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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Douglas Gresham's Jack's Life

Douglas Gresham is a stepson of C. S. Lewis. He has written a biography, Jack's Life: The Life Story of C. S. Lewis. (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2005) It's not the best biography of Lewis, but it's short (167 pages) and a good introduction for someone wanting a quick review of the life of Lewis. There is a DVD conversation with Gresham included, at least in the hardback edition.

I didn't learn much that I didn't already know. One thing I didn't know was that Gresham's mother, Joy Davidman, influenced Lewis in writing Till We Have Faces. (She was also an author.)

Gresham emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of Lewis. He believes that Lewis was protected during World War I (he served in the army, and was the only one of his unit to survive) and that God used the War to get Lewis into university. Lewis was poor in mathematics, and failed an entrance exam including that subject twice. After the war, Oxford waived the requirement for veterans.

Gresham, who spent ten years with Lewis, some of them with Lewis as a single parent (Joy died of cancer) says that Lewis was the best Christian he ever has known, by which he means that Lewis came closer to being Christ-like in the nitty-gritty of daily life.

Gresham says "Jack told me, 'first be sure that you know exactly what you want to say. Then be sure you say exactly that.'" (p. 1)

Good advice. I haven't always done that.

We are expecting company for a few days, and I don't expect to post for a week or so, except for a hymn by Charles Wesley, and a Sunspots.

Thanks for reading.


Nostril Dormouse said...

That’s all very well, but what about the meaning of life ?

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks for your comment, nostril dormouse, but I'm not sure that I understand what you mean by it.

Mirtika said...

Considering the positive influence the man's writings--both non-fiction and fiction--have had on people's minds and souls, I truly find it easy to believe that God intervened to protect him during war and open that path to education.

That's lovely to ponder!

And I think to have your stepson say you were the most Christ-like Christian they ever knew is the highest praise C.S. could have asked for. Isn't that the highest praise we could imagine for ourselves, someone who lived DAILY with us, when we let our guards down, to say THAT. Wow.


Martin LaBar said...

My thoughts, too, Mirtika.