C.S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters is C.S. Lewis’ satirical book of letters where Hell is imagined as a gruesome bureaucracy and demons labor in a vast enterprise to lure and deceive humans away from the “enemy”, a.k.a. God. Among Lewis’ best-known works, Paul McCusker brought the source material to life when he turned it into a full-cast audio drama starring Andy Serkis as Screwtape.

On today’s episode of the Great Stories podcast, McCusker joins Charles Morris to discuss how this project came about, how he adapted a book of letters into a compelling drama, and how this story brilliantly conveys the subtleties of darkness while reinforcing a biblical perspective that leads to Jesus.

Paul McCusker is an American writer and producer. He is best known for his work on the radio drama Adventures in Odyssey, and for his work with Focus on the Family’s Radio Theatre, including The Screwtape Letters and The Chronicles of Narnia (Collector’s Edition). He has written over 50 books, 21 plays and 4 musicals.

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What would it have been like to live in the same house as C.S. Lewis? For many fans of The Chronicles of Narnia, it would be a dream come true. For Douglas Gresham, it became a reality after his mother married Lewis toward the end of her life.

In 2005, as The Chronicles of Narnia reached new heights with the release of Disney’s take on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Charles Morris sat down with Douglas Gresham to talk about his late stepfather’s faith, work, and family life. More than a biographical look at the famous writer and apologist, today’s episode of the Great Stories podcast paints a unique picture of C.S. Lewis from the vantage point of a child in his home.


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A hundred years ago, no one had ever heard of a hobbit. But you would be hard-pressed today to find anyone who didn’t immediately recognize this short fictional creature with large fuzzy feet. Most amazing of all is the faith behind J.R.R. Tolkien, the man who created the myth behind The Lord of the Rings.

As Amazon Studios launches the most expensive show in history based on the appendices of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, we thought now would be a good time to call professor and historian Dr. Joseph Loconte, author of the New York Times bestselling book A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and A Great War, to talk about Tolkien’s faith, wartime experiences, and influence on the conversion of C.S. Lewis.

On this episode of the Great Stories Podcast, you’ll get to hear Loconte offer a unique perspective on how the first mechanized war in history affected Tolkien’s faith and led him to write one of the most revered stories of all time.

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Have you ever heard it said that you have to be a fool to believe in God? John Lennox has come toe-to-toe with many of Christianity’s harshest critics, some of them colleagues at Oxford where he is a Professor of Mathematics (emeritus). Many of those critics argue that science and faith are like two ships passing in the night — John Lennox wholeheartedly disagrees.

Charles Morris conducted this interview with Lennox at C.S. Lewis’ old home, “The Kilns,” which seemed an appropriate place to have a conversation about how those who believe in God can absolutely live and work in the world of science. It’s an inspiring conversation that proves how science and belief have more in common than meets the eye.


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C.S. Lewis’ conversion story is a true testament to the to the work of Jesus through one man’s life. You will be delighted by the performance of award-winning actor, Max McLean, who plays C.S. Lewis. You will likely recognize his voice as the narrator of several Bible translations.

Whether you are young in your faith or have been following Jesus for most of your life, The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis is for you. His journey through faith is a much-needed reminder that the Gospel never stops working.


The Most Reluctant ConvertThe Most Reluctant Convert (DVD)

Experience C.S. Lewis’ profound journey from vigorous debunker of Christianity to become, as he said, “the most reluctant convert in all England.”

Through Max McLean’s detailed and masterful performance, Lewis’ story of grief, loss and redemption comes to life on screen in his own magnificent words. Whether you are young in your faith or have been following Jesus most of your life, The Most Reluctant Convert is a much needed reminder that the Gospel never stops working.

If you’ve ever listened to an audio version of the Bible, chances are you were hearing the captivating voice of Max McLean. A classically trained actor, McLean dedicates his talents for the presentation of Scripture and other Christian material. And though many may recognize his voice as the narrator of multiple translations for the Listener’s Bible, he also received great acclaim for his theatrical presentations of The Screwtape Letters, Mark’s Gospel, and Genesis.

In this conversation, Charles Morris speaks with Max McLean about his experience writing, starring, and now filming his newest production: The Most Reluctant Convert. Hear what went into telling this groundbreaking story behind C.S. Lewis’ long, heel-digging conversion to Christianity, along with how this film is now touching countless lives around the world.


