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C.S. Lewis Signature Classics

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A beautiful compilation of inspirational writings, featuring six classic works in one box set: Mere Christianity The Screwtape Letters A Grief Observed The Problem of Pain Miracles The Great Divorce C. S. Lewis's works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year, appealing to those seeking wisdom and calm in a hectic and ever-chan/>Mere A beautiful compilation of inspirational writings, featuring six classic works in one box set: Mere Christianity The Screwtape Letters A Grief Observed The Problem of Pain Miracles The Great Divorce C. S. Lewis's works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year, appealing to those seeking wisdom and calm in a hectic and ever-changing world. Each volume is written with the lucidity, warmth, and wit that has made Lewis revered as a writer the world over. From The Problem of Pain—a wise and compassionate exploration of suffering—to the darkly satirical The Screwtape Letters, Lewis is unrivalled in his ability to disentangle the questions of life. His writings offer hope, wisdom, and a true understanding of human nature.


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A beautiful compilation of inspirational writings, featuring six classic works in one box set: Mere Christianity The Screwtape Letters A Grief Observed The Problem of Pain Miracles The Great Divorce C. S. Lewis's works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year, appealing to those seeking wisdom and calm in a hectic and ever-chan/>Mere A beautiful compilation of inspirational writings, featuring six classic works in one box set: Mere Christianity The Screwtape Letters A Grief Observed The Problem of Pain Miracles The Great Divorce C. S. Lewis's works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year, appealing to those seeking wisdom and calm in a hectic and ever-changing world. Each volume is written with the lucidity, warmth, and wit that has made Lewis revered as a writer the world over. From The Problem of Pain—a wise and compassionate exploration of suffering—to the darkly satirical The Screwtape Letters, Lewis is unrivalled in his ability to disentangle the questions of life. His writings offer hope, wisdom, and a true understanding of human nature.

30 review for C.S. Lewis Signature Classics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael O'Brien

    This is a compendium of many C.S. Lewis's greatest works dealing with such issues as Christian apologetics, pain, love, and the after life. I enjoyed all Lewis's works in it. I most enjoyed the first 2 in it: "Mere Christianity" and "The Screwtape Letters", followed by "The Great Divorce". Some of the others I found to be more of a plod, but containing insights that are worth the read. Definitely a must for any fans of C.S. Lewis!

  2. 4 out of 5

    ryan

    C.S. Lewis was brilliant, and in my opinion, the single best Christian thinker of the modern era. You don't have to be a Christian or even consider yourself to be religious to appreciate the depth to which Lewis understood faith, humanity, its failings, and what it means to be Christian in this day and age. This is not to say you will always agree with what he argues, but definately check it out if you want to read a great mind grappling with some very pertinent religious questions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kyna

    Two quotes that really hit home for me: Pg. 202, 3rd paragraph “That is why He warned people to “‘count the cost’” before becoming Christians. “‘Make no mistake,’” He says, “‘if you let me, I will make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in My hands, that is what you are in for. Nothing less, or other, than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push Me away. But if you do not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through. Whatever suff Two quotes that really hit home for me: Pg. 202, 3rd paragraph “That is why He warned people to “‘count the cost’” before becoming Christians. “‘Make no mistake,’” He says, “‘if you let me, I will make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in My hands, that is what you are in for. Nothing less, or other, than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push Me away. But if you do not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through. Whatever suffering it may cost you in your earthly life, whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after death, whatever it costs Me, I will never rest, nor let you rest until you are literally perfect-until my Father can say without reservation that He is well pleased with you, as He said He was well please with me. This I can do and will do. But I will not do anything less.’” Pg. 213, 2nd paragraph “The only things we can keep are the things we freely give to God. What we try to keep for ourselves is just what we are sure to lose.”

