C.S. Lewis Said What? YES, He Really Did!

Lewis SpeakingI’ve been working on a short talk for the 2014 Taylor Colloquium (9th Frances White Ewbank Colloquium on C.S. Lewis & Friends) about quotes falsely attributed to Lewis. Along the way I’ve come across some lesser known quotations that some might have a difficult time believing he DID say. While a collection of quotes of this nature could contain a variety of categories, I’ve chosen to share sayings that are generally humorous (however, some may be more ironic, than funny).

“A good toe-nail is not an unsuccessful attempt at a brain: and if it were conscious it wd. delight in being simply a good toe-nail.”

(Letter to Hugh Kilmer from April 5, 1961 in The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 3)

“If you think you are a poached egg, when you are looking for a piece of toast to suit you, you may be sane, but if you think you are God, there is no chance for you.”

(Essay – What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ? in God in the Dock)

“Men of sensibility look up on the night sky with awe: brutal and stupid men do not.”

(Miracles, chapter 7)

“The better you know that two and two make four, the better you know that two and three don’t.”

(Miracles, chapter 8)

“Nothing is wonderful except the abnormal and nothing is abnormal until we have grasped the norm.”

(Essay – Miracles in God in the Dock)

“We treat God as the police treat a man when he is arrested; whatever He does will be used in evidence against Him.”

(Essay – Dogma and the Universe in God in the Dock)

“Men look on the starry heavens with reverence: monkeys do not.”

(Essay – Dogma and the Universe in God in the Dock)

“We don’t think rationally for very long at a time – it’s too tiring.”

(Essay – Answers to Questions on Christianity in God in the Dock)

“A man is still fairly sober as long as he knows he’s drunk.”

(Essay – Answers to Questions on Christianity in God in the Dock)

“We are not always aware of things at the time they happen.”

(Essay – Answers to Questions on Christianity in God in the Dock)

“Don’t you think that all you atheists are strangely unsuspicious people?’

(Essay – Religion and Science in God in the Dock)

“While I was young myself I successfully avoided being organized.”

(Essay – Christian Apologetics in God in the Dock)

“We must at all costs not move with the times.”

(Essay – Christian Apologetics in God in the Dock)

“Is an elephant more important than a man, or a man’s leg than his brain?”

(Essay – Christian Apologetics in God in the Dock)

“Where a clear and simple explanation completely covers the facts no other explanation is in court.”

(Essay – On the Transmission of Christianity in God in the Dock)

“Those who do not think about their own sins make up for it by thinking incessantly about the sins of others.”

(Essay – Miserable Offenders in God in the Dock)

“You would not call a man humane for ceasing to set mousetraps if he did so because he believed there were no mice in the house.”

(Mere Christianity, Book 1, Chapter 2)

“There is nothing progressive about being pig headed and refusing to admit a mistake.”

(Mere Christianity, Book 1, Chapter 5)

“A painter is not a picture, and he does not die if his picture is destroyed.”

(Mere Christianity, Book 2, Chapter 1)

“If we ask for something more than simplicity , it is silly then to complain that the something more is not simple.”

(Mere Christianity, Book 2, Chapter 2)

“There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up.”

(Mere Christianity, Book 2, Chapter 5)

“Bridge-mania or golf-mania do not make you fall down in the middle of the road.”

(Mere Christianity, Book 3, Chapter 2)

“You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping.”

(Mere Christianity, Book 3, Chapter 4)

“Starving men may think much about food, but so do gluttons; the gorged, as well as the famished, like titillations.”

(Mere Christianity, Book 3, Chapter 5)

“A cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it is better to be neither.”

(Mere Christianity, Book 3, Chapter 5)

 

2 comments

  1. Marty Baldwin /

    I enjoyed your selections.

    • William OFlaherty /

      Thanks! If you every come across others you can feel free to leave another comment with them.

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