The journey of a nerd who loves the Lord

Posts tagged ‘C.S Lewis’

Book Review: Till We Have Faces

facesTill We Have Faces Audio Book Review
Written by C.S. Lewis Audio
Narrated by Nadia May

Description

  1. C.S. Lewis reworks the timeless myth of Cupid and Psyche into an enduring piece of contemporary fiction in this novel about the struggle between sacred and profane love. Set in the pre-Christian world of Glome on the outskirts of Greek civilization, it is a tale of two princesses: the beautiful Psyche, who is loved by the god of love himself, and Orual, Psyche’s unattractive and embittered older sister who loves Psyche with a destructive possessiveness. Her frustration and jealousy over Psyche’s fate sets Orual on the troubled path of self-discovery. Lewis’ last work of fiction, this is often considered his best by critics.

As part of my recent C.S. Lewis kick, I picked up this book, not really knowing what to expect.  I saw the note in the description mentioning that many consider this one of Lewis’ best books, and many of the user reviews agreed.

First, Lewis writes this story of self-discovery completely from the first perspective, which I have grown to enjoy the more I read.   Lewis does a great job keying into the main character, Orual, and making you feel as she feels.  Early on, Orual makes it clear she has beef with the gods, and Lewis does a great job explaining exactly why.  While some define atheists as those who do not believe in gods at all, I have seen some (in fiction) define them as those who believe that the gods are simply not worthy of faith and worship.  That’s exactly how Orual thinks, as nearly the entire book serves as her well thought out complaint against them as a whole.

Ironically, I have seen this exact same sentiment in some of my atheists friends and family.  If God does not exists, how can they be so mad at Him?  I see them shaking their fist in the air, at Him.  They argue, if He exists, He must be a cruel God because of XYZ… and therefore not worthy of worship even if they saw Him face to face.  Lewis excellently paints the argument, drawing on his own feelings and experience as an atheist for many years.  His final strokes in the tale and debate are masterfully painted.

His excellence permeates the other aspects of the story, as well.  From the supporting characters, to describing the world.  He wastes not a word.  In fact, I had to slow down my normal playing speed as He uses thick language full of color and thought.  You cannot listen to this book casually, lest you miss an important point.

Nadia May executes the narration near flawlessly, lending a different voice to each character.  I really enjoyed this entire book from beginning to end.  I highly recommend it to my friends who study theology, those looking for a good, fictional book steeped in mythology, and even my atheist friends who may find a kindred soul in the main character.   5/5 Stars.

5star

Brothers Removed by Time

Salutations.

As I continue to plug away at college studies, increased job workload and the constant stream of house chores and errands, I find that my time for creative work eroded away to nothingness.  However, I do continue to find ways to consume entertainment.  Whether I sneak in an hours of game before bed, or I listen to an audio book on the way to work, I find new ways to take my mind off the monotony of the day to day grind.

Image result for mere christianityI mention in my October summary post that I had listened to C.S. Lewis’ book, The Screwtape Letters.  Since then, I have listened to another of his books, Mere Christianity.  I also listened to The Question of God: C. S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life by Armond Nicholi, which did a great job summarizing many of the contrasting viewpoints of these two great minds.

I cannot recommend these books enough.  The more I listen to C.S. Lewis, the more I’m convinced that we are two brothers, separated by time.  I find his approach to theology, using clear thought, logic and reason, absolutely refreshing in a world so based on emotional reasoning.  Make no mistake, C.S. Lewis’ passion dictates his direction, at times, but he always seeks to get to his conclusions through logic.  I honestly wished I started reading his work earlier.  If he were alive today, I would love to spend time just talking things out with him.

I believe many of my friends would enjoy the last book mentioned above, The Question of God.  The author does a great job of providing two contrasting viewpoints of C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud.  For those who do not know, C.S. Lewis started life raised in a religious home, but declared that he believed in no God rather young in life.  Years later, after much thought and reflection, Lewis decided to follow Jesus and became a Christian.  S. Freud, on the other hand, refused to believe in a benign creator his entire life.  The resulting ways that these men thought on important topics provides some very fascinating perspectives on topics that most of try to avoid or ignore.  Yet, we would do well to take the necessary time to find the truth on such matters as they can have such a profound impact on ourselves, and those around us, as seen in this book.

