Tuesday, January 24, 2012

God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, by C.S. Lewis


Editor Walter Hooper has collected an impressive assortment of Lewis's previously unpublished--in book form, at any rate--essays and letters.  The topics range from miracles to apologetics to theories of punishment to gender roles.  The essays are not terribly long, and the collection is necessarily a bit disjointed, as there is often no connection between the various topics.  The individual essays are still quite good, however.

Because Lewis was writing to different audiences at different times, there's a fair amount of repetition, but the arguments themselves are some of his best.  (I particularly enjoyed his rant against the hooligans who vandalize and steal his property.)  Some of the essays are direct responses to articles by other authors, so it is sometimes hard to know exactly which points he is refuting (or, indeed, whether he is fairly characterizing his opponent).  This issue is exacerbated in the handful of letters included in the book--there is not much context, and it's hard to appreciate the merits of the text.  Still, many of the essays are incredibly insightful and persuasive, and this is most certainly a welcome addition to the volumes already published. 

Definitely worth a read.

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