Thursday, December 31, 2009

First Meeting of the New Year!

We start off 2010 with the bang of rocket engines as we enter the world of Science Fiction with one of its famous fans: C. S. Lewis! We will discuss the first of his Space Trilogy books: Out of the Silent Planet. If you've not read these, you are in for a treat!

Our meeting to discuss the book will be at Rock Point Books, 4th & Broad St., in downtown Chattanooga. We'll meet at 7:00 P.M. on Friday, 15 January. Hope you can get the book read ahead of time, but if not, come anyway!

(Image source)

Audio of Sheldon Vanauken

Our friend Will Vaus has posted a link to a recording of Sheldon Vanauken reading the first chapter of his famous book A Severe Mercy. You can hear it by going here. Thanks, Will!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Our December Meeting this Friday

This was just sent to our e-mail list:

Dear Fans of C. S. Lewis:
Our December meeting will be this Friday, 7:00 p.m., at Rock Point Books, 4th and Broad, downtown. We will discuss the final section of Lewis' Mere Christianity. It's just the thing for us to study at this time of year. The 4th book is about the incarnation of the Son of God and His purpose to make us sons of God. We hope you can come.
The last chapter in Mere Christianity is entitled "The New Men." Thankfully, Lewis' broadcast of the substance of that chapter has survived! You can listen to it by going here:
You'll find he gets around to the material in "The New Men" in the latter part.
I'll also post this on our website. Maybe I'll play it at the meeting, too!
Hope you can come Friday. If not, let me here wish you and your loved ones a blessed and merry Christmas!
Long live the True King!

Monday, November 23, 2009

2010 UTC C. S. Lewis Lecture

Put it on your calendar! Dr. Timothy George of Beeson Divinity School is scheduled to give the 2010 C. S. Lewis Lecture Monday, March 22, at UTC at 7:30 p.m. His subject is "The Making of the English Bible", but the exact title is yet to be determined. The lecture is free and the public is invited.
I assume the location will be the same as usual: the Benwood Auditorium, in the new Engineering Building. If it is otherwise, I'll post it here when that is definite.

C. S. Lewis Weekend

We had a great time this past weekend with the November meeting of our Society and the Screwtape play in town. At our meeting, we discussed the third book of Mere Christianity, "Christian Behaviour". If you want the handout, you can download a WORD doc by clicking here.

The play with Max McClean and Karen Wight was terrific! Attendance was good at all performances and we had a lot of people to stay behind Saturday night for the post-performance discussion. Thanks to all the folks at FPA for coming to town, and thanks to Rev. Novenson for inviting them.

At our post-performance discussion on Saturday evening, one attendee noted that Lewis found writing the Letters to be spiritually uncomfortable and asked Max how he liked playing Screwtape. Max said he loved it! Well, we loved having him do it as well!

For more information about Fellowship for the Performing Arts and the Screwtape play visit

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Screwtape and Wormwood on Twitter

Be sure to follow them! Fun!
Go here.

Lewis First Editions?!

Interested? Check these people out!
"Santa Cruz Books is pleased to offer the books of C.S.Lewis & friends that are worthy to be read often.We provide an ever changing selection of well-priced 1st editions in addition to used and new books for your delight and pleasure.Enjoy browsing and email with any questions.Thank you for visiting."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lovely Interview with Michael Ward

Premier Audio, in England, has an audio interview with Michael Ward about his work in the book Planet Narnia. It's very enjoyable to listen to because of the readings from the books and the great insights Michael has about the books. Give a listen here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

N. T. Wright Reviews Planet Narnia Again

In May, we posted here a review of Planet Narnia by Bishop N. T. Wright. He has now published another review in The London Times (online). You can read it here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Our October Meeting

