LOGOS (eNewsletter) – December 2021

Newsletter of the C. S. Lewis Society of California
December 2021

Merry Christmas!
A. Believing Is Seeing: A Physicist Explains How Science Shattered His Atheism and Revealed the Necessity of Faith, by Michael Guillen (Tyndale Refresh, 2021)
Is your worldview enlightened enough to accommodate both science and God at the same time? Michael Guillen, best-selling author, Emmy award–winning journalist and former physics instructor at Harvard, used to be an atheist―until science changed his mind. Once of the opinion that people of faith are weak, small-minded folks who just don’t understand science, Guillen ultimately concluded that not only does science itself depend on faith, but faith is actually the mightiest power in the universe. In Believing Is Seeing, he recounts the fascinating story of his journey from atheism to Christianity, citing the latest discoveries in neuroscience, physics, astronomy, and mathematics to pull back the curtain on the mystery of faith as no one ever has. Is it true that “seeing is believing?” Or is it possible that reality can be perceived most clearly with the eyes of faith―and that truth is bigger than proof?

“This is a fascinating, readable, and compelling book, especially for those who think our wonder-full universe is one grand accident. It isn’t.”
Robert C. Fay, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, Cornell University

“In this striking account, the author explains why he gave up his atheism to put his faith in God. With great skill, important concepts in contemporary physics are introduced for the non-specialist, and the author shows how such ideas played a key role in his gradual journey to faith. Science, he explains, used to be his god—but no longer. Yet the author remains a passionate advocate for science, albeit now appreciated within a much broader worldwide. The style is fast-paced, and there are plenty of fascinating facts and anecdotes, some quite personal, to keep the reader fully engaged until the last page.”
Denis Alexander, Emeritus Founding Director, Faraday Institute for Science and Religion; Emeritus Fellow, St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University
B. The Case for Heaven: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for Life After Death, by Lee Strobel (Zondervan, 2021)
We all want to know what awaits us on the other side of death, but is there any reliable evidence that there is life after death? Investigative author Lee Strobel offers a lively and compelling study into one of the most provocative topics of our day. Through fascinating conversations with respected scholars and experts—a neuroscientist from Cambridge, a researcher who analyzed a thousand accounts of near-death experiences, and an atheist-turned-Christian-philosopher—Strobel offers compelling reasons for why death is not the end of our existence but a transition to an exciting world to come. With a balanced approach, Strobel examines the alternative of Hell and the logic of damnation, and gives a careful look at reincarnation, universalism, the exclusivity claims of Christ, and other issues related to the topic of life after death.
“The most obvious fact of life is that everybody dies. It would be irrational and foolish to live our entire lives unprepared for what we know is inevitable! That’s why reading this book will be one of the wisest investments of time you’ll ever make. It will end your worrying and wondering, your come from settling your eternal destiny.”
Rick D. Warren, author, The Purpose Driven Life

“No one today is more fit to make the case for heaven than Lee Strobel, the man who wrote The Case for Easter. If Jesus was raised from the dead to the right hand of the Father, heaven is a reality. The one implies the other, and Lee knows it.”
Scot McKnight, Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary
C. A Compass for Deep Heaven: Navigating the C.S. Lewis Ransom Trilogy, edited by Diana Pavlac Glyer (Square Halo Books, 2021)
Unlike more popular works like The Chronicles of Narnia and Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis’s Ransom Trilogy is lesser-known and often perplexing. Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra take readers on adventures through the heavens; That Hideous Strength delves deep into topics much closer to home. In the process, these books allude to everything from H. G. Wells and the World Wars to Medieval cosmology and Arthurian Legend; therefore, there is much to be gained from an introduction to Lewis’s broad and eclectic interests.
Written to be accessible and useful to fans and scholars alike, A Compass for Deep Heaven provides the background information, historical context, and literary insight readers need to navigate the cosmos of Lewis’s science fiction. It does not merely inform; it shows how these contexts clarify key messages and reveal the real-world warnings hidden there.

A Compass for Deep Heaven is a carefully-crafted and beautifully-edited volume that explores a common theme: the mythological, philosophical, scientific, theological, ethical, and literary influences behind Lewis’s science fiction. Each chapter references and builds on the others, offering multiple layers of critical and popular analysis.”
Michael J. Christensen, Director, Shalom Initiative for Prophetic Leadership and Community Development, Drew University; author, C. S. Lewis on Scripture

