thinks I’m not religious enough. So she keeps pushing me all these books to read, including the bible. Because I’m a very methodical person I think that if I want to have a proper discussion with someone, I have to know what they are talking about.
So I’m trying to read the bible, I mean I read the kids one when I was a child, but I’m trying to read the whole one as a type of scientific experiment, like I would read some reference books to write an essay. It’s going very slowly, but it’s goingSmile
But then there are Lewis’ books, I’m trying to read The Problem of Pain at the moment. And, man, I think it’s the worst book I’ve ever read (and I love reading, I read everything). First of all I feel like I’m trying to swim across a swamp. I know, it’s a strange analogy, but that’s what I feel like trying to get to the main point. There’s so much blah blah blah and eventually we get to the point that god loves us all no matter what, even if we don’t understand his “mysterious ways”.
I find it very hard to read any kind of philosophical works in general, because in my mind if you make a statement, you have to give me some supporting evidence. Most of the time I can cope with it, but this is a completely new level! I actually had to stop reading, because it pissed me off so much. I hope I’ll get back to it, because it bugs me if I don’t finish a book. I really don’t think I can read any of his other books. Am I missing something here? Has anyone else read them? Shall I bother at all?
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27-06-2013, 07:03 PM
RE: Ready C S Lewis (his books on christianity)
(27-06-2013 06:37 PM)Happy Wrote:  I think this one is going to be a runt, I apologise in advanceSmile

No need to apologize. With a little TLC, some runts can turn out pretty well. Wink

(Sorry--couldn't resist.)

I've never read C.S. Lewis myself, but I came across a recent article on him you might find interesting, not so much for the article itself but for the comments from readers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/opinio...star.html?

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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27-06-2013, 07:57 PM (This post was last modified: 01-07-2013 07:13 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Ready C S Lewis (his books on christianity)
No, you're not missing anything. Your opinion is exactly how I felt trying to read him. "Swimming in a swamp" is a perfect analogy. I objected to almost every sentence I read. He's a philosophical, theological, and scientific dolt. The thing is his wife died, (bone cancer) and he was utterly inconsolable. He found and married her later in life, and was deeply in love with her, and it was the first time in his life he was really happy. It's against that background you need to understand everything he wrote about pain. He was trying to figure out why his god would do that to him. Unless you presuppose his views on religion, and share his beliefs, the books are worthless. I wouldn't worry about going back to them. I was shocked they were so highly touted, (especially "The Problem of Pain" ... where he is basically talking to himself), when I found them so idiotic.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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27-06-2013, 11:23 PM
RE: Ready C S Lewis (his books on christianity)
I've read a few. Screwtape letters, some boring monograph about prayer, the Pilgrim's regress, Mere Christianity. If you're a believer, they really do strike a chord... If you're not... they're not so much fun. Good as anthropological study material though...
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28-06-2013, 02:34 AM
RE: Ready C S Lewis (his books on christianity)
(27-06-2013 11:23 PM)morondog Wrote:  Screwtape letters

Only thing I remember from that one was this poor old lady who was going to hell, 'cause she liked her toast done just right. Which made her a glutton or something. [Image: facepalm.gif]

And I was religious when I read it, too, so obviously he didn't do that great of a job of scaring me into eating crappy toast and hating myself for being a worthless piece of human scum.

Oh, I also remember how if you don't believe in the devil you only make him stronger. Man, converting later on in life sure does bring out the fundie in one No

Frankly, he wasn't that good of a writer, even when it came to his non-religious books (if he even has any, 'cause Narnia is pathetically religious, in the most obnoxious, in-your-face way.)

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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28-06-2013, 02:48 AM
RE: Ready C S Lewis (his books on christianity)
(28-06-2013 02:34 AM)Vera Wrote:  (if he even has any, 'cause Narnia is pathetically religious, in the most obnoxious, in-your-face way.)

I enjoyed Narnia Tongue

Yeah, they were religious but... the religion in Narnia was so much *better* than the religion it was based on... still a little bit ridiculous... lots of faith in Aslan being insisted on etc. He *wasn't* an amazing writer, but he was a competent writer of fantasy... thousand times better than some of the hacks I've seen.

Religion fits well into swords and sorcery type *fantasy* - one could say it's almost a requirement. That kind of fantasy without religion just doesn't ring true... you have to have a reason for knights to go off on Godly quests which would otherwise be declared ridiculous...

I think Narnia's great in a way because it so emphasizes the difference between Narnia - an explicitly fantasy world - and the real one... almost counts as subversive literature... although poor old CS certainly didn't intend it that way Tongue
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28-06-2013, 03:16 AM
RE: Ready C S Lewis (his books on christianity)
(28-06-2013 02:48 AM)morondog Wrote:  I enjoyed Narnia

Didn't hate it, either. But I was still sorta religious when I read it and I was also an adult. Reading kids' books as an adult is a totally different experience, unfortunately. Not necessarily bad, but different.

Quote: He *wasn't* an amazing writer, but he was a competent writer of fantasy... thousand times better than some of the hacks I've seen.

That's 'cause nearly all fantasy writers are hacks. It's become just a trade. Actually, that kinda applies to most writers anyway.

Quote:Religion fits well into swords and sorcery type *fantasy* - one could say it's almost a requirement. That kind of fantasy without religion just doesn't ring true... you have to have a reason for knights to go off on Godly quests which would otherwise be declared ridiculous...

Probably right (and probably why I haven't been able to read Tolkien after I stopped being religious. Not sure if I can handle it.

On the other hand, my possibly MOST favourite book, The Brothers Lionheart (as well as Mio, My Son, which has one of the most moving, yet simple lines I've ever read) have no religious elements and are still some of the best fantasy books ever written (of course, I'm extremely biased when it comes to Astrid Lindgren, I think she was the best children's writer ever and a wonderful human being.)

(And then, there's Harry Potter, too Tongue )

Quote:I think Narnia's great in a way because it so emphasizes the difference between Narnia - an explicitly fantasy world - and the real one...

The thing is, I'm really with Tolkien when he talks about a secondary world; a really good book should create its own world where the "real" one doesn't figure in and which is true in and of itself.

"Children are capable, of course, of literary belief, when the story-maker's art is good enough to produce it. That state of mind has been called "willing suspension of disbelief." But this does not seem to me a good description of what happens. What really happens is that the story-maker proves a successful "sub-creator." He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is "true": it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside. The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or rather art, has failed. You are then out in the Primary World again, looking at the little abortive Secondary World from outside.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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30-06-2013, 05:10 PM
RE: Ready C S Lewis (his books on christianity)
To be honest I don’t even like his Narnia. If I have to choose something out of fantasy, I think Tolkien is the best out of all of them. But then again, I’m not very big on fantasy to start withConfused
Bu I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks his books are bad. I just don’t understand why so many Christians are raving about them so hard?
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01-07-2013, 05:20 AM
RE: Reading C S Lewis (his books on christianity)
This may be relevant to your interests:



Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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01-07-2013, 07:12 PM
RE: Reading C S Lewis (his books on christianity)
(01-07-2013 05:20 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  This may be relevant to your interests:
Thank you so much, can't wait to get home and watch it allSmile
I do feel a bit bad though that i can't finish it, but as Daniel Pennac said, you have right now to finish a bookSmile
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