We had close to 30 people at Rock Point Books to discuss Book 2 of Mere Christianty last Friday. During the meeting, we discussed Lewis' "trilemma." Rev. Beckmann referred to the following:
N. T. Wright's critque of Mere Christianity.
Will Vaus' answer to Wright is found here.
Vaus's answers to Wright's first two points were recommended. Wright's words about Lewis' ignoring the Jewish context of the one passage regarding the forgiveness of sins was contradicted by Mr. Beckmann. It was also pointed out that Lewis refers to other passages where Christ claimed divinity beside that particular one. Mr. Beckmann also thought Wright was assuming too much in his analysis of Jesus' psychology.
We had a good time - and Rock Point is now the location of a new Moon Pie General Store!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Post-Show Discussion

We will have a post-show discussion with Max McLean after the Saturday, 8:00 p.m. performance of Screwtape at the Tivoli Theatre in November. If you want to participate, please notify our moderator, Rev. Beckmann, dnb48 @

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Our First Meeting for This Season

We had a great first meeting for this year last night. About 25 people attended. Business news as follows:

First of all: about the Screwtape play in November (see more news in previous posts)
1) there will be a post-show discussion with Max McLean, the main actor, after the Sat. night performance for our Society and friends.
2) We are trying to get a group discount on the tickets for our Society. The more folks we have in our "group" the better the discount. I've told them I would be gathering a group from our Society and CCS as well and they are fine with that. If you have not already got tickets and want to come I need to know right away if you will commit so I can include you in our group. I won't know what kind of a discount we get until I have a definite number.

New Book: You'll love the book I have pictured here, The Inklings of Oxford. It's new, the story - based primarily on Lewis' life - is enjoyable and informative, and the pictures are fabulous. ISBN-13: 978-0310285038

Mere Christianity - We spent about half an hour on the preface (!) and then went overtime (a first) talking about Book One. A few key points:
1) "Mere" Christianity is the Christianity of the "catholic" (universal) creeds: the Apostles' and the Nicene. All Christians agree to these and they were agreed upon by the whole Church in council at that time. People who hold to these creeds may differ on other matters, but we must take John 17 seriously (Jesus is not just talking about unity in your local church!).
2) As for mere "Christianity," the term Christian should be applied as a noun not an adjective. It represents someone who professes the catholic Faith, and who would be, of course, baptized. Their profession should be taken on good faith unless they go back on in it some way, either in profession or behaviour. The Scriptures have higher standards for Church officers. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart - so we must be gracious and charitable to all that profess the faith.
3) Scriptural proofs of the existence of the Moral Law in the heart of man:
a) We are created in God's image (Gen.) and God is a moral being.
b) John 1 - Jesus enlightens all who come into the world.
c) Romans 1 - God has revealed himself in us.
d) Romans 2 - People without the Bible (the Law) have the morality of the Bible in their hearts, as is proven by their actions and moral judgments of each other.
Also, see the Appendix on the Tao, in Lewis' The Abolition of Man.

We look forward to seeing you at our October meeting, when we will dicuss Mere Christianity, Book Two.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Recording of Lewis on the BBC: "Mere Men"

Here is a recording of Lewis reading his "Beyond Personality" material, entitled "Mere Men." It is the basis for the last chapter in Mere Christianity. It was broadcast on 21 March 1944. You can hear him by going here or you can go here.

Books That Bring Joy

This is an article that appeared in the March, 2006 Guideposts. Another testimony to "joy".

Books That Bring Joy

Monday, July 27, 2009

Max McLean coming to the Tivoli in November

You may have learned of Max McLean's stage rendition of C. S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters. He is coming to Chattanooga for performances at the Tivoli Theatre, November 20-22. Considering that we will have our November meeting on Friday the 20th, this will be a real "C. S. Lewis Weekend" for Lewis fans in Chattanooga.
You can learn more about the play and obtain tickets to the performance by going here. Be sure to put this weekend on your calendar!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Plans Confirmed for this Fall

Updated, 29 July.

Thank you for all your replies. It seems that the following plan is a winner. Here is the schedule:

We will divide our next four meetings according to the four parts of Mere Christianity:
September 18: "Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe",
October 23: "What Christians Believe",
November 20: "Christian Behaviour",
December 18: "Beyond Personality: or First Steps in the Doctrine of the Trinity".

