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The Joyful Christian

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C.S. Lewis, himself a convert, wrote of being "surprised by joy" when he discovered his belief in Jesus Christ. In these 127 devotional readings, selected from Lewis's many works on faith and spirituality, Christians everywhere can share in the joy of this master theologian as he discusses topics ranging from the nature of prayer and good works to psychoanalysis and C.S. Lewis, himself a convert, wrote of being "surprised by joy" when he discovered his belief in Jesus Christ. In these 127 devotional readings, selected from Lewis's many works on faith and spirituality, Christians everywhere can share in the joy of this master theologian as he discusses topics ranging from the nature of prayer and good works to psychoanalysis and fascism. In The Joyful Christian, Lewis offers inspiration for all those who hunger and thirst after joy.


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C.S. Lewis, himself a convert, wrote of being "surprised by joy" when he discovered his belief in Jesus Christ. In these 127 devotional readings, selected from Lewis's many works on faith and spirituality, Christians everywhere can share in the joy of this master theologian as he discusses topics ranging from the nature of prayer and good works to psychoanalysis and C.S. Lewis, himself a convert, wrote of being "surprised by joy" when he discovered his belief in Jesus Christ. In these 127 devotional readings, selected from Lewis's many works on faith and spirituality, Christians everywhere can share in the joy of this master theologian as he discusses topics ranging from the nature of prayer and good works to psychoanalysis and fascism. In The Joyful Christian, Lewis offers inspiration for all those who hunger and thirst after joy.

30 review for The Joyful Christian

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    Reading sections again. Usually after scripture readings. I've been re-reading this book for a decade. Highly recommend it; after all it's Lewis.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    A nice cherry picking of C.S. Lewis thoughts on many topics of interest: Heaven, Hell, death, apologetics, love... the list is extensive. Dubbed as a devotional, it certainly reads as one. Could easily be nursed through many a short morning readings or whenever you want to find time to read his thoughts. Id recommend this to those who dont feel compelled to read his extensive list of works (30+) and would rather get an idea of his writing. Youll find that not all of his works are featured here, A nice cherry picking of C.S. Lewis’ thoughts on many topics of interest: Heaven, Hell, death, apologetics, love... the list is extensive. Dubbed as a devotional, it certainly reads as one. Could easily be nursed through many a short morning readings or whenever you want to find time to read his thoughts. I’d recommend this to those who don’t feel compelled to read his extensive list of works (30+) and would rather get an idea of his writing. You’ll find that not all of his works are featured here, but primarily his very popular ones such as, but not limited to, MERE CHRISTIANITY and THE FOUR LOVES.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ed Burns

    The bibliography to the edition I read includes a book about C. S. Lewis that calls him "The Apostle to the Skeptics". It is this aspect of the author that spoke to me most. I fancy myself a fan of science and reason. I am glad the Enlightenment happened. And I consider the "all your mind" portion of Matthew 22:37 a scriptural basis for this way of thinking. Therefore, I am certainly a skeptic. This book was a turning point in my Christian walk. The scholarly rigor with which Mr. Lewis treats The bibliography to the edition I read includes a book about C. S. Lewis that calls him "The Apostle to the Skeptics". It is this aspect of the author that spoke to me most. I fancy myself a fan of science and reason. I am glad the Enlightenment happened. And I consider the "all your mind" portion of Matthew 22:37 a scriptural basis for this way of thinking. Therefore, I am certainly a skeptic. This book was a turning point in my Christian walk. The scholarly rigor with which Mr. Lewis treats such topics as Heaven, Hell, Money and Flippancy is very appealing to me. Here are some scribbled notes for my own reference. Page 4: Life on other planets is a defense of a tolerant and liberal view. Does Pastor Gib agree with it? Page 92: Mechanics of meditation Page 128: Belief Page 157: Flippancy. So much on TV is flippant. Page 178: Christianity Hard or Easy Page 185: Money

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dianne Oliver

    At the end of the day, I just prefer thel entirety, rather than excerpts. However, it's Lewis...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Library Queen