“A dynamic and engaging fieldbook for interstellar travel, A Compass for Deep Heaven is an accessible resource for reading Lewis in his personal, religious, literary, vocational, and historical contexts. . . . Well-written and carefully edited, A Compass for Deep Heaven succeeds in equipping curious readers for the adventure of reading these challenging books.”
Brenton D.G. Dickieson, Sessional Professor, Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture, University of Prince Edward Island
D. Deeper Heaven: A Reader’s Guide to C.S. Lewis’s Ransom Trilogy, by Christiana Hale (Roman Roads Press, 2021)
C. S. Lewis’s Ransom Trilogy, better known as “The Space Trilogy,” is a much-neglected and yet critically important part of Lewis’s works. It has captivated and bewildered readers since its publication, and though hundreds of books about Lewis have been written, few seek to navigate the maze that is Lewis’s “space-travel story.” These books are a distillation in novel form of one of Lewis’s favorite subjects, a subject whose melody is woven into almost everything that Lewis ever wrote: the medieval model of the cosmos. Deeper Heaven is a guide and companion through the magical web of medieval cosmology, ancient myth, and critique of modern philosophies that makes up the oft-maligned “Space Trilogy.” A student and teacher of literature and history herself, Hale will walk you through the Trilogy one step at a time, with eyes fixed where Lewis himself fixed his: on Deep Heaven and beyond. In the process, many questions will be answered: What does Christ have to do with Jupiter? Why does Lewis care so much about the medieval conception of the heavens? Why should we? And, perhaps the most puzzling question of all: why is Merlin in That Hideous Strength?

“For those readers longing to go ‘further up and further in,’ Deeper Heaven sets out to demystify Lewis’s epic. . . . If you read the Space Trilogy long ago and wondered exactly how many things you were missing, Hale’s book should prove an invaluable lodestar.”
E. Dorothy L Sayers: A Biography: Death, Dante and Lord Peter Wimsey, by Colin Duriez (Lion Books, 2019)
Dorothy Sayers was a woman of contrasts. A strong Christian, she had a baby—out of wedlock—by a man she did not love. Possessing a fierce intellect, she translated Dante, and also created one of the most popular fictional detectives ever in Lord Peter Wimsey. Drawing on material often difficult to access, particularly her collected letters, Colin Duriez reassesses Sayers’ life, her writings, her studies, and her faith to present a rich and captivating portrait of this remarkable person.
“Duriez delivers a fresh perspective on the brilliance of Sayers, exploring her development as a novelist/poet/playwright with vibrant precision. This book is a delight for fans and scholars alike.”
Crystal Hurd, author, Thirty Days with C.S. Lewis: A Women’s Devotional
F. From Plato to Christ: How Platonic Thought Shaped the Christian Faith, by Louis Markos (IVP Academic, 2021)
What does Plato have to do with the Christian faith? Quite a bit, it turns out. In ways that might surprise us, Christians throughout the history of the church and even today have inherited aspects of the ancient Greek philosophy of Plato, who was both Socrates’s student and Aristotle’s teacher. To help us understand the influence of Platonic thought on the Christian faith, Markos offers careful readings of some of Plato’s best-known texts and then traces the ways that his work shaped the faith of some of Christianity’s most beloved theologians, including Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Dante, and C. S. Lewis.
“One of the key thinkers at the root of our culture is Plato. His influence on Christian writers has been immense, yet he is little known and greatly misunderstood today. Markos does us a great service in this accessible and fascinating book, which functions as an introduction to the thought of Plato and an assessment of his influence on major Christian writers from the church fathers to C. S. Lewis.”
Craig A Carter, Research Professor of Theology, Tyndale University, Toronto