  4. 5 out of 5

    Holmes

    Mere Christianity There is simply no one else who can explain the Christian faith as clearly and concisely as C. S. Lewis did. This book is truly THE book to read, especially for intellectuals who are still struggling to understand the Bible, which can sometimes be unfathomably obscure. The Screwtape Letters A most interesting series of letters, written from the perspective of an experienced "tempter", a senior devil giving advice to a junior devil on how to corrupt a target human. I sincerel/>The Mere Christianity There is simply no one else who can explain the Christian faith as clearly and concisely as C. S. Lewis did. This book is truly THE book to read, especially for intellectuals who are still struggling to understand the Bible, which can sometimes be unfathomably obscure. The Screwtape Letters A most interesting series of letters, written from the perspective of an experienced "tempter", a senior devil giving advice to a junior devil on how to corrupt a target human. I sincerely applaud Lewis's creative angle, which serves as a vivid reminder of how easily we can be tempted by the devil no matter what situation we are in. As long as we are alive, there will always be a way for the devil to slip in, so we must be vigilant. Miracles I had a difficult time understanding this part. I'm probably not alone - miracles ARE difficult to understand. I think I'll have to return to this part in a few years' time, maybe more than once. I hope I can be enlightened then. The Great Divorce This short fantasy describes what it is like when we are at the crossroads of Heaven and Hell - which is to say almost every moment in our life. If we put Heaven above earth, we will find that earth is not very different from Heaven itself. If we put earth above Heaven, we will find that earth is part of Hell all along. Heaven and Hell are irreconcilable extremes, and we make our own choice here on earth. The Problem of Pain Like the Miracles section, this one is quite difficult to comprehend as his theology is beyond my grasp. I have vague understanding of individual points but not the grand picture. I'll have to return to this later. A Grief Observed The preceding books in this collection give me an insight of Lewis's intellectual prowess and amazing reasoning ability, but none can compare with this short but intense account of his own grieving on his wife's death. In this book I get to see the real man, a raw, personal look at a wounded giant who can be as weak and irrational as the rest of us. He rambles and digresses, and at times even expresses doubts towards his God, but this always happens when one's emotion is at its purest and truest. Nothing is held back by one's rationality. I can empathize - no, I can feel his angst, his confusion, his bitterness, throughout the pages, as he progresses from being at a total loss to a satisfied peace. To the reader, it is not just a grief observed. It is a grief shared. The Abolition of Man This last book feels a bit out of place in the collection. Instead of talking about theology, Lewis spent much time criticizing a certain book or dogma advocated by a certain Gaius and Titius (pseudonyms). I suspect it was quite timely in that era, but reading it now, in 2010, one just doesn't feel the connection. Who is still talking about how science and technology are "conquering" nature? Hopefully not many.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Adam gave me the boxed set (ok, I cheated and it was on CD) but I had read all of these years ago. Time and listening instead of reading allowed a new light to shine on CS Lewis's greatest. Problem of Pain is very powerful and is as strong in evidences as Mere Christianity. I love this author and am often heard quoting him.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zachary

    Words cannot express how much this collection of Lewis' works has meant to my life. Outside the Bible, I don't think any other written work has had the impact on me that these books have. Lewis can destroy your intellectual doubts and arguments on the one hand and then blow you away with finely crafted fiction. A true genius, both as an apologist and as an author. Mere Christianity is brilliant, readable, and insanely convicting. The Screwtape Letters is sardonically hilarious and eye-opening. T Words cannot express how much this collection of Lewis' works has meant to my life. Outside the Bible, I don't think any other written work has had the impact on me that these books have. Lewis can destroy your intellectual doubts and arguments on the one hand and then blow you away with finely crafted fiction. A true genius, both as an apologist and as an author. Mere Christianity is brilliant, readable, and insanely convicting. The Screwtape Letters is sardonically hilarious and eye-opening. The Great Divorce is breathtaking. I haven't even finished all of the books in this collection but each one I read changes me fundamentally. Do yourself a favor. Read this as Lewis would have...with a tall mug of tea and a comfortable chair, preferably next to a wood fire. These books will encourage you, shatter your pride, steel your mind and bring you closer to God.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I just finished reading C.S. Lewis Signature Classics . 3/5 stars overall. I read this as part of a Classic Bingo Reading Challenge I'm participating in this year. I chose C.S. Lewis as the "New to You Author" square. Yes, I've read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but that was years ago, and other than that, I didn't have any significant experience reading anything by C.S. Lewis, so I considered this to be a new author for me. This collection contains his Seven Spiritual Masterworks: Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, A Grief Observed, I just finished reading C.S. Lewis Signature Classics . 3/5 stars overall. I read this as part of a Classic Bingo Reading Challenge I'm participating in this year. I chose C.S. Lewis as the "New to You Author" square. Yes, I've read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but that was years ago, and other than that, I didn't have any significant experience reading anything by C.S. Lewis, so I considered this to be a new author for me. This collection contains his Seven Spiritual Masterworks: Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, A Grief Observed, and The Abolition of Man. My favorites in this collection were The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce with Miracles an "honorable mention". My complaint about C.S. Lewis and this collection is that I found his writing to be (at times) too scholarly/cerebral. While my personal faith is indeed a thinking/reasoning process, I'd say it is just as importantly an emotional/"feeling" process. It just felt to me while reading this that C.S. Lewis focused too much on the mental/cognitive aspect of the Christian religion in his thoughts about it, and missed some opportunities to interject some humanity and emotion into these writings. However, with that said, this collection is definitely worthwhile, and I did gain some food for thought. If anyone is considering reading the works in this collection, I recommend giving yourself plenty of time to study/absorb it. P.S. This also completes the "L" author of the A-Z author reading list I'm working on this year. It's so fun to mark be able to mark off 2 challenges with one book! : )

