LOGOS (eNewsletter) – Summer 2020

Newsletter of the C. S. Lewis Society of California

Summer 2020

Summer Blessings!

1. Norman Stone to Direct Film Version of Max McLean’s C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert

The double Emmy and double BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Norman Stone is a devout Christian and admirer of C.S. Lewis. His works include the acclaimed BBC productions of Shadowlands (1985, starring Joss Ackland and Claire Bloom), C.S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia (2005) and The Narnia Code (2009, co-sponsored by the C.S. Lewis Society of California).
Now, Stone is working with Max McLean to produce a film version of the acclaimed stage production of C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert. Stone has noted that “Max MacLean is the visionary New York actor and CEO of the Fellowship of the Performing Arts. His latest hit performance is a one-man stage show, [most recently] touring the United States with great success; [it is] called The Most Reluctant Convert about the conversion of C.S. Lewis.”

2. Netflix Confirms The Chronicles of Narnia TV Series Is On

“Since Netflix acquired the rights to C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series back in October 2018, we haven’t heard much about how the show is going. . . . Now, however, the official Netflix France Twitter account has come out and shed a little bit of light on the whole situation, offering confirmation that the promised Narnia adaptation will happen. This confirmation came shortly after #NetflixAdaptNarnia was trending worldwide on the platform.

“When a user brought up concerns about the development, Netflix responded with a bit of hope. Translated from French, they said: ‘Narnia movies and series are still in the works.’ It’s a short answer, but one we needed after hearing nothing for so long.”
 
Lewis’s stepson Douglas Gresham approves of such a TV-episodic format, saying that “with a movie, you have an hour, maybe two-hour maximum if you really stretch it, to put an entire book—an adventure storybook—into the film. And you just can’t do it. . . . The entire book, every single nuance of it, on the screen.”
 

“Netflix confirms Chronicles of Narnia series and movies still in the works,” by Ashley Hurst (Fansided, June 4, 2020)

“C.S. Lewis’ Stepson Wants a Narnia Series on Netflix: Douglas Gresham, the stepson of C.S. Lewis, sees potential in an episodic Narnia story for Netflix,” by Ben Wasserman (CBR.com, May 11, 2020)

3. Top Stage Productions on C.S. Lewis Returning in Fall 2020

A. An Evening with C.S. Lewis (Bird and Baby Productions): David Payne’s acclaimed portrayal of C.S. Lewis in An Evening with C.S. Lewis will resume in the Fall of 2020 with performances in the following cities:
Waco, TX
San Antonio, TX
Troy, NY
Cedar Rapids, IA
Rochester, NY
Buffalo, NY
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Jacksonville, FL
Other cities that are currently being considered for performances in Spring 2021 include the following:
Portland, OR
Cleveland, OH
Montgomery, AL
Tulsa, OK
San Jose, CA
As these are still tentative and subject to change pending the status of COVID-19, please check the official touring site for David Payne.
B. The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce (Fellowship of the Performing Arts): Max MacLean’s superb stage productions of two beloved C.S. Lewis novels also return in the fall of 2020.
The Great Divorce: Orlando, FL; September 20
The Great Divorce: Raleigh, NC; October 10-11
The Screwtape Letters: Colorado Springs, CO; November 8
The Great Divorce: Tulsa, OK; November 14
The Great Divorce: Kansas City, MO; November 22
The Great Divorce: Irvine, CA; January 8-10
The Great Divorce: Walnut Creek, CA; January 15-17

4. Spotlighting Important New and Recent Books

A. The New Testament in Its World: An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the First Christians, by N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird (Zondervan, 2019)

“N.T. (Tom) Wright can’t write anything that is not interesting and suggestive and even at times provocative. His shelf or two of books is now condensed, reworked, and put in digestible form for even more readers. This is a lifetime of scholarship and a landmark publication by one of the world’s leading New Testament scholars. I’m grateful too for the creative contribution Mike Bird makes in pulling all of this into one final heap of fun.”
Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Chair of New Testament, Northern Seminary; author, The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited

“Two of today's most prolific evangelical New Testament scholars have now combined their expertise to produce an amazing volume: part introduction and survey, part 'cliff notes' on Wright's four volumes to date in his Christian Origins and the Question of God series, part a sneak preview of what he might say in his remaining two volumes, and part showcase for Bird's always sensible judgments, often nicely alliterated prose, and now and then particularly funny humor. Special features include the book's lavish illustrations, sidebars quoting choice ancient primary sources and hilarious 'emails from the edge' from a confused student to his patient professor who always replies wisely. Overall, the genre, like the quality, is one of a kind.”
Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary; author, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels
B. C. S. Lewis and the Christian Worldview, by Michael L. Peterson (Oxford University Press, 2020)

“This is one of the most lively, systematic engagements with Lewis’s thinking—from his early years to his mature, powerful thought that marked him as one of the most gifted and imaginative Christian thinkers of the twentieth century.”
Charles C. Taliaferro, Oscar and Gertrude Boe Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, St. Olaf College; author, The Cambridge Companion to Christian Philosophical Theology