    Lewis is always fantastic, but I like reading full books and essays better than reading little snippets. One thing that was really good though, there was a lit of books/authors he suggested in his writing that I had not seen in the other books of his I've read, so that part was something I hadn't seen yet.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Alexander

    If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world. -C.S. Lewis The Joyful Christian is a collection of Lewis best work divided by topic. The Joyful Christian is academically challenging while being spiritually inspiring. “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” -C.S. Lewis The Joyful Christian is a collection of Lewis’ best work divided by topic. The Joyful Christian is academically challenging while being spiritually inspiring.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: If sales are signs, then C.S. Lewis is one of the most popular Christian theologians being published in the United States today. The Joyful Christian is a collection of 127 readings taken from C.S. Lewis' nonfiction works. Some readings are longer than others--a few pages in length. Other readings are much shorter--less than a single page. Some readings seem to flow together in a particular sequence. Others not as much. Either is fine as far as I'm concerned when it comes to First sentence: If sales are signs, then C.S. Lewis is one of the most popular Christian theologians being published in the United States today. The Joyful Christian is a collection of 127 readings taken from C.S. Lewis' nonfiction works. Some readings are longer than others--a few pages in length. Other readings are much shorter--less than a single page. Some readings seem to flow together in a particular sequence. Others not as much. Either is fine as far as I'm concerned when it comes to devotional readings. I think there is a definite place for devotional books that are not 365 days! It can be a little overwhelming to "commit" to reading a particular devotional book for an entire year. There's also something about a book being dated--literally. The dates can mock you if you fail. To some, God is discoverable everywhere; to others, nowhere. Those who do not find Him on earth are unlikely to find Him in space. But send a saint up in a spaceship and he'll find God in space as he found God on earth. Much depends on the seeing eye. (6) If God is Love, He is by definition, more than mere kindness. And it appears, from all records, that though He has often rebuked us and condemned us, He has never regarded us with contempt. He has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense. (39) The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God. (50) The doctrine of the Second Coming teaches us that we do not and cannot know when the world drama will end. The curtain may be rung down at any moment...We do not know the play. We do not even know whether we are in Act I or Act V. We do not know who are the major and the minor characters. The Author knows. The audience, if there is an audience (if angels and archangels and all the company of Heaven fill the pit ant the stalls), may have an inkling. But we, never seeing the play from outside, never meeting any characters except the tiny minority who are "on" in the same scenes as ourselves, wholly ignorant of the future and very imperfectly informed about the past, cannot tell at what moment the end ought to come. That it will come when it ought, we may be sure; but we waste our time in guessing when that will be. That it has meaning we may be sure, but we cannot see it. When it is over, we may be told. We are led to expect that the Author will have something to say to each of us on the part that each of us has played. The playing it well is what matters infinitely. (71) There is really some excuse for the man who said, "I wish they'd remember that the charge to Peter was Feed my sheep; not Try experiments on my rats, or even Teach my performing dogs new tricks." (81) For me words are...secondary. They are only an anchor. Or, shall I say, they are the movements of a conductor's baton: not the music. (85) We are always, completely and therefore equally, known to God. That is our destiny whether we like it or not. But though this knowledge never varies, the quality of our being known can. (90) It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones. (103) I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. (119) In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him. (120) And finally--though it may seem a sour paradox--we must sometimes get away from the Authorized Version if for no other reason, simply because it is so beautiful and so solemn. Beauty exalts; but beauty also lulls. (123) If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed. (141) I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man's actions, but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner. For a long time I used think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life--namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact, the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things. Consequently Christianity does not want us to reduce by one atom the hatred we feel for cruelty and treachery. We ought to hate them. Not one word of what we have said about them needs to be unsaid. But it does want us to hate them in the same way in which we hate things in ourselves: being sorry that the man should have done such things, and hoping, if it is anyway possible, that somehow, sometime, somewhere, he can be cured and made human again. (143) Christ takes it for granted that men are bad. Until we really feel this assumption of His to be true, though we are part of the world He came to save, we are not part of the audience to whom His words are addressed. (167)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brittany McDowell