  8. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics Mere Christianity: It is pretty close to the most basic, Christianity 101 class a person could ever take. I wouldn't recommend it for brand new Christians because, in brevity, he said some things that could be taken out of context by the uninformed or even those who are just looking for a reason smear our faith. But it is nearly perfect in every other way. I also have a greater respect for math, now since he lays everything out logically like a mat The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics Mere Christianity: It is pretty close to the most basic, Christianity 101 class a person could ever take. I wouldn't recommend it for brand new Christians because, in brevity, he said some things that could be taken out of context by the uninformed or even those who are just looking for a reason smear our faith. But it is nearly perfect in every other way. I also have a greater respect for math, now since he lays everything out logically like a math equation. I recommend it for Christians as a refresher course.... it is infinitely better and a healthy challenge compared to all the "feel-good" rot on the bookshelves nowadays. I also recommend it to non-Christians who aren't afraid to find out what Christianity is really all about. The Screwtape Letters/The Screw Tape Proposes A Toast: The best preachers won't tell you that your life becomes easy after you become a Christian, but instead, that's when it becomes the toughest. The Screwtape Letters is a portrait of the spiritual warfare that is common to everyone who accepts Christ. It is dramatized as an elder devil giving advice to a younger devil on how to draw his "patient" away from the Enemy, who is Christ. It follows the patient through his conversion, church life, marriage and experiences during the WWI. It is smart and comical with political overtones, much like Inferno only more accurate to the faith. It's also a little disconcerting when reflecting on your own spiritual battles. Try not to go into it to see the battles the patient goes through in others you know while ignoring them in your own life. It loses some of Lewis' trademark simplistic style towards the end, but it's still a good read. My version came with "The Screwtape Proposes A Toast" appended to it. This is a dramatized lecture that Screwtape gives to new graduate tempters. It is 100% political statement and it is extremely relevant even today... especially today. I'm sure Lewis would be appalled to see how the philological arm of Hell has also twisted the words Liberalism and Progressive as well as Democracy. It was better than the letters, I think. Miracles: This book isn't what it looks like by a glance at the cover. It's not a romanticized look at nature or an emotionally heart-wrenching collections of testimonials of survival of what should've been certain doom. You'll get no feel-good sensation, unless you happen to think it is logically sound and I think most of it is. It is a scientific breakdown of the primary Biblical miracles and it actually starts with Lewis expounding quite a ways on concepts that he first introduced at the beginning of Mere Christianity. In fact, I recommend you read Mere Christianity first, because Miracles is very advanced, technical reading. I admit, it's above my intelligence level. But, it's not incomprehensible. It needs to be taken slowly, paragraph by paragraph. Lewis' style often sets him off in what you think is a rabbit chase, but he always comes back to the point. Even a few simple statements made far into it can clear up entire chapters you've already read through. I understand a lot of his fiction better from reading this. I really enjoyed it and it is an excellent read for both Christians and non-Christians alike. The Great Divorce: This turned out to be a fiction book and a very easy read. According to him, it is an answer to a book written by someone with a distorted view of Heaven and Hell. The concept presented was not made to be taken seriously and Lewis even says as much in the preface. The preface is the most important part of the book, in this case, so that you understand that the wisdom and lessons of this story are found in the conversations held within. They are struggles and choices that are made while we are alive on here on earth. It is not a statement to the fact that you definitely get a second