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February 28, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Best CS Lewis Quotes of All Time

Best CS Lewis Quotes of All Time

Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.
CS Lewis

Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.
CS Lewis

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.
CS Lewis

Humans are amphibians – half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.
CS Lewis

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.
CS Lewis

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.
CS Lewis

Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.
CS Lewis

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
CS Lewis

Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.
CS Lewis

The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.
CS Lewis

You can find more CS Quotes here at Compassion in Politics, specifically from CS Lewis’ book “Miracles” and “God is in the Dock
(link)

9 Comments

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  1. papermovement / Jul 11 2012 12:46 pm

    Thanks for this list. I actually just blogged about this quote, which I really like:

    “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
    C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

  2. Nathan Ketsdever / Jul 13 2012 8:18 pm

    Wow. So true.

  3. compassioninpolitics / Dec 15 2015 9:40 pm

    This is a nice list of three:

    What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’ – could set up on their own as if they had created themselves – be their own masters – invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history – money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery – the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.

    “The reason why it can never succeed is this. God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”

    And the very last paragraph of his book says this: “Give up yourself and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”

    Source: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2014/01/30/c-s-lewis-on-real-happiness-and-real-christianity/

  4. compassioninpolitics / Dec 15 2015 9:42 pm

    I’ll add this one from Abolition of Man:

    “And all the time—such is the tragi-comedy of our [educational] situation—we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that our civilization needs more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests [hearts] and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

    * Education, Culture, and Society all fit to some extent. The metaphor CS Lewis was working with was education and curriculum-based.

  5. compassioninpolitics / Dec 15 2015 9:53 pm

    “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,…Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.”
    CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters

    “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. ”
    CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters

    “Humans are amphibians…half spirit and half animal…as spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. This means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, for to be in time, means to change. Their nearest approach to constancy, therefore, is undulation–the repeated return to a level from which they repeatedly fall back, a series of troughs and peaks.”
    CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters

    “[M]an has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to having a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn’t think of doctrines as primarily “true” or “false,” but as “academic” or “practical,” “outworn” or “contemporary,” “conventional” or “ruthless.” Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don’t waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong or stark or courageous—that it is the philosophy of the future. That’s the sort of thing he cares about.”
    CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters

    There’s another one about being annoyed by other people thats pretty in line with empathy.

    Source: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/2920952-the-screwtape-letters

  6. compassioninpolitics / May 22 2016 2:11 am

    If a man will go into a library and spend a few days with the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics he will soon discover that massive unanimity of the practical reason in man. From the Babylonian Hymn to Samos, from the Laws of Manu, the Book of the Dead, the Analects, the Stoics, the Platonists, from Australian aborigines and Redskins, he will collect the same triumphantly monotonous denunciations of oppression, murder, treachery and falsehood, the same injunctions of kindness to the aged, the young, and the weak, of almsgiving and impartiality and honesty. He may be a little surprised . . . to find that precepts of mercy are more frequent than precepts of justice; but he will no longer doubt that there is such a thing as the Law of Nature. There are, of course, differences. . . . But the pretence that we are presented with a mere chaos . . . is simply false.

    C. S. Lewis, “The Poison of Subjectivism,” in Christian Reflections (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1967), p. 77

  7. compassioninpolitics / Jun 28 2016 5:07 am

    From Weight of Glory (not sure these are exact quotes):

    “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which,if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”
    ― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

    “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”
    ― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

    Here are more: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1629232-the-weight-of-glory

Trackbacks

  1. My mega list of quotes from the best Christian books | Compassion in Politics: Christian Social Entrepreneurship, Education Innovation, & Base of the Pyramid/BOP Solutions
  2. Just Enough Knowledge of Self: Linda K. Meets C.S. Lewis | Broken Believers ♥

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