“This is an urgently needed book. That educated persons too often have no knowledge of Plato is a real disaster. With his usual flair and concision, Markos brings forward Plato's greatest insights and describes their reception in the Christian tradition, as well as their rejection by Hobbes and Nietzsche. May the Christian retrieval of the best of Plato―joined by his student Aristotle―commence in earnest!”
Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary
G. From Spare Oom to War Drobe: Travels in Narnia with My Nine-Year-Old Self, by Katherine Langrish, foreword by Brian Sibley (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2021)
Back in the 1960s a little girl of nine who was deeply in love with Narnia wrote a book of short stories. Written in spiky blue ink with various crossings-out and spelling mistakes, Katherine Langrish’s Tales of Narnia filled an old hard-cover notebook from front to back. Some of the stories were illustrated with dramatic, poster-painted scenes, and Katherine drew a map of Narnia on the inside back cover. Now a celebrated adult writer of children's and young adult's literature, Langrish has revisited C. S. Lewis’s seven Chronicles of Narnia to explore what they mean to her today. In From Spare Oom to War Drobe she analyses what once enchanted her and asks whether it still has the power to do so. Hand in hand with her nine-year-old self, she traces many paths through Lewis’s thick forest of allusions not only to Christianity, but to Plato, fairy tales, myths, legends, medieval romances, renaissance poetry and indeed to other children’s books. Here are two very different ways of reading the Narnia stories: the adult, informed, rational way and the passionate childish way. For whenever children fall in love with a book they love it fiercely, loyally, completely; and as anyone it’s ever happened to will know, it can be a transformative experience.
“Those of us who have visited Narnia through the books so often that we could recite our favourite moments and sentences, might not think that there is anything new waiting for us. In the role of a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide, Katherine Langrish points out moments we missed, connections we hadn’t made, and altogether takes us around a place we thought we knew and makes it finer and more interesting than it was before.”
Neil Gaimon, author, Neverwhere, Stardust, and American Gods
“100 best books to read for summer 2021.”
The Times of London
H. How to Destroy Western Civilization and Other Ideas from the Cultural Abyss, by Peter Kreeft (Ignatius Press, 2021)
Peter Kreeft presents a brilliant account of the many of the issues that increasingly divide our Western civilization and culture. He states that “these essays are not new proposals or solutions to today's problems. They are old. They have been tried, and have worked. They have made people happy and good. That is what makes them so radical and so unusual today. The most uncommon   thing today is common sense.” Kreeft presents relevant, philosophical data that can guide us, divided into seven categories: epistemological, theological, metaphysical, anthropological, ethical, political, and historical. He then explores these categories with classic Kreeft insights, presenting 40 pithy points on how we can implement the data from these categories to help save civilization—and more importantly, save souls.
I. In Quest of the Historical Adam: A Biblical and Scientific Exploration, by William Lane Craig (Eerdmans, 2021)
Was Adam a real historical person? And if so, who was he and when did he live? Craig sets out to answer these questions through a biblical and scientific investigation. He begins with an inquiry into the genre of Genesis 1–11, determining that it can most plausibly be classified as mytho-history—a narrative with both literary and historical value. He then moves into the New Testament, where he examines references to Adam in the words of Jesus and the writings of Paul, ultimately concluding that the entire Bible considers Adam the historical progenitor of the human race—a position that must therefore be accepted as a premise for Christians who take seriously the inspired truth of Scripture. Could Adam be plausibly located in the history of humankind, ultimately determining that Adam lived between 750,000 and 1,000,000 years ago? He concludes by reflecting theologically on his findings and asking what all this might mean for us as human beings created in the image of God, literally descended from a common ancestor—albeit one who lived in the remote past.
“There has been a great deal of recent scholarly debate and discussion concerning the historicity of Adam and Eve. However, few treatments of the subject are able to bring together biblical, theological, philosophical, and scientific perspectives simultaneously. In this volume, Craig does just that. All Christian scholars wrestling with this topic will benefit from Craig’s deep and learned treatment.”
—Michael J. Murray, Senior Visiting Scholar of Philosophy, Franklin and Marshall College
“This volume covers an amazing amount of territory in both biblical and scientific studies relevant to the question of the historical Adam and Eve. The author’s wide reading, amazing erudition, and carefully articulated judgment shine through. He faces the issues squarely, explains them clearly, and carries the reader along with him well.”
—Richard E. Averbeck, Professor of Old Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
J. Is Atheism Dead, by Eric Metaxas (Salem Books, 2021)
Is Atheism Dead? is a highly entertaining, impressively wide-ranging, and decidedly provocative answer to that famous 1966 TIME cover that itself provocatively asked “Is God Dead?” In a voice that is by turns witty, muscular, and poetic, Metaxas echoes C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton in cheerfully and logically making his case, along the way presenting breathtaking—and sometimes astonishing—new evidence and arguments against the idea of a Creatorless universe. Taken all together, he shows that much we have assumed about the biggest questions of human existence is in fact dramatically outdated—and is therefore in need of the most urgent reevaluation.

Is Atheism Dead? displays the wonders of the universe, the chemistry of life, the vast archaeological evidence, and the thoughts and writings of great thinkers. . . . Yet another all-engaging Metaxas book.”
James M. Tour, Professor of Chemistry, Computer Science, Materials Science, and Nanoengineering, Rice University

“When Eric Metaxas comes out with a new book, I have a problem: I know I will have to read it. I have read all his books—because I learn an immense amount from them and because they are difficult to put down. This latest book features Metaxas versus atheism. It’s not a fair fight. Read Is Atheism Dead? and you’ll understand why.”
Dennis Prager, Host, Dennis Prager Show, Salem Radio Network; Founder, Prager University

Subscribe FREE to the YouTube Channel of the C.S. Lewis Society!

Our YouTube Channel now features 270 excellent videos, and is organized into twenty-one Playlists by topic. Our Channel also includes ten C.S. Lewis Society videos, including “C.S. Lewis on Mere Liberty and the Evils of Statism,” which has received 23,000+ views. And more videos are coming!

Subscribe FREE to the C.S. Lewis Society’s YouTube channel and receive notices of new videos.