chance to make the choices after death, and it is even deliberately unclear on that point towards the end of it so nobody can assume it is. For that reason I'd recommend it to mature Christians only or at least to people who aren't given to believing every fantastic idea that sounds cool and different. Lewis' fictional protagonist is in a state of death and witnesses other dead people around him accepting or, mostly, rejecting salvation and their reasons why. The study of their reasoning is the real meat of the story. It's a good story for self reflection. I loved the concept for the creative-writing aspect of it; I'm a sucker for sci-fi/fantasy settings. I think it was a very enjoyable book. The Problem of Pain: So, why does a loving and benevolent God allow pain and suffering in the world? Dear Athiest, this may be just the book for you. But, it's also reaffirmative for the Christian as well. Lewis is careful to label his speculations as such, leaving little to misinterpret. It's another difficult read... seems to be that way with every other book in this set, lol. But it's a great witness like all of Lewis' works. A Grief Observed: I've been rejoicing that Lewis' nonfiction apologetics aren't given to emotional manipulation, but logical thinking as a means of witnessing. This book is very different. I found myself crying often during it, and if that's what you like to do, you will want to check this one out. But, it's not an apologetic or a witnessing tool. It's diary kept by Lewis after the passing of his wife to keep from losing his head. It's raw and personal and that fact that he had the courage to have it published at all is amazing. Strategically placed after The Problem of Pain, it will be kind of a shock to both Christians and non-Christians. It is the real-time sufferings of a man with a knife in his heart and with it is all the fear, doubts and anger that come with it. I recognize some of these emotions from my own losses; you don't need to be a widower or widow to fully relate. It is only 4 chapters and he speaks of having written in several notebooks, so I presume this is a condensed picture of his grieving process over a longer period of time than what is indicated in the passages. My beliefs differ from Lewis' in certain respects and I think some of his sufferings were probably needless, but I don't know what my own thoughts would be should I be the one in this place one day. I recommend it for Christians first. It is a lesson in honesty and can be insightful in how to talk to the bereaved. I recommend it also to the non Christian because, though it is not a well organized tool to convince you of Christ, you'll recognize the emotions as well and observe why Christians have hope and comfort even in these situations. Amazing book. The Abolition of Man: This is a book for Conservatives to read. At least, I'm pretty sure that Conservatives are the only ones who'll fully understand and appreciate it. Subtitled: Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools, it is a three, short -lectures series reaction to an English Composition text book that was published for colleges in that day which Lewis felt was, and Conservative minded people will recognize as the corruption of language for the purpose of negating traditional moral values in view of a more progressive stance. Now, don't cringe - if you're one of the cool kids who is appropriately above religion, you actually have nothing to fear from this book even though Lewis wrote it. And, some Christians may even be a little disappointed, because he draws his moral applications from points where several philosophies intersect. Christianity is only one of these, and it is not specifically preached because that is not the point of this book. I can see the liberally minded people of Lewis' day thinking this dissertation to be serious overreaction and liberals of today thinking it to be a gross exaggeration, but it seemed to me a clear picture of the beginnings of what has become the language of today's media regarding politics and religion. It's a hard read; again, well above my I.Q. level, but not hard to understand. And I understood what he was trying to portray in the "Weston" character from his fiction novel, Out of the Silent Planet a little better now. I hope you get the chance to read it some day.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Max Maxwell

