(CCSLQ-45) – Credit for Bowing

The following is part of a series exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. My book (THE MISQUOTABLE C.S. LEWIS, releasing by May, 2018) collects material presented so far and will contain expressions not yet posted here (plus existing online material is updated in the book). That book will contain 75 quotations, so there are many quotes not yet posted (over two dozen). With so much material left, I hope to post a new quote each week. 

There is an “at a glance” page (CLICK HERE) to quickly see what has been posted so far in this series, which also includes a list of the other quotes I’ve identified as questionable. Also, if you haven’t already, consider reading the INTRODUCTION to this series to gain an understanding of the three main categories.   



“You won’t get credit for bowing when standing isn’t an option.”

Most quotations that appear questionable are so unlike anything Lewis would ever write that those who are familiar with his writings can spot them a mile away. However, when I was first alerted to his one (via a question posted in my Confirming Lewis Quotes Facebook Group), I felt it was something by Lewis, but it seemed a little “off.” Nevertheless, I tried my typical way of determining if an expression is falsely attributed; I tried to eliminate the possibility that someone else wrote it, along with attempting to figure out how Lewis might have actually wrote it. However, when something is a paraphrase of him, then it is more difficult to track down the correct words.

(CCSLQ-44) – Low Points of Life

The following is part of a series exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. My book (THE MISQUOTABLE C.S. LEWIS, releasing in May, 2018) collects material presented so far and will contain expressions not yet posted here (plus existing online material is updated in the book). That book will contain 75 quotations, so there are many quotes not yet posted (over 30). With so much material left, I hope to post a new quote each week. 

There is an “at a glance” page (CLICK HERE) to quickly see what has been posted so far in this series, which also includes a list of the other quotes I’ve identified as questionable. Also, if you haven’t already, consider reading the INTRODUCTION to this series to gain an understanding of the three main categories.   



“God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.”

It’s perfectly natural to question why you are going through a painful experience, either during, or after it has happen. All of us want to make sense of suffering, or as this quotations says, “the low points [in our] life.” When I first read these words I found myself easily agreeing with them, even though I questioned whether or not Lewis said them. In fact, even though I discovered that he didn’t write them, I still found myself liking what I read.  Though, when you look online there seems to be pretty convincing evidence that Lewis wrote this.

I first tracked this quotation to Lewis’s name in an online post from 2012. That site hasn’t had any new articles since that year, but it is obvious that the person who created it loves the works of C.S. Lewis. In the post in question, this falsely credited expression to Lewis is found at the beginning. A reference to The Problem of Pain is even given. However, after searching that book, I did not find the quotation. I even checked Lewis’s other works and it wasn’t there either.

I first considered classifying this as an almost quote, because it appears to be summarizing thoughts from The Problem of Pain. However, when I isolated parts of the quote I tracked the entire saying to someone named Stanley Lindquist. Then further digging yielded a 2008 collection of quotes book, True Genius that had him listed as the author. However, I considered this quote as “alleged” to be by Lindquist, because information about him is limited. In fact, while you can find his name associated with this quotation in other places online, there are no other sayings credited to him at all!

What did Lewis say that was related to this topic? As noted in other posts in this series, he spoke a good deal about learning from struggles in one’s life. In fact, the best single place to read about it is in The Problem of Pain, the title that is incorrectly listed as the source for this misquote.


The next article is:

“You won’t get credit for bowing when standing isn’t an option.”


Related Articles:

Exploring C.S. Lewis Misquotes and Misconceptions (6-part podcast series)

What Lewis NEVER Wrote  (Podcast)

Not Quite Lewis – Podcast Version

Not Quite Lewis – Questionable Lewisian Quotations (Conf. Paper)

Updated 2/17/2018

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(CCSLQ-43) – Immunity From Difficulties

The following is part of a series exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. My book (THE MISQUOTABLE C.S. LEWIS, releasing in May, 2018) collects material presented so far and will contain expressions not yet posted here (plus existing online material is updated in the book). That book will contain 75 quotations, so there are many quotes not yet posted (over 30). With so much material left, I hope to post a new quote each week. 

There is an “at a glance” page (CLICK HERE) to quickly see what has been posted so far in this series, which also includes a list of the other quotes I’ve identified as questionable. Also, if you haven’t already, consider reading the INTRODUCTION to this series to gain an understanding of the three main categories.   



“Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties.”

