C.S. Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian by Gregory S. Cootsona


Courtesy of Netgalley

Description on Netgalley:

C.S. Lewis has long been recognized as a beloved author of children’s literature and an apologist for Christian belief to a skeptical modern world. In this new volume, Gregory S. Cootsona shows us how Lewis can also serve as a guide to the ups and downs of the Christian journey. Like many of us, Lewis suffered from a variety of crises of faith and personal experience. Like us, he came to faith in a world that no longer respects Christian commitment or offers much room for belief in God. Like us, he felt the absence of God when those closest to him died. Like us, he wrestled with doubt, wondering if God is real, or simply the projection of his own wishes onto the screen of the universe. Like us, he knew the kinds of temptations he described with such poignancy and humor in The Screwtape Letters.

By examining these and the other crises of C.S. Lewis’s life, Cootsona shows us how Lewis found God in each one, and how he shared those discoveries with us in his writing. All those wishing to deepen and enrich their own spiritual journey will find much guidance and wisdom in these pages.

Westminster John Knox Press

* * * * (Four stars out of five.)

When I set up my Netgalley account, this was the first book that rolled into my “bin.” I  set it to the side for future reference. But, since I have long been a fan of C.S. Lewis, I allowed it to draw me in.

Cootsona begins at the beginning of Lewis’ life and followed him right through each major crisis beginning with the death of Lewis’ mother when he was still at a tender age, and it ends with his death. The author does a job of work in chronologically detailing the phases of Lewis’ faith and how it affected his literary career.

“Lewis fought against God, especially the idea that God would take away his ability  to command and determine his own life.”

The concept of handing over the reins to another being is daunting. Especially when that being was, as he believed, responsible for the death of his beloved mother when he was ten years old and his issues with his father who sent him off to school not long afterward. So, he “. . .abandoned his faith.”

Cootsona goes on to detail the crises of Lewis’ life, and the way that they helped rebuild his faith on a solid ground. He weaves numerous examples from Lewis’ writing; some of them well-known and others not. Cootsona’s admiration and affection for Lewis make this an intensely personal journey for him, and he offers it “. . . because Lewis’ crises informed his writing, and they give it the power that still resonates today for his readers.”

(In honor of the 50th anniversary of C.S. Lewis’s death, he was given a place in the Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey.)


About Susan P

Reader, writer, mother, grandmother, wife, traveler...
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24 Responses to C.S. Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian by Gregory S. Cootsona

  1. Mr. Lewis was indeed an interesting fellow. Have you read the Screwtape Letters?

  2. The Lite Rider says:

    Interesting. I have only read The Chronicles….very intriguing person.

  3. walt walker says:

    Mere Christianity was a very valuable read for me as an adult. I read the Narnia books as a kid but I don’t recall too much about them, except the second one seemed like it should have been first. It’s fascinating that he and Tolkien were friends.

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