    This book is to be read as a devotional, as it is comprised of excerpts from Lewis' other works. I found I missed the development that Lewis is faithful to give when he presents a subject. Some may find this book very beneficial to devotional readings; I personally prefer Lewis' format in his other books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    I could read C.S. Lewis all day. And I wish I could write as clearly and persuasively as he does.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Well that took a long time to read. It is an excellent book, but needs to be taken in small chunks.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Good stuff, but I prefer to read whole texts rather than excerpts.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    What do you get when you take sections from C.S. Lewis' greatest theological works and put them together? THE JOYFUL CHRISTIAN. This book takes portions from C.S. Lewis' books MERE CHRISTIANITY, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, THE FOUR LOVES, and more and put them in order of topic to give you great insight into the mind of a great theologian. Three things that make THE JOYFUL CHRISTIAN such a wonderful thing to read is Lewis' examples of Biblical concepts, frank beliefs, and understanding of the What do you get when you take sections from C.S. Lewis' greatest theological works and put them together? THE JOYFUL CHRISTIAN. This book takes portions from C.S. Lewis' books MERE CHRISTIANITY, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, THE FOUR LOVES, and more and put them in order of topic to give you great insight into the mind of a great theologian. Three things that make THE JOYFUL CHRISTIAN such a wonderful thing to read is Lewis' examples of Biblical concepts, frank beliefs, and understanding of the thought and feeling of humanity. One thing that makes THE JOYFUL CHRISTIAN a great book is C.S. Lewis' examples of Biblical concepts. To explain the trinity, he used a cube. A cube, he said, was six squares but still one cube. Just the same is the trinity--three persons but still one God. Throughout this book, C.S. Lewis explains his frank beliefs. Not to say that he says "I'm right and anyone who disagrees is wrong." In fact, it is quite opposite. He often tells his reader that this is what he believes, but if he could be shown that it was wrong through the Bible, he would change his beliefs. In a sense, Lewis hypothesizes many ideas about Christianity. His hypotheses, however, are very helpful and bring to light many difficult-to-understand concepts from the Bible. While reading THE JOYFUL CHRISTIAN, I often found myself being in awe of how well C.S. Lewis understood his readers. Frequently, I would think "That's exactly how I feel!" or I would notice something I needed to improve on in my Spiritual life. Overall, in this book, Lewis is an excellent author. He shows that he believes in the Bible as ultimate truth through his explanations of Biblical concepts, unashamed beliefs, and understanding of the human mind.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    People need more joy...I find that joy can turn our perspectives completely upside down. I would much rather be joyful and happy, than to mope about and have bad attitudes. People that are unhappy, rude, and make a big deal about everything are so difficult to be around. I dislike dealing with the drama and people's puffed up opinions about themselves. I was a counselor at a Christian camp a couple weeks ago and some of the kids just weren't happy, respectful, or nice. It really saddened me. We People need more joy...I find that joy can turn our perspectives completely upside down. I would much rather be joyful and happy, than to mope about and have bad attitudes. People that are unhappy, rude, and make a big deal about everything are so difficult to be around. I dislike dealing with the drama and people's puffed up opinions about themselves. I was a counselor at a Christian camp a couple weeks ago and some of the kids just weren't happy, respectful, or nice. It really saddened me. We were suppose to be there to learn about God and glorify Him and they were more about themselves and what they wanted to do than anything else.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel

    This book was not exactly what I expected, though it was very good for what it was: An Introduction to C.S. Lewis' writings. There were lots of excerpts from various of his papers, books, and speeches. Really a broad look at the theology of C.S. Lewis. There is also an excellent reference section, for further reading. I'm sure this will be a starting point for me to read more of his work.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    It has been a while since I was reading this book, but as I recall it contains a collection of excerpts from Lewis' other works. I do not recall being super impressed with how the editors decided to cut the excerpts they did cut. Could be useful to give you a general idea of what you'll encounter in Lewis' books, as a collection of excerpts though I felt it was lacking.