This expression is seen all over social media with Lewis’s name on it, so it must be true! No doubt you can tell from the above graphic that these words are not from Lewis. Fortunately, you won’t find him falsely associated with this saying in very many books from what I could gather from searching Google Books. However, just because Lewis didn’t write it doesn’t take away from the meaningfulness of the words, only that you shouldn’t falsely credit him with something he didn’t write. I personally enjoy this expression, as it is a great reminder that even though life will have challenges, we don’t have to lose heart. In fact, John 16:33 tells us we can have peace despite our troubles because Jesus has “overcome the world.”

2017 Podcast Review

In 2017 I introduced several new series – one short-term, another that is occasional and the final one that was actually a mini-series of short podcasts. Overall, I posted over thirty shows that has not been shared where I have my audio files hosted. Below you’ll find a list of the programs that were presented in 2017. When you listen to this podcast you will hear a small sample of them. So, in a better late than never category, here’s my look back at 2017!

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Listen to 2017 Podcast Recap

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(CCSLQ-42) – Defeat the Darkness

The following is part of a series exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. As I near the publication of a book on the subject, it is difficult to say how often I will post additional material (even though over 30 additional quotes are identified). The working title of the book is THE MISQUOTABLE C.S. LEWIS  and it is scheduled for release in May, 2018.

There is an “at a glance” page (CLICK HERE) to quickly see what has been posted so far in this series, which also includes a list of the other quotes I’ve identified as questionable. Also, if you haven’t already, consider reading the INTRODUCTION to this series to gain an understanding of the three main categories.   



“To defeat the darkness out there, you must defeat the darkness in yourself.”

I’ve posted previously on quotations that came from the movie adaptation of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (see CCSLQ-1 about HARDSHIPS and CCSLQ-25 about VALUE) and this is yet another one; it is only found in the movie and not the book version by Lewis. What’s interesting about this one is a common image of the quote (as above) shows a picture of Aslan and states the line is from him. This association is also false, as it was actually spoken by Coriakin, the magician, in the film. At one point you could find a picture of this quote shared by the official Narnia Facebook page! So, here’s a false attribution to a fake Lewis quote! How sad such a significant site made such errors.

Some may object and reply that Lewis would have agreed with the sentiment and believe it’s not so bad to falsely credit him. In all honesty, I can see him writing this statement, but only through the voice of his character Screwtape, not his own. That is, when you read the quote carefully you find that, while it does encourage a very virtuous thing (defeating darkness), it does so through a method that is entirely false: a three-letter word, Y-O-U. Last time I checked my Bible it noted that it was “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.” A better line for the movie, one more in keeping with Lewis’s Christian worldview, would be something like, “To defeat the darkness out there, you must first let Aslan help you defeat the darkness in you.”


The next article to be posted on TBA:

“Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties.”


Related Articles:

Exploring C.S. Lewis Misquotes and Misconceptions (6-part podcast series)

What Lewis NEVER Wrote  (Podcast)

Not Quite Lewis – Podcast Version

Not Quite Lewis – Questionable Lewisian Quotations (Conf. Paper)

Updated 2/3/2018

screwtape-may-ad2

(CCSLQ-41) – Go Back and Change

The following is part of a series exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. As I near the publication of a book on the subject, it is difficult to say how often I will post additional material (even though over 30 additional quotes are identified). The working title of the book is THE MISQUOTABLE C.S. LEWIS  and it is scheduled for release in May, 2018.

There is an “at a glance” page (CLICK HERE) to quickly see what has been posted so far in this series, which also includes a list of the other quotes I’ve identified as questionable. Also, if you haven’t already, consider reading the INTRODUCTION to this series to gain an understanding of the three main categories.   



“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can
start where you are and change the ending.”

Most quotations that are falsely attributed to Lewis are difficult to determine as erroneous without a good deal of detective work. However, that is not the case with this expression. Having said that, investigating quotes is somewhat like using a GPS for the first time. Meaning, the initial time you do either, it may be somewhat confusing until you get use to how to use it. That’s why it usually takes me no more than five minutes of using a search engine online to figure out if something is from Lewis or not. As noted elsewhere, I’ll usually do this before searching the various electronic collections of Lewis’ books I have access to.

When I used Google for this expression it seemed pretty convincing that Lewis WAS the author from the first page of results. But when I reached the end of the page, I noticed some alternative suggestions for the quote. One started with “we cannot go back and start over.” Those results preview several names for that variation. The first result led me to an article from the excellent website, QuoteInvestigator.com.

