Over the roughly 2,000 years that Christianity has existed in the world and radically enriched it, God has been enormously gracious and merciful to grant the church and, for that matter, the world with many beautiful minds and hearts that loved Him and burned with passion and zeal for His glory and His cause.
In our own day, men like John Piper, Matt Chandler, and RC Sproul have served as a blessing through their artfully crafted books expositing the things of and Word of God and their razor-sharp intellectual insights on the Scriptures and how they apply to the world and to our 21st-century lives. For certain, God has used these men to shape, mold, encourage and challenge countless numbers of His people, myself definitely included. But the servant of God throughout history that I have in mind perhaps was the most artful in his crafting of words to say as it related to the Lord and His wondrous Gospel. He has been called a romantic rationalist due to his incredible skill in appreciating beauty, creating stories, and feeling the emotional weight of life and of faith that co-existed with his razor-sharp intellect and passion for truth and no-holds-barred logic.
Of course, I am referring to none other than the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, Clive Staples Lewis, who without a doubt is one of my heroes as a Christian, a minister, and an apologist.
The following are a few of my favorite quotes from Lewis and my hope is that reading them and mulling them over will serve you, reader. That they may bless you, edify you, encourage you, and deepen your joy in Jesus and stir your affections for Him.
As someone who gets excited while reading the Puritans who wrote at length about the affections and the desires and joys of life in Christ, I adore this quote by Lewis. It is very true that, for Biblical Christianity, joy is serious business. Indeed, it is a fruit of the Spirit, an evidence that one's faith is legitimate, a sign that a person's repentance is genuine and that they have true life. Joy is of first importance as it relates to knowing and following Jesus.
In his 1945 book, The Great Divorce, CS Lewis made this statement and as a Christian apologist and philosopher myself, it takes me back to the hours of studying and thinking at my desk over the Moral Argument and the Euthyphro Dilemma. Lewis hit on an excellent truth here, that it is not the case that things are good because God says so nor is it the case that God says things are good because they're good. Rather, God wills and says the things He wills and says because He is good. Indeed, I repeat that He is good and we only have true good, in its most pure and genuine sense, when we have Him and He is our treasure.
As someone who burns with evangelistic zeal, though not as often or as intense as I would like, I love this quote, as it captures the reality that the world in which we live is fallen, fractured and broken massively by sin and its naturally blasphemous and godless attitudes never should be referred to as "basically good" or "true for you but not me." As Lewis hits on here, the church needs to preach the Gospel as given by Jesus for all that it is.
There is more to say about this topic than all the libraries in the world could ever begin to address. It is no exaggeration to make that statement in my judgment. I will leave to you, reader, to think on this quote, as I find it warranted to leave it to you to chew on it for yourself. It is that much of a nugget of gold; that is an understatement.