All meetings will be at 7:00 p.m., at Rock Point Books, 4th and Broad Street in downtown Chattanooga.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Unpublished C.S. Lewis manuscript Found

Read about it all by clicking here.
From the article:
"The article Beebe wrote documenting his discovery, “Language and Human Nature Manuscript Fragment Found: C. S. Lewis On Language and Meaning,” will be published next year in the Journal Seven: An Anglo-American Literary Review."
For information on this publication, see our Nexus section (right hand column), VII.
I have seen no news on when the manuscript will be published, but its publishing is mentioned by Beebe.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Will Vaus Interviewed on 100 Huntley Street

May 21, our friend Will Vaus, author of The Professor of Narnia, appeared on Canada TV, interviewed by Moira Brown. You can watch the video on YouTube.
FYI, homepage for the program:
Will Vaus' site can be found in our links.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

N. T. Wright Reviews Planet Narnia

N. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham, has just written a review of Michael Ward's Planet Narnia. With permission, it appears below:

"Michael Ward's Planet Narnia is an example of a very rare species: a work of literary detection which, despite the breathtaking daring of its central thesis, is utterly convincing and compelling. Once you realise -- as most of Lewis's enthusiastic readers have not done -- the extent to which their hero was soaked in mediaeval cosmology, and saw some of its key elements as pointers to profound aspects of God-given reality, the pieces fall into place with the combined thrill of an aesthetic, intellectual and spiritual satisfaction. Ward anticipates and more than answers every possible objection to his stunning proposal. His detailed scholarship, down to the use of Lewis's underlining of particular passages in his own copies of obscure mediaeval poetry, reinforces the thesis at every point. Reading the Narnia books will, in the best sense, never be the same again -- not that anything will be lost, but that an entire new layer of understanding will be present, shedding a quiet but powerful light on each story and on the collection as a whole. It's rather like the moment when Albert Schweitzer explained to his French organ teacher what the Bach chorales were all about, by referring them back to the Lutheran hymns Bach had in mind, a whole world of which French Catholicism had been ignorant. Suddenly the music made a whole new sense, without losing anything of its previous beauty. What's more, Ward's own writing, though academically rigorous in expounding complex and sometimes abstract themes, is not without its own literary beauty, its own webs of allusion and echo, and its own spiritual challenge to the shrunken imagination, cosmology and theology of our own day. Lewis may count himself lucky that the person who would tumble to his long-buried secret was one whose own powers of understanding and expression would be equal to the task, not just of proposing it to a surprised public, but of exploring and explaining the theme in a manner worthy of its subject-matter."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Our last meeting for the season

Our last meeting of the Society for the '08-'09 season was this past Friday, 7:00-8:00 P.M. at Rock Point Books - 4th & Broad. The topic for our meeting was Lewis' book Reflections on the Psalms. D.V., we'll start back up in September. We should have our autumn, '09, agenda posted here by summer's end.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Narnia Code aired 16 April.

Michael Ward has discussed the Narnia Code in a forthcoming BBC documentary. It was be screened in the UK on Thursday 16 April at 10.35pm on BBC 1.
BBC program link here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Narnia Code

We have reported news that the material in Michael Ward's book Planet Narnia is being made into a movie. There's now a website about the video, with a link to Youtube so you can see a trailer. The website is: . We don't yet know when this will be available for the public, but we'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Since it was published in 1418, The Imitation of Christ (De Imitatio Dei) by Thomas a'Kempis has been the most widely read book of Christian devotion, second only to the Bible in its use. After he returned to his Christian roots, C. S. Lewis read from this book every day.
As an attempt to better understand Lewis' spirituality, we are going to read this book and discuss it at our next meeting, 17 April, at Rock Point Books.
Many editions of this work are available. I recommend a more modern English translation. Rock Point had a nice one when we were last there. They can certainly order one for you. The cover seen here is of the Dover Publications edition, which is only about $2.50 and features the translation of Croft and Bolton.
Even if you are not able to read the book ahead of time, come anyway. You may learn of a book that you will want to make a part of your life in the years to come.

Friday, March 20, 2009

An analytical summary of The Problem of Pain, ch.'s 1-3

You can download the summary Rev. Beckmann composed of the first three chapters of The Problem of Pain by clicking here. It's a MS Word doc. Feel free to ask questions about it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

2009 UTC C. S. Lewis Lecture

Just in the mail today:
The speaker for the Twenty-Seventh Annual C. S. Lewis Lecture at UTC is Mark Noll of the University of Notre Dame. The lecture is entitled "Race & Religion in American Politics: A History in Desperate Need of Theological Evaluation". The lecture will be on Monday, March 23, 2009, 7:30 P.M. at the Benwood Auditorium, in the New Engineering Building. The series is sponsored by IVCF, UTC, and Covenant College. Admission is Free.
Dr. Timothy George, who had to cancel the last time he was to speak, is scheduled for the 2010 lecture.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Problem of Pain - Our Next Meeting

Right on the heels of A Grief Observed and the Shadowlands movies, we will read and discuss Lewis' famous book The Problem of Pain at our next meeting of the Society. Please join us at Rock Point Books, 4th & Broad, in downtown Chattanooga on Friday, 20 March, 7:00 P.M.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lewis BBC broadcast

You Tube has a recording of C. S. Lewis on the BBC reading what became a chapter of Mere Christianity.
It's in 2 parts:
Part One.
Part Two.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Our February Meeting

Considered one of Lewis' most popular books, A Grief Observed was the topic of an informal discussion at our last meeting of the Society, Friday, 20 February. We went over different passages and ideas in the book and also discussed what we thought about the two Shadowlands movies. A big thanks to all those who joined in the discussion and for the contribution they made. We had about 25 in attendance.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gresham on the Movies

Douglas Gresham once said that Joss Ackland portrays Lewis better than Hopkins (Anthony Hopkins is always Anthony Hopkins) and Debra Winger portrayed his mother better than Claire Bloom.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dr. Tate: From Lewis to Spenser to Lewis

Those who braved the frigid temps last night were rewarded with hearing Dr. Bill Tate of Covenant College describe for us his experience of learning about C. S. Lewis through the Chronicles of Narnia, and then how that interest led him into the study of English Literature and one of Lewis' favourite authors, Edmund Spenser. He summarized for us Lewis' observations about how Spenser wrote his Fairie Queene in Fowler's book Spenser's Images of Life. Bill then showed us how scenes in The Fairie Queene show up in the Chronicles of Narnia. It was quite interesting and a good time was had by all. We hope Bill will be able to speak to us again some time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dr. Tate to Speak on an Obscure Lewis Book - 16 Jan.

It's very difficult to find and expensive on the used book market. It is a book containing C. S. Lewis' lectures at Cambridge University on the famous work by Edmund Spenser, The Fairie Queen, compiled and amplified by a gentleman named Alastair Fowler. Cambridge University published the lectures under the title Spenser's Images of Life in 1967. Lewis had intended that these lectures be the basis for a book, but he died before he could finish them up. Thanks to Mr. Fowler, we can read something very close to what Lewis wanted us to read.

Spenser was one of Lewis' favourite authors. Lewis writes extensively about him in his volumes English Literature in the Sixteenth Century and The Allegory of Love. It has been said that Lewis' interpretation and appreciation of Spenser caused a revolution in Spenserian studies and contributed greatly to Spenser being considered in the same rank with such men as Milton, Chaucer, and Shakespeare.

Dr. William Tate, professor of English at Covenant College, has kindly agreed to come and speak to us about these lectures on Spenser by Lewis and to help us appreciate more deeply Lewis, the literary scholar. Our meeting, as usual, will be at Rock Point Books, 4th & Broad, in downtown Chattanooga. We will meet on Friday, the 16th, at 7:00 P.M. We hope you will be able to join us.