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Showing posts from February, 2009


"Remember, this repentance, this willing submission to humiliation and a kind of death, is not something God demands of you before He will take you back and which He could let you off if he chose: it is simply a description of what going back to Him is like. If you ask God to take you back without it, you are really asking Him to let you go back without going back. It cannot happen. Very well, then, we must go through with it. But the same badness which makes us need it, makes us unable to do it. Can we do it if God helps us? Yes, but what do we mean when we talk of God helping us? We mean God putting into us a bit of Himself, so to speak. He lends us a little of His reasoning powers and that is how we think: He puts a little of His love into us and that is how we love one another. When you teach a child writing, you hold its hand while it forms the letters: that is, it forms the letters because you are forming them. We love and reason because God loves and reasons and h

Ash Wednesday

"Now what was the sort of 'hole' man had got himself into? He had tried to set up on his own, to behave as if he belonged to himself. In other words, fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms. Laying down your arms, surrendering, saying you are sorry, realising that you have been on the wrong track and getting ready to start life over again from the ground floor--that is the only way out of our 'hole.' This process of surrender--this movement full speed astern--is what Christians call repentance. Now repentance is no fun at all. It is something much harder than merely eating humble pie. It means unlearning all the self-conceit and self-will that we have been training ourselves into for thousands of years. It means killing part of yourself, undergoing a kind of death. In fact, it needs a good man to repent. And here comes the catch. Only a bad person needs to repent: only a good person

Sheldon Vanauken Remembered

A good crowd gathered at the White Hart Cafe in Lynchburg, Virginia on Saturday, February 7 for a powerpoint presentation I gave on the life and work of Sheldon Vanauken. Van, as he was known to family and friends, was best known as the author of A Severe Mercy , the autobiography of his love relationship with his wife Jean "Davy" Palmer Davis. While living in Oxford, England in the early 1950's, Van and Davy came to faith in Christ through the influence of C. S. Lewis. Van was a professor of history and English literature at Lynchburg College from 1948 until his retirement around 1980. A Severe Mercy tells the story of Davy's death from a mysterious liver ailment in 1955 and Van's subsequent dealing with grief. Van himself died from cancer in 1996. It was my privilege to know Van for a brief period of time during the last year of his life. However, present at the White Hart on February 7 were some who knew Van far better than I did--Floyd Newman, one of Van&

C. S. Lewis for 9th Graders

On Friday, February 6 I had the privilege of speaking to the 9th grade class at New Covenant Christian School in Lynchburg, Virginia. The class is studying the life and theology of C. S. Lewis under the direction of Chaplain Bart Martin. (I wish I could have taken a class on Lewis's theology when I was in 9th grade!) The class had wonderful questions following my powerpoint presentation on Lewis's life. In the photo above you can see them all holding up their copies of Mere Christianity. They all seemed to identify with my high school experience of struggling through the first part of MC. But I assured them there are good things in store in that book to which they can look forward. They are also reading The Screwtape Letters and using my two books on Lewis ( Mere Theology and The Professor of Narnia) as references.

Billy Graham Goes to L. A.

There is an interesting podcast on about Billy Graham's first major crusade in Los Angeles in 1949. On the podcast there are snippets of an interview with Yours Truly. You may access the podcast by clicking here:

Coffeehouse Gig

Darrell Laurant wrote a nice article in the Lynchburg News & Advance about my upcoming presentation on Sheldon Vanauken this Saturday, February 7, 3 pm, at the White Hart Cafe in Lynchburg, Virginia. You can read it here:

Sheldon Vanauken

I will be offering a presentation about the life and works of Sheldon Vanauken (author of A Severe Mercy and friend of C. S. Lewis) to a gathering at The White Hart Cafe in Lynchburg, Virginia on Saturday, February 7 at 3 pm. For more details about The White Hart you may visit their web site at: For more information about Sheldon Vanauken and his books click here: