In 2015 I am reading as many of C.S. Lewis’ works as I can get my hands on. My sons and I have finished The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and currently we are reading Prince Caspian. In the first few weeks of January, I read The Four Loves, and I am just about to finish Mere Christianity. I’ve also recently completed Humphrey Carpenter’s award-winning biography, The Inklings, which follows C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and others. It’s a fantastic read! In the months ahead, I hope to publish an article or two on Lewis. In fact, I’ve just finished writing a popular piece that brings three of Lewis’ writings, The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, and The Four Loves, into dialogue with E.L. James’ erotic bestseller, Fifty Shades of Grey. Stay tuned for the details of when and where this piece will appear in print. I also plan to post some of my favorite excerpts from Lewis’ writings. Tentatively, I am planning on providing readers with a morsel of Lewis every Friday morning. You will find the first of these below. I couldn’t work this excerpt into my piece on Fifty Shades of Grey, though I really wanted to! It comes from Mere Christianity (1952). Lewis has just made the claim that the sexual instinct, as it now is, has gone terribly wrong. He goes on to illustrate the point:
You can get a large audience together for a strip-tease act–that is, to watch a girl undress on the stage. Now suppose you come to a country where you could fill a theatre by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let every one see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food? And would not anyone who had grown up in a different world think there was something equally queer about the state of the sex instinct among us?