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God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics
Lewis struck me as the most thoroughly converted man I ever met, observes Walter Hooper in the preface to this collection of essays by C. S. Lewis. "His whole vision of life was such that the natural and the supernatural seemed inseparably combined." It is precisely this pervasive Christianity which is demonstrated in the 48 essays comprising God in the Dock. Here Lewis addresses himself both to theological questions and to those which Hooper terms "semi-theological," or ethical. But whether he is discussing "Evil and God," "Miracles," "The Decline of Religion," or "The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment," his insight and observations are thoroughly and profoundly Christian. Drawn from a variety of sources, the essays were designed to meet a variety of needs, and among other accomplishments they serve to illustrate the many different angles from which we are able to view the Christian religion. They range from relatively popular pieces written for newspapers to more learned defenses of the faith which first appeared in The Socratic Digest. Characterized by Lewis's honesty and realism, his insight and conviction, and above all his thoroughgoing commitments to Christianity, these essays make God in the Dock very much a book for our time.
A good collection, but not the best
By Bowen Simmons
- September 12, 2001
First, be aware that this collection was originally published in the UK under the title "Undeceptions - Essays on Theology and Ethics". Next, be aware that there is a UK Fontana paperback lurking about called "God in the Dock - Essays on Theology" that is substantially shorter than this collection. Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware).Second, the reader should know that Lewis's shorter works were generally originally composed as speeches or as articles for periodicals. Various sets of them were collected and published in book form both during his life and after his death. Trying to determine what works are in what collections is difficult - most works appear in more than one collection, some works appear under more than one title, and some collections (including this one) appear under more than one title.To aid readers, in this review I've listed the works in this collection, with notes indicating other collections they have appeared in. Where a work has... read more
A fine collection of essays and letters
By David Bennett
- February 1, 2000
Have you ever wanted to read C.S. Lewis' thoughts on a variety of subjects? If so, then this book is for you. There are 48 separate essays, which vary in length from a few pages to around 12. Such topics include "Religion and Science," "Is Theism Important?" "The Decline of Religion," and the actual essay entitled "God in the Dock." The latter essay is about how we put ourselves on the bench and God in the dock. We will believe in God only if he answers the hard questions for us, and then we may actually "acquit" God. Like Lewis' other works, it is very thought prokoving. There are also 12 letters which Lewis wrote that cover a variety of topics including capital punishment and singing hymns. These letters show both Lewis' personality and intellect. When I first checked this book out of the library and read a few of the essays, I had to buy it. For a long time I have asked myself, "What does Lewis think of this or... read more
As Relevant Now as Then
By Alexander Scott
- September 6, 2004
C.S. Lewis is known for being one of the best apologists (and amateur theologians) of our day. Primarily, Lewis is a writer; he knows how to use words to draw the reader in, and then humbly offers his insights on whatever topic is at hand. It is this humility that I think makes him so accessible - he talks about what he knows and doesn't presume to be an authority over anyone.
About GOD IN THE DOCK specifically, this is a collection of his letters, columns, and speeches. Most are short (4-10 pages) reflections on something he has encountered recently, from animal-rights protestations to dogma within the church to attempts to debunk myth to Christmas. Really, though, each one of these essays is about modernism. Modernism is the arch-enemy to Lewis - in its materialism, rationalism, statism and "groupism", it denies the validity of opposing systems of thought. Miracles are definitively ruled because they can't be reproduced in a lab (which Lewis argues is precisely why... read more
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