Some Wise Words from C.S. Lewis

Here is a quote that just jumped out at me this morning, as I was reading the “Christian Marriage” chapter in Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis.

“[M]ake sure that you are judging me by what you really know from your own experience and from watching the lives of your friends, and not by ideas you have derived from novels and films. This is not so easy to do as people think. Our experience is colored through and through by books and plays and the cinema, and it takes patience and skill to disentangle the things we have really learned from life for ourselves.”

Wow! And he wrote that before we had television, comic books, and video games to confuse us even more.

In Don Quixote, Cervantes wrote of a man going totally bonkers just from all the silly books he read. But Lewis is not talking about popping your cork. No–he’s talking about not being able to tell the difference between the inside and the outside of the bottle anymore, or even to realize that the bottle is there.

What do any of us know that we really only know from television?

If that thought doesn’t make you want to cling to God’s word with both hands, for all you’re worth, I don’t know what will.

6 comments on “Some Wise Words from C.S. Lewis

  1. Boy, oh boy! He nailed that one.

    Perception IS reality for most people and how many people today perceive only through mass media? Even PG rated movies usually portray fornication as a normal part of life. Songs are frequently written about immoral behavior and television; I’d call television a cesspool, but I don’t want to insult my septic tank.

  2. Funny, I always envisioned C.S. Lewis looking like Anthony Hopkins!

    We cannot deny we are heavily influence by our culture and that of our ancestors, but we transcend all that when we dwell in the Light as He is in the Light by living by the Word of God. Thank God for His indescribable gift.

  3. I believe God has allowed the technological revolution we are experiencing, and that Christians should gain the reins of it and use it to glorify God. Although God’s enemies have dominated our entertainment and public education areas thus far, doesn’t mean it will always be that way. I am very selective about what I will read and watch. As a result, I believe I can learn much about life by watching TV and movies if I do so with a spiritually discerning eye. And where does this “single eye” come from? Reading and meditating on the Holy Bible – all of it.

    1. To be sure–you can learn a lot about the culture by examining its “entertainment.” Even the really rotten stuff.

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