Need the perfect Christmas present for your book-loving friends and relatives? Look no further. Have I got some answers for you! All are books that I can recommend highly with the greatest confidence, having, er, written them myself.
We lead off with my newest tome, literally hot off the press: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016). What is the theology that lies behind the Narnia Books, the Space Trilogy, and the popular apologetics? What are its strengths and weaknesses as a guide to biblical truth? Where can we follow Lewis and where do we need to withhold our judgment or even dissent? Why is he in the final analysis the great theologian of wholeness? These are the questions this book will answer from the entire body of Lewis’s work. Order from the publisher or from Amazon.
The other perfect gift for a fan of C. S. Lewis or J. R. R. Tolkien: Mere Humanity: G. K. chesterton, C. S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien on the Human Condition (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2006). What a piece of work is a man (or woman)? I set forth the strong biblical answer to that question given by these three Christian writers in their expository works, and then show how they incarnated in in their fiction. In Lewis’s Space Trilogy you have hrossa, seroni, pfiffltriggi, and the Green Lady of Perelandra–rational and spiritual but non-human species that serve as foils to set off, by both their similarities and their differences to us, the essential characteristics of true human nature. (Tor and Tinidril on Perelandra are humanoid, but not human, not being descended from Adam and Eve.) In the Narnia books, Talking Beasts perform the same function. In Tolkien’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, elves, dwarves, and wizards play that role. In the book as a whole you get both a strong defense of the biblical view of humanity that has traction against various modernist and post-modernist reductionisms, and also interesting explications of the popular fiction from that standpoint. $14.99. Order from the publisher or on Amazon.
Perfect gift for a lover of literature in general, especially high-school kids studying literature in home school or their parents, or those thinking of majoring in English in college and needing a biblical place to stand against the sterile winds of secularist literary theory in our day: Inklings of Reality: Essays toward a Christian Philosophy of Letters, 2nd ed. (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2012). Christians are a “people of the Book.” What does this say about them and the place reading should have in their lives? What should Christians read? How? Why? Explore such questions as you watch some of the finest Christian minds wrestle with them through history. Lewis and Tolkien and the other Inklings are not the primary focus of this book, but they play a major role in it–the pun in the title was made with benevolence aforethought. $15.00. Order from https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.
Perfect gift for a lover of poetry: Stars through the Clouds: The Collected Poetry of Donald T. Williams (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2011). Jim Prothero says, “Williams has returned poetry to the writing of poetry. Here you will find new life breathed into the great forms that graced English verse for centuries. Owen Barfield insisted that poetry must cause the reader to undergo ‘a felt change of consciousness.’ That’s a tall order, but Don Williams achieves it. Someone said reading C. S. Lewis ’caused one to grow in sanity.’ I find very few other authors of whom that may be said: tolkien, L’Engle, Frost–not many more. But it can be said of the poetry of Donald Williams.” $15.00. Order from https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.
Perfect gift for a person interested in theology, philosophy, and apologetics: Reflections from Plato’s Cave: Essays in Evangelical Philosophy (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2012). From the introduction: “Francis Schaeffer was right: In the Post-Christian world, lay men and women can no longer afford to remain ignorant of critical issues and questions that used to be the domain only of philosophy majors. The biblical world view can no longer be taken for granted, even by Christians. If we do not think in terms of world view, that is, think philosophically, we will be able neither to discern the biblical world view, nor to retain it, nor to disciple others in it, nor to communicate it to non-Christians. Not only is the unexamined life not worth living, in is not even possible any more for those who wish to be faithful Christians and faithful witnesses for Christ.” $15.00. Order from https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.
In all these books I have tried to follow C. S. Lewis’s example and write in such a way that I combine substance and serious wrestling with significant issues with a writing style that is approachable for people who are not necessarily experts in those fields. If I have succeeded only a little in that, then I can safely paraphrase Emperor Palpatine: “You want them, don’t you.” Yes, you do.