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C S Lewis: A Life
by Alister McGrath
Publisher:Hodder and Stoughton
McGrath's account of Lewis offers much that is fresh and new. It captures him in his eccentricities, abilities, strengths and perplexities! Fifty years after his death there is meaning and helpfulness in this great new biography.
A communicant in the Church of England, Lewis was playfully orthodox but not specifically evangelical in theological or spiritual emphasis. His closest lifelong friends were a homosexual Unitarian, Greeves and a traditionalist Roman Catholic, Tolkien. His formation, thought-life and legacy were accompanied by many a tankard of beer and prolific smoking. So for some legalists, Lewis is regrettably considered a heretic.
His undeniable Christological apologetic and literary imagination rooted in humanity's struggles and brilliance, are wonderfully described here. The detail, drama, depth and discretion of Lewis' marriage to Joy Davidman are some of my many unexpectedly favourite parts of this work. Edgy perspectives about Irish nuns, alcohol consumption and unresolved thinking previously undeclared, all get airtime here.
There is meaning, wisdom, beauty and much understanding made possible throughout. There is a wholeness, complexity and delight to the Lewis that we meet in this majestic work. Maverick, gutsy talent oozes from this title.
Whatever you may think of C S Lewis as a children's author or a scholar, his importance to contemporary Christianity is undeniable. The wisdom of Lewis is clear, his apologetics are searing and his fiction a powerful glimpse of another world. The thread of Jesus is clear, the talents of Lewis undeniable and an invitation to live distinctively is winsomely understated throughout.
Alistair McGrath's biography of C S Lewis is one of the most beautiful volumes ever held. Photos, research, insight and challenge are all powerfully combined. You will feel yourself to be all the more in the company of the legend. This is a memorable 400 page masterpiece.
Reviewer: Johnny Douglas (23/04/13)