Very rarely has there been a time in my life when I wasn’t reading at least three or four books at a time. When I tell people this, they usually ask how I can keep all of the stories straight, but generally when I’m reading multiple books at a time not all of them are story-based. One or two might be the fictional prose most people think of when they think “books,” but I tend to throw one or two non-fiction books into the mix so I have a variety of things to read to fit the mood I’m in when I want to pick up a book. Now is one of those times when I have a myriad of genres to read from and one of the books I’m reading is The Joyful Christian by C.S. Lewis.
I first started reading The Joyful Christian when I was a senior in high school. I really enjoyed reading this book, but his writing is very dense. So I think I read about half way through the book and then put it aside until recently.
Despite his writing being difficult to understand at times, Lewis is still one of my favorite religious authors simply because he is bold, is not afraid to speak his mind and he brings so many valuable ideas to the table! For anyone who reads any of his work, Lewis gives the reader a lot of “food for thought” moments that add up to be more of a feast. The Joyful Christian is no exception.
Even though The Joyful Christian packs much the same punch as say Mere Christianity or The Screwtape Letters, this book allows the reader to eat the elephant–or feast–one bite at a time. This book consists of 127 short readings that can be just a few sentences to a few pages on various aspects of the Christian life. I like to think of The Joyful Christian as C.S. Lewis’s “blog” (if blogs had existed in the mid-1900s) because he writes each reading with a very succinct style and each with insightful thoughts on Christianity.
“Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.” – C.S. Lewis
This is one of those books that I love to pick up to supplement my personal study, when I take my morning coffee or when I’m unwinding at the end of the day. This is really one of those books that fits in nicely at any time of day and into any season of life. By no means do I agree with everything C.S. Lewis writes, but he makes some very wise and valid points worth considering.