How about you?  Have you read any books lately that make you feel so connected to the author, that you feel you are siblings removed by time?  Have you read any of these books?  Share your thoughts below!  I would love to hear from you.

 

A (nother) Crazy Month

tetrisAs we close in on Halloween, I take a look at the remaining eight days and realize that I hardly have time to breathe.  My full calendar looks like a losing game of Tetris.  I really need more God in my day.  No, seriously.  Check out the video below.  If you feel you do not have enough time in your day, it’s a great pick me up.

As I mentioned on earlier blog entries, the increased responsibilities of my job have also made it nigh impossible to do anything extra, such as solid writing, podcasting or videos.  I hope to return to that sooner, rather than later.

With that said, I do manage to sneak a wee amount of time in for reading and gaming (though, not much).  Normally, I abhor flying.  However, recently I have looked forward to my time in the air as a way to disconnect a wee bit and dive into a bit of Vita play or listen to an audio book (or both!).

I actually read (the Kindle version of) Two Necromancers, a Bureaucrat, and an Elf .  The short length lends itself well to reading through in a single flight.  Unlike many stories today, it features light hearted content, comedy and adventure, without a lot of sexual content.  I found the characters interestingly delightful.  And, according to my wife, they get even better in the future installments.  I hope to write something like this one day.

exheroes

I listened to the audio version of Ex-Heroes.  While significantly longer than the prior book, I knocked it out as I traveled, did chores,  and even while working.  Have I mentioned that I love audio books?  This title features the struggles of a ragtag band of superheros fighting to protect one of the last known groups of humanity against the hordes of zombies that have taken over most of America.  The idea seems a bit cliche (I believe most of us are ‘zombied’ out), but Peter Clines does an excellent job setting the stage and making me care about what happens to the cast.  Luckily for me, he wrote more books in the series, and I look forward to getting through them.

I also listened to The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.  I have heard numerous pastors reference the writings of this author, and after listening to this story, I can see why.  This allegorical tales of an elder demon writing to his younger ‘tempter’ nephew not only entertains, but teaches or reminds us of numerous traps set up by the enemy to ensnare followers of the faith.

I found one point particularly interestingly, simply because I have long railed against traditions and the status quo.  In one of the chapters, the elder demon mentions that current day wedding/marriage ceremonies and whatnot are an invention of man.  In the Bible, the picture painted is that God’s design for marriage initiates when an unmarried man and woman come together as one (if one of them is already married to someone else, that would be adultery), not when they get married ‘in a church.’  I have long suspected this myself, but rarely speak of it, as our culture just takes that step so much for granted.  To hear one of the most well known Christian authors challenge traditions, where they do not line up with God’s Word, really encourages me.

dragon-quest-buildersOn the gaming side, I put a few hours into the recently released Dragon Quest Builders.  As a casual fan of Minecraft, I have found the gameplay in DQB to actually improve on the Minecraft formula.  Not only does it provide direction in the form of quests (I found the original Minecraft to be a bit too ‘open ended’ for my tastes), but I love some of the improvements, such as the ability to clear whole swaths of blocks at once with a charged hammer attack.  I also love the improved visuals and Dragon Quest soundtrack.  The third person camera angle and clunky combat system keep this title from perfection, but do not majorly detract from the fun of creativity and building.  This little delight makes flights go by quick!

When I finally do get some time at home, I continue to play Starcraft II, Diablo II and World of Warcraft: Legion.  I do not get enough time to get very far in any of them (my highest level character in WoW is 104), but if you enjoy these titles, look me up!  My handle is JCServant#1617.  I would love to adventure with you.

Oh…I almost forgot!  Onto the song I promised!  When you feel too busy, you don’t need more time… you need more life in your day!  WoooOOOo!!!