  16. 5 out of 5

    James

    This book has some good points, but it gets lost in the muddle of his apologetics. Quite frankly I expected a bit more from an author of his stature and fame. To be fair, this book is a collection of snippets from his larger body of work, so maybe I need to read one of these complete works.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Colette Stine

    Okay, so after reading this book, I just have to say that the writings of C.S. Lewis are not conducive to excerption. It took me the first seventy-five pages or so to stop forcing myself to sit down and read this, because Lewis's thoughts tend to build on one another in a logical manner in a way that leaves much to be desired when one starts reading in the middle of one of those thoughts. I did not at all care to jump into the middle of a thought and be completely lost because I didn't know Okay, so after reading this book, I just have to say that the writings of C.S. Lewis are not conducive to excerption. It took me the first seventy-five pages or so to stop forcing myself to sit down and read this, because Lewis's thoughts tend to build on one another in a logical manner in a way that leaves much to be desired when one starts reading in the middle of one of those thoughts. I did not at all care to jump into the middle of a thought and be completely lost because I didn't know where he was coming from or where he was going. After the first hundred or so pages, I did really start enjoying it. I don't know if I got used to the abbreviated style, or perhaps the editor became more adept at including full thoughts. In any case, I did get so much out of this, as is nearly always the case when I read Lewis. I don't recommend this book. If you want to read Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia are excellent stories that are chock full of theology, and I find "The Screwtape Letters" to be excellent. "Mere Christianity" is thought-provoking, and both that and "The Screwtape Letters" are quite slim volumes. Lewis is approachable enough without having his work hacked to bits in a way that sometimes renders it nearly unintelligible. Unless you're reading "Till We Have Faces." I don't recommend that as an introduction to Lewis.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bianca

    I read this book for my morning devotional over several months and although I had read most of the selections before, I enjoyed the lesser known selections like Miracles and Letters to Malcolm. He always reminds me that the centerpiece of Christianity is joy: All joy ... emphasizes our pilgrim status: always reminds, beckons, awakes desire. Our best havings are wantings. From Letters of C. S. Lewis I read this book for my morning devotional over several months and although I had read most of the selections before, I enjoyed the lesser known selections like Miracles and Letters to Malcolm. He always reminds me that the centerpiece of Christianity is joy: All joy ... emphasizes our pilgrim status: always reminds, beckons, awakes desire. Our best havings are wantings. From “Letters of C. S. Lewis”

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I love the intellectual rigor and orthodox theology of these 127 readings compiled from Lewis' writings. They dealt so honestly and logically with complicated ideas and gave me a morsel to ponder through the day. I'd love to read them with my kids because they are short but meaty. Will definitely re-read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    This collection doesn't live up to the writing itself. The "readings" in this book are taken piecemeal from other, stronger, better, more cohesive works and cobbled together without any context whatsoever. There's no advantage to reading this book, as opposed to reading the original books, as they were before they'd been butchered and Frankensteined into this.

  21. 4 out of 5

    April Coker

    Not an easy read, but a thought-provoker. It was sometimes so deep the author lost me. I also disagree with some of his opinions, but I don't hold that against him. I can see why he is such a beloved author and theologian.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    As usual, C.S. Lewis has a way of describing profound theology in simple, sometimes humorous, ways. I dont know why the book is entitled The Joyful Christian - it doesnt really focus on joy as I expected it would. As usual, C.S. Lewis has a way of describing profound theology in simple, sometimes humorous, ways. I don’t know why the book is entitled “The Joyful Christian” - it doesn’t really focus on joy as I expected it would.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    Rounded up to 4 stars.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Leskey

    This is most excellent. A little bit of humor while thoroughly expounding theological concepts goes a long way.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mark Graber

    This is a fantastic compilation of short Lewis writings. I have been reading them with breakfast!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anya

    A good collection of C. S. Lewis's work derived from several of his books touching on different topics. I enjoyed the first half much more but the overall book was still very good

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Excellent excerpts to his other writings. Some were a bit challenging but overall short essays that one can read each day.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Weynand

    Enlightening. Especially the readings on Heaven and Hell. Will revisit!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Doris

    I just could not get into this book. I stopped reading it after two days.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julia P

    Repeats a lot of his other books, which are better.

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