C.S. Lewis and the Crisis of A Christian by Gregory S. Cootsona – A Review

I grew up in an Evangelical Christian home complete with time in a Christian school and later college. Conveniently, that method of education meant that I memorized Bible verses, learned the right way to understand the Bible and didn’t have any idea that the Christian life has so many questions that don’t haveLewis immediately clear answers. I listened in class, took good notes, got an A on the test and voila…life was good. Until it wasn’t.  And when life wasn’t good anymore, I felt very unprepared to sort through the various emotions, spiritual struggles, bitterness and depression.

To many, C.S. Lewis is one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. While many weigh in with differing  opinions, I think the reason his works are so beloved is that he approached the Bible from a different perspective  than a traditional faith experience. He wasn’t content with Sunday School answers and felt compelled to grapple with issues that don’t have easy answers.  Throughout his works, a thread emerges. Lewis seeks to find true joy in Christ but finds that he must wrestle with various crises of belief in order to find that rest and peace.

When I received a copy of C.S. Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian, I hoped that it would further my own walk with the Lord as I work through finding joy in my own life.  In this work, author Gregory S. Cootsona addresses the following crisis that are found in Lewis’ works:

The Crises of Atheism  which include: The Crisis of Materialism, The Crisis of Meaninglessness & The Crisis of Anomie

The Crises of Christian Faith which include: Jesus & the Crisis of Other Myths and The Crisis of the Bible

The Crises of Human Life which include The Crisis of Feeling, The Crisis of Suffering and The Crisis of Death

As Cootsona presents each crisis, he describes what brought about each crisis in Lewis’ life, how Lewis struggled with it and how he resolved it in his own mind. As he does so, he invites each one of us to wrestle with the same difficult issues.  There is no assumption in these pages that each of Lewis’ conclusions is 100% correct. It is simply one man’s process of resolving crises and finding joy.  There are a lot of points to ponder despite this book being relatively short.  I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys C.S.Lewis’ works or to anyone who finds themselves struggling with their faith. In these pages, you will find words for your doubts and a really solid place to start wrestling with faith.

(I received a copy of this book from Westminster John Knox Press  and  NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No monetary compensation was received.)

 

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2 thoughts on “C.S. Lewis and the Crisis of A Christian by Gregory S. Cootsona – A Review

  1. I can’t remember how familiar you are with Lewis’ works? As part of my religion degree I took a class on Lewis from a Lewis scholar and delved deeply into his work. Really enjoyed seeing him portrayed in the local Chautaqua. I find him fascinating. I am just wondering how the book compares to your own interpretations of Lewis’ works such as The Problem with Pain and Til We Have Faces.

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    1. I’m only generally familiar. I have read the Narnia books, Til We Have Faces and excerpts from a few others. I want to read a few more. I like the way he thinks. He wrestles with hard problems of faith. He doesn’t have pat answers. My own upbringing leaned toward having pat answers. I find that doesn’t work for me anymore…and so I like him. We should pick one of his books to read and discuss 🙂

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