(CCSLQ-40) – Next Moment

The following is part of a series exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. As I near the publication of an untitled book on the subject, it is difficult to say how often I will post additional material (even though over 30 more quotes have been identified). That book is scheduled for release in May, 2018.

There is an “at a glance” page (CLICK HERE) to quickly see what has been posted so far in this series, which also includes a list of the other quotes I’ve identified as questionable. Also, if you haven’t already, consider reading the INTRODUCTION to this series to gain an understanding of the three main categories.   



“The next moment is as much beyond our grasp, and as much in God’s care as that a hundred years away. Care for the next minute is just as foolish as care for a day in the next thousand years. And neither can we do anything, and both God is doing everything.”

It’s no secret that Lewis enjoyed the writings of George MacDonald very much. In fact, I’ve posted two articles already where something credited to Lewis was actually from MacDonald. The first was about an expression related to soul/body, and the other was about being “what God chose to make me.” In both cases it was difficult to clearly know how those two sayings were falsely credited to Lewis. However, with this quotation, it is much easier to determine why some believe Lewis was the author, instead of M.

In the mid 1940’s Lewis edited a book entitled George MacDonald: An Anthology. Within that book, in reading number 74, is a slightly modified version of this quote. There are three words missing from the beginning and four words from about the middle of the quotation. The correct version (with the absent words in bold) are below and the entire source from where this passage is found is also online.

(CCSLQ-39) – Denial Shock Absorber

The following is part of a series exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. As I near the publication of an untitled book on the subject, it is difficult to say how often I will post additional material (even though over 20 more quotes have been identified). That book is scheduled for release in May, 2018.

There is an “at a glance” page (CLICK HERE) to quickly see what has been posted so far in this series, which also includes a list of the other quotes I’ve identified as questionable. Also, if you haven’t already, consider reading the INTRODUCTION to this series to gain an understanding of the three main categories.   



“Denial is the shock absorber for the soul. It protects us until
we are equipped to cope with reality.”

Back in April of this year (2017), I wrote about a questionable quotation that seemed to be just appearing in social media. In fact, as far as I can tell it has only been shared on Twitter and it is not (yet) a common falsely quoted saying. The above expression, while actually wrongly credited to Lewis for many years (as I’ll explain shortly), appears to also only be showing up on social media very recently. In fact, only ONE person on Pinterest seems to have shared it (so far). Thanks to Steve Elmore, from the C.S. Lewis Foundation, who recently alerted me to this saying and for also tracking down some of the information related to it that I’ll be sharing.

(CCSLQ-38) – Christ Himself Bible

This is part of a series exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. Presently a new article is posted the first Saturday of each month (or sometimes the second if there are five Saturdays). There is an “at a glance” page (CLICK HERE) to quickly see what has been posted so far in this series. Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to read the INTRODUCTION to this series.   



“It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, who is the true word of God. The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good teachers will bring us to Him.”

Of all the quotations that I’ve questioned so far, this one is by far the one that most would object about calling into question. If you have followed this series closely, you know that Lewis DID write these words, so why caution against sharing it? As you might have observed in the picture above, the key reason is the context issue. While many will read the above statement and agree with it, there are some who would take issue with it. Clarity is provided when you discover the more complete thought Lewis wrote.

(CCSLQ-37) – Literature Adds

This is part of a series exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. Presently a new article is posted the first Saturday of each month (or sometimes the second if there are five Saturdays). There is an “at a glance” page (CLICK HERE) to quickly see what has been posted so far in this series. Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to read the INTRODUCTION to this series.   



“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.”

 

Most questionable quotations I’ve researched appear to be fairly recent false attributions. That’s not the case with the expression in the spotlight today. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. I had not noticed this quote before receiving a question from Josh Radke about it on June 30, 2017 on my Confirming C.S. Lewis Quotations group on Facebook. The group was created initially to help others become aware of material already researched, but it’s also where people can ask about a quotation attributed to Lewis to find out if it is really found in his writings.

Fortunately it was known when the question was asked that the quotation was found in a 1970’s book by Paul Holmer.  But, even though it was also known the book was C. S. Lewis: The Shape of His Faith and Thought, Josh didn’t have a copy of the book to see how it was mentioned. Was Holmer quoting Lewis, or merely summarizing Lewis’ views?  Josh also had already attempted to locate it in several works by Lewis that he had electronically and couldn’t find the passage.