C.S. Lewis wrote:
“The best popular defense of the full Christian position I know is G. K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man.”
In Surprised by Joy, 1955, C.S. Lewis described how he resisted “kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance to escape,” until in 1929 he came to believe in God:
“You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen (College, Oxford) night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet.
That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.”
In 1931, after a late-night discussion with J.R.R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson, C.S. Lewis described his deepening spiritual journey in Surprised by Joy:
“I know very well when, but hardly how, the final step was taken. I was driven to Whipsnade zoo one sunny morning. When we set out I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we reached to zoo I did. Yet I had not exactly spent the journey in thought.
Nor in great emotion. ‘Emotional’ is perhaps the last word we can apply to some of the most important events. It was more like when a man, after long sleep, still lying motionless in bed, becomes aware that he is now awake.
And it was, like that moment on top of the bus, ambiguous.
Freedom, or necessity? Or do they differ at their maximum? At that maximum a man is what he does; there is nothing of him left over or outside the act.
As for what we commonly call Will, and what we commonly call Emotion, I fancy these usually talk too loud, protest too much, to be quite believed, and we have a secret suspicion that the great passion or the iron resolution is partly a put-up job.
They have spoiled Whipsnade since then. Wallaby Wood, with the birds singing overhead and the blue-bells underfoot and the Wallabies hopping all round one, was almost Eden come again.”
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