    This is a volume that everyone should own, as the $25-dollars-or-so asking price is a smidgen for the quality of the seven books contained within it. Anyone can appreciate the writing; despite the fact that he was the twentieth century's greatest Protestant apologist, he was also one of that century's intellectual giants, a man that the word "erudite" hardly seems to do justice to. Here, you get literature (the scathing The Screwtape Letters and also The Great Divorce , his answer to Blake's The Marriage of Heav This is a volume that everyone should own, as the $25-dollars-or-so asking price is a smidgen for the quality of the seven books contained within it. Anyone can appreciate the writing; despite the fact that he was the twentieth century's greatest Protestant apologist, he was also one of that century's intellectual giants, a man that the word "erudite" hardly seems to do justice to. Here, you get literature (the scathing The Screwtape Letters and also The Great Divorce , his answer to Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell ), highly-personal, soul-baring diary fodder ( A Grief Observed ), and ruminations on the nature of science ( The Abolition of Man ) and religion (the ubiquitous Mere Christianity, as well as The Problem of Pain and Miracles , collectively examining (debunking?) the "problem of evil"). A summation: here, he term "classics" is not bandied about carelessly.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Justin Wiggins

    C.S.Lewis will go down in history as one of the greatest Christian philosophers of all time. What is so great about him is his understanding of how important the existential questions are which every human being has,and approaching them in honesty and understanding. In other words, what is so great about him is his love for human beings to experience Truth in the person of Jesus Christ. And of course his prose writing style just flows beautifully and his imagination was powerful. Indeed, Lewis w C.S.Lewis will go down in history as one of the greatest Christian philosophers of all time. What is so great about him is his understanding of how important the existential questions are which every human being has,and approaching them in honesty and understanding. In other words, what is so great about him is his love for human beings to experience Truth in the person of Jesus Christ. And of course his prose writing style just flows beautifully and his imagination was powerful. Indeed, Lewis will always be one of my heroes. I feel like I'm talking with a dear friend every time I read any of his books.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Selmek

    I recently read an article stating that C.S. Lewis, possibly the greatest Christian apologist of the 20th Century, was a heretic and a closet Gnostic. Not only did he become a Catholic toward the end of his life, he also suggested that some Pagans might be surprised to find that they belong to Jesus’s flock even without knowing it, and that hell is a state of mind. Having read his signature classics, I am impressed by how masterfully Lewis explains his view of God and Jesus by appealing to logic I recently read an article stating that C.S. Lewis, possibly the greatest Christian apologist of the 20th Century, was a heretic and a closet Gnostic. Not only did he become a Catholic toward the end of his life, he also suggested that some Pagans might be surprised to find that they belong to Jesus’s flock even without knowing it, and that hell is a state of mind. Having read his signature classics, I am impressed by how masterfully Lewis explains his view of God and Jesus by appealing to logic, reason, and by expressing a depth of knowledge about world religions and philosophies. Perhaps he was a closet Gnostic, or even a straightforward Gnostic depending on your understanding of the term. To say he was a heretic is not to say he was wrong, and I find myself agreeing with almost all of his writings. Because this 746 page, hardcover book is a collection of his seven most acclaimed works, I’m going to try to give a short paragraph to each of them: Mere Christianity: I would recommend this book to any non-Christian who is even marginally curious about faith. It explains basic Christianity in a very rational way without the use of many Bible verses. Unfortunately, in today’s world it seems like the people who most need this book are the least likely to spend the time reading it. The Screwtape Letters (with “Screwtape Proposes a Toast”): An insightful view of how the devil must look at Christians, if indeed his goal were to tempt us away from the faith or render us ineffective. There are many practical lessons here, as well as an entertaining bit of character development. Miracles: Similar to Mere Christianity in that Lewis appeals to his knowledge of various non-Christian philosophies to explain why genuine miracles are very possible. The Great Divorce: A short story about unnamed characters making their way from hell to heaven. In this way Lewis makes hell out to be almost like purgatory, which you can escape at any time if you can only change your state of mind. In that respect it is probably a very controversial book in Christian circles, but it is a unique view of an actual first glimpse of heaven. The Problem of Pain: This book seeks to answer the oft repeated question: why would a loving God allow humans to feel pain? The answer is that our limited mental faculties do not allow us to see how great God’s love is, that he desires us to grow through painful experience and to understand the consequences of our actions. A Grief Observed: This is a record of Lewis’s thoughts following the death of his wife, and in that way is perhaps the most human, most truly authentic of anything he could have written. The Abolition of Man: This book appears to not have much to do with Christianity, but more about the state of public education in England in the 1940s. It’s still a somewhat interesting read, but I’m not sure it belongs in this collection.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Socrates Kierkegaard

    When I feel I'm lost in my skepticism, I return back to c.s lewis depiction of mere faith, Is Christianity hard he asked, well Kierkegaard was also amazed about the great number of professing Christians when Christianity is as hard as Christ drew it *the narrow gate*, C.S Lewis got the answer, Christianity is as impossible as it may seem but in a sense it is the only possible, Impossible on mortal beings like us but possible on a Merciful God like him. Hence we must die, and he must reign.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adam Graham