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They were friends with two things in common — great literature and a great war. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien both fought in World War I, which profoundly influenced their writings and drove them to Christ.

On today’s episode of the Great Stories podcast, Dr. Joseph Loconte joins Charles Morris to discuss the beloved books written by both authors in light of the spiritual crisis sparked by the conflict in WWI. Loconte has spent years exhaustively researching how these two men’s traumatic experiences in the first world war shaped their faith and their writing . . . and the way millions would later read and be influenced by their work.


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“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

How well do you know C.S. Lewis? Most of us today never had the opportunity to meet him, so much of what we know of this iconic Christian figure is constructed from what we’ve seen in books and movies. Perhaps you’ve read some of his Narnia series or his classic Mere Christianity. Whether you’ve read all of his published work or just a little, it’s difficult for anyone to come away from his writings without new insights on what it means to believe in Christ.

Many of C.S. Lewis’ works of fiction, apologetic books and papers, Christian allegories, and personal letters are all packed with nuggets of truth on the Christian life that have inspired children and grown-ups alike for several decades. But when it comes to hearing from the man himself, actual recordings of Lewis are hard to come by. Until now …

Did you know that before Mere Christianity became a book, it was a compilation of radio talks that Lewis delivered for the BBC during World War II? At the time, many in Great Britain were disillusioned about faith in God and afraid for the future as constant air raid attacks rained down in their streets and neighborhoods. Of these great radio talks from World War II, below are the only two surviving recordings of C.S. Lewis on the radio … in his own words.

Part 1

Part 2


 

A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and A Great War

Had there been no Great War, there would have been no Hobbit, no Lord of the Rings, no Narnia, and perhaps no conversion to Christianity by C. S. Lewis. The First World War laid waste to a continent and permanently altered the political and religious landscape of the West. For a generation of men and women, it brought the end of innocence—and the end of faith. Yet for J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, the Great War deepened their spiritual quest. Both men served as soldiers on the Western Front and used the experience of that conflict to ignite their Christian imagination.

In the first book of its kind, Professor Joseph Loconte brilliantly tells the untold story of how WWI dramatically impacted these two literary greats … as well as the famous characters we would later know and love. For your gift to the ministry, we would love to send you either the audiobook version or print edition as our way of saying “thanks” for your generous support.

You could say it was The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis’s stories of four children who fall through a wardrobe into a magical land of talking animals, that led me to saving faith.
Because if it weren’t for those books and their captivating stories, I would have never been attracted to Lewis’s Mere Christianity. I saw the book on my best friend’s floor and picked it up because I had loved the Chronicles and had no idea Lewis had written more. I believe that God had already taken a hold of my heart. But it was while reading Mere Christianity that the logic of it all fell into place.
Mere Christianity has affected many other lives besides my own. The back story to the book is that it was made up of the words Lewis spoke in a series of radio talks that he did for the BBC during World War II. Only later would he compile his notes to form the book.
To hear Lewis in his own words, check out the video we found of the lone-surviving audio of one of these talks:

Part 1

Part 2

Whether it’s through a good story or the way that one great story leads to another, is it any surprise that a Lewis’ writing could lead someone to believe in Jesus Christ?
4123_CSLewisAtWar_CD-600x600Yet God is the writer of true-story page-turners, including the bestselling book of all time with the most unexpected twist. In the end, God Himself, the author, takes man’s place as violator of God’s law. Man receives eternal life instead of eternal punishment—but only if he believes that the story of Jesus is fact and not fiction.
This is the same story that C.S. Lewis spoke about on the radio during World War II. In fact, you should check out C.S. Lewis At War, an audio drama that goes behind the scenes of the radio talks that would later become the special book that helped led me to the Lord: Mere Christianity.

Lindsey M. Roberts spent years writing exclusively for secular journalism, including such outlets as The Washington Post, Architect, and Gray magazine, before she first tried to write about Jesus. She’s thrilled to explore in words how everything from cleaning the kitchen three times a day to delighting in the maritime history of Nantucket is an opportunity to meet and glorify God. Lindsey lives with her husband, a pastor and U.S. Army Reserve chaplain, and two children in Virginia.