“Gleaning principles from the vast corpus of C. S. Lewis’s variegated writings, philosopher Michael Peterson has marshaled them into a clear, cogent, and cohering Weltanschauung, providing an engaging framework from which to understand the romantic and reasonable beliefs of the celebrated Oxford (and Cambridge) don. This engrossing work is essential for anyone seeking to wrestle with the core ideas of Western civilization from an orthodox Christian perspective.”
Terry Lindvall, author, Surprised by Laughter: The Comic World of C. S. Lewis
C. Money, Greed, and God: The Christian Case for Free Enterprise, 10th Anniversary Edition, by Jay W. Richards (HarperOne, 2019)

“In Money, Greed, and God, Jay Richards has written the definitive case for capitalism, a crisply written and incisive discourse on wealth and poverty, money and morality for the 21st Century.”
George Gilder, bestselling author, Wealth and Poverty

“In Money, Greed, and God, Jay Richards shows us . . . a capitalism grounded in the truth about human beings as free, morally responsible, co-creators charged with dominion and stewardship of the earth by the loving God to whom we are all ultimately accountable.”
Rev. Robert A. Sirico, President, Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty; author, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy
D. Seven More Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness, by Eric Metaxas with Anne Morse (Zondervan, 2020)

In Seven More Men, the sequel to the enormously successful Seven Men, #1 New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas offers more captivating stories of some of the most inspiring men in history. A gallery of greatness comes to life as Metaxas reveals Christian men who faced insurmountable struggles and challenges with victorious resolve.  Heroes and role models have always been tremendously important—essential for inspiring our lives and shaping the world. But in the last few decades, the need for men of valor and integrity is more vital than ever. Metaxas restores a sense of the heroic in the compelling profiles of Martin Luther, George Whitefield, William Booth, George Washington Carver, Sergeant Alvin York, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Billy Graham. Each man evinces a particular quality: the courage to surrender themselves to a higher purpose, and the willingness to give something dear to them away for the good of others. Inevitably inspiring, this book reminds us that certain qualities are worthy of emulation.

“Another essential collection of people used by God to change the world whose stories we need to know. Eric’s ability to uncover little-know details while also situating his subjects into the larger contexts where they belong is on full display here. I hope he keeps these ‘Seven’ books coming!”
John Stonestreet, President, Colson Center for Christian Worldview; author, A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World
E. In All Fairness: Equality, Liberty, and the Quest for Human Dignity, edited by Robert M. Whaples, Michael C. Munger and Christopher J. Coyne, with a foreword by Richard A. Epstein (Independent Institute, 2019)

In All Fairness draws on economics, philosophy, religion, law, political science, and history to answer a perennial question, especially with the coronavirus pandemic shutdown and the protests after the killing of George Floyd: Can the coercive powers of the state be used to achieve a just kind of arithmetic equality? Growing concerns over inequality has led to proposals to remake American society according to coercive “egalitarian” measures. Whether it be about the allocation of healthcare resources such as ventilators and personal protective equipment or wealth redistribution and “social justice,” the quest for “equal outcomes” in history has repeatedly proven to be a recipe for human misery.

“The authors of the timely book, In All Fairness: Equality, Liberty and the Quest for Human Dignity, dig creatively into the roots of inequality, going way back in human history. This fascinating book shows that realizing proposed egalitarian wealth or income distributions requires a great deal of coercive power, unfairly affects ‘The Forgotten Man,’ and breeds unintended consequences. The book rightly stresses equality of opportunity achieved through economic freedom over equality of outcomes.”
John B. Taylor, Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics, Stanford University

“Fairness counts among humankind’s most fundamental social desiderata—demanded even by small children on the playing field. The difficulty is that it is easier to say what fairness is than to determine what is fair. The many faceted book In All Fairness does justice to the complexity of the topic in its historical, philosophical, and economic dimensions. Anyone who has ever been inclined to say ‘but that’s just not fair’—which includes just about all of us—will find enlightenment and information in this thoughtfully compiled, instructive, and constructive book.”
Nicholas Rescher, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh; Founding Editor, American Philosophical Quarterly
F. 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity, by John C. Lennox (Zondervan, 2020)

Where are artificial intelligence (AI) and technology taking us? What will the year 2084 hold for you—for your friends, your family, and our society? Are we doomed to the grim dystopia imagined in George Orwell’s 1984? In 2084, scientist and philosopher John Lennox examines the key developments in technological enhancement, bioengineering, and, in particular, artificial intelligence. Readers will discover the current capacity of AI, its advantages and disadvantages, the facts and the fiction, as well as potential future implications.  The questions posed by AI are open to all of us, and they demand answers. 2084 shows how the Christian worldview, properly understood, can provide evidence-based, credible answers that will bring you real hope for the future of humanity.
G. Atonement and the Death of Christ: An Exegetical, Historical, and Philosophical Exploration, by William Lane Craig (Baylor University Press, 2020)

In Atonement and the Death of Christ, William Lane Craig conducts an interdisciplinary investigation of this crucial Christian doctrine, drawing upon Old and New Testament studies, historical theology, and analytic philosophy. The study unfolds in three discrete parts: Craig first explores the biblical basis of atonement and unfolds the wide variety of motifs used to characterize this doctrine. Craig then highlights some of the principal alternative theories of the atonement offered by great Christian thinkers of the premodern era. Lastly, Craig’s exploration delves into a constructive and innovative engagement with philosophy of law, which allows an understanding of atonement that moves beyond mystery and into the coherent mechanism of penal substitution.

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