Day 13 – Favourite author
This was an easy one for me. C.S. Lewis. I’ve read most of his books, I’ve watched documentaries about him and his life, I’ve read snippets of his biographies and letters, and I’ve taken a university course based on some of his works. So perhaps he is my favourite author because I know, by far, more about him than any other author.
Lewis was the grandson of a Anglican priest but he abandoned his Christian faith as a teenager. He hated school and when he was sixteen, his father finally agreed to hire a private tutor. This tutor, whom Lewis called, The Great Knock, was “a hard, satirical atheist who taught me how to think.” He was a great influence on Lewis’ journey into atheism but, surprisingly Lewis credits his tutor for teaching him how to reason, which therefore allowed him to be argued into Christianity. Lewis called himself “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England.”
I dislike Christian books that attempt to manipulate the reader into a belief in God. I perhaps have even more of an aversion to secular books which attack Christianity without an understanding of it. What I love about Lewis is both his rational, direct opinions, yet his warmth and generosity towards the people with whom he disagrees. With him, I never feel like I’m having some idea or precept forced down my throat. He merely presents his beliefs in a very logical, matter-of-fact, reasonable way, but they are presented as his beliefs and the reader is only asked to consider them, almost as if you are joining him in conversation.
One of my favourite quotes of Lewis:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
I have a great amount of respect for C.S. Lewis. A year doesn’t go by without a read of at least one of his books.