There are a few things I’d like to note without doing a bunch of big announcements. Consider this a Friday Feature Flash (sorry, I couldn’t think of a better term!).
You may not even have known there was a C.S. Lewis Nature Reserve, let alone the danger it might be in. Sometime in the 1980s (I think), some people rediscovered the Lewis brother’s shared home, known as the Kilns. A foundation purchased the property and did their best to restore it to the period of the 1950s when the house was filled with the Lewises, Paxford and the other workers, and Joy Davidman with her sons. I was able to bring my family on a tour of the Kilns this summer where I bumped into Will Vaus, David Beckmann, and some old friends. I didn’t know ahead of time, but that day Walter Hooper gave a lecture to some American pilgrims, so we sat in for the treat.
Behind The Kilns is a nature reserve named for famed author C.S. Lewis. It is in some environmental danger–and really the danger of losing its peaceful distance from industrial Oxford–so a local resident has begun a petition. Here is her lovely description of the place:
I spent my childhood playing in the C.S Lewis reserve and now bring my own children there to explore the wonders it holds. It truly is a magical place and C.S. Lewis based his writings about Narnia on it, although back then it was his back garden!
The reserve comprises mature woodland slopes and two ponds. The larger pond is noted for spawning toads and giant horsetail surrounding it. The nature reserve and surrounding area currently supports birds, reptiles, badgers and roosting bats among other wildlife. The area is also suitable for protected species such as Great Crested Newts which have been spotted in the area. The proposed development and access road will create noise, light, dust pollution and many more negative impacts on the environment and wildlife.
I would encourage UK residents to sign the online petition here.
Don Williams’ Mere Humanity: G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien on the Human Condition is only 99c on Amazon
It’s not often that you can snatch up a deal like this–and it is even 99 cents in Canada, too! I have just loaded this to my Kindle reader and look forward to exploring more deeply what I have only heretofore skimmed.
Other Lewisian Amazon.com deals include Louis Markos’ Lewis Agonistes: How C.S. Lewis Can Train Us to Wrestle with the Modern and Postmodern World ($7.99) and Colin Duriez’ Bedeviled: Lewis, Tolkien and the Shadow of Evil ($7.45).
Readers will know I’m a fan of this book, so I’d encourage you to take a look at another view. The folks at ERB are great at gathering resources together for missional Christians, and they are fans of C.S. Lewis. Their “5 Essential Ebook Deals for Christian Readers” that comes out every couple of weeks helps me discover some of my best new finds on Kindle. It is a dream of mine to be one day featured on ERB.
Blogger, minister, and C.S. Lewis researcher Will Vaus is working on a series with Winged Lion Press that discusses the ten books that Lewis said influenced him the most. In a 1962 interview, C.S. Lewis was asked: “What books did most to shape your vocational attitude and your philosophy of life?” In response, Lewis offered the following top ten list:
- Phantastes by George MacDonald
- The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton
- The Aeneid by Virgil
- The Temple by George Herbert
- The Prelude by William Wordsworth
- The Idea of the Holy by Rudolf Otto
- The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius
- Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell
- Descent into Hell by Charles Williams
- Theism and Humanism by A.J. Balfour
A Video Teaser on Letters to Malcolm by Rev. David Beckmann
What happens when you are recording a video lesson on C.S. Lewis’ last Christian book and your lighting and sound fails? You blog it, of course! David is doing a series on Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, essentially structuring it as a video teaching series based on this interesting book. David recorded at live locations in Oxford–in the world of C.S. Lewis–so that the videos would have the greatest possible connection to the text. An Episcopalian minister–though the light falters and the audio is a bit garbled–this video helps us see what the final teaching series to come might look like. Check out his blog for this content and more.