    What makes Mere Christianity. The oft-read often recommended classic so beloved and appreciated in Christian circles. For the most part with the exception of one chapter, Lewis breaks no new ground in his arguments and has nothing earth-shattering. The difference is one of approach. Many apologist approach apologetics like lawyers or like defending a Master's thesis. The arguments are laid out in logical clear order on the age of manuscripts and fossil records, of quotes from Ancient Historians, What makes Mere Christianity. The oft-read often recommended classic so beloved and appreciated in Christian circles. For the most part with the exception of one chapter, Lewis breaks no new ground in his arguments and has nothing earth-shattering. The difference is one of approach. Many apologist approach apologetics like lawyers or like defending a Master's thesis. The arguments are laid out in logical clear order on the age of manuscripts and fossil records, of quotes from Ancient Historians, and point by critiques of opposition arguments. Lewis however approaches the theme of Mere Christianity with the eye of a storyteller. Lewis paints word pictures which are far more memorable and thought provoking. Why we might forget the thousands of facts offered in a typical apologetics books, who could forget Lewis' word picture critiquing society's sexual excesses by imagining a civilization that has strip teases though with food rather than sex. The innovative and most encouraging part of Mere Christianity is the second to last chapter , "Nice People or New Men" Lewis reaffirms that Christianity should make us better, but does a good job of explaining the key question that begs of, "Better than what?" The book isn't perfect and it's few down points are when Lewis slips off his theme of Mere Christianity. One example of this was his criticism of efforts to keep divorce hard to achieve in England as an effort to manufacture the quality of Christian marriage in secular people. If that was the goal, then it was mistaken, but I can think of many reasons to not make divorce easy that would have nothing to do with that goal. Thankfully, these digressions were few and did little diminish the great quality of the book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marilou

    Almost finished listening to the Problem of Pain. I feel so stupid; I can't follow his train of thought. I know he's building a case but I just can't stay with him. Wish I had an outline of the book; key points. Surely someone teaches a class on this and could give me an outline? 3/30/08 I found a lecture series on cd on the works of Lewis. However, as I am listening to the reading of The Great Divorce, I am reduced to tears of conviction. How is it that I can't understand his philosophical writ Almost finished listening to the Problem of Pain. I feel so stupid; I can't follow his train of thought. I know he's building a case but I just can't stay with him. Wish I had an outline of the book; key points. Surely someone teaches a class on this and could give me an outline? 3/30/08 I found a lecture series on cd on the works of Lewis. However, as I am listening to the reading of The Great Divorce, I am reduced to tears of conviction. How is it that I can't understand his philosophical writings but when he draws a picture with his "fiction," I get it instantly. Nevertheless, I do get it. 4/11/08 Finally finished listening to Screwtape and Great Divorce, both of which I loved. I am so able to understand the deeper messages in these books but can't follow the thought process in the apologetical books. Isn't it wonderful that CSL could speak to both sides of the brain and both types of people (the thinkers and the feelers)?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Allen

    I read Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity before and listening to the audio books renewed my enjoyment of this great thinker and writer. When I read Screwtape Letters with a friend a few years ago, he commented that Lewis could be considered prophetic in certain ways. I see what he meant now as I listened to Screwtape Letters again, particularly with regard to the decline of individuality and excellence in the name of equality ("I'm as good as you"=envy, Screwtape Proposes a Toast).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    At under $20, this compilation of C.S. Lewis's work is a great price- 752 pages! It includes: Mere Christianity The Screwtape Letters The Great Divorce The Problem of Pain Miracles A Grief Observed The Abolition of Man C.S. Lewis writes with clarity about theology in such an understandable way. He is convincing and unrelenting in his beliefs about Christianity without being even slightly obnoxious. Because he's been on the other side At under $20, this compilation of C.S. Lewis's work is a great price- 752 pages! It includes: Mere Christianity The Screwtape Letters The Great Divorce The Problem of Pain Miracles A Grief Observed The Abolition of Man C.S. Lewis writes with clarity about theology in such an understandable way. He is convincing and unrelenting in his beliefs about Christianity without being even slightly obnoxious. Because he's been on the other side of the argument, he writes with compassion and insight. The one little thing about this book is that if you hate holding such a bulky book, you might prefer to buy his titles individually. But for the price, this cannot be beat.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kym Moore

    C.S. Lewis interesting used a variation of storytelling when pointing out different sectors in his belief system with Christianity, atheism and other philosophical observations. I