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.”
The news has been filled with remembrances of John F. Kennedy for weeks now, today being the 50th anniversary of his tragic death. A young, handsome President cut down by an assassin’s bullet is a searing memory for a nation, and one that is rightly commemorated. But on this day, November 22, 1963, the world lost someone of far greater accomplishment and influence. Just one week shy of his 65th birthday, C.S. Lewis passed away in his bedroom of renal failure.
I will not attempt here to eulogize the great man, or to catalogue his great contributions to literature and apologetics. I will just say that The Abolition of Man and Mere Christianity are the reasons why I am a Christian today. The brilliance of his arguments, combined with his lively, witty prose, and powerful intellect appealed to me when I needed much more than blithe and airy exhortations to “take it on faith.” For me, C.S. Lewis stands in powerful rebuke to all of the lazy, simple minded guides from my youth who tortured me with, “the bible says it, I believe it; that settles it.” When I happily discovered that he was also a world class beer aficionado, my admiration morphed into something awfully close to devotion.
So, on this day, November 22, 2013, I will note with sorrow the passing of our 35th President. But I will mourn the loss of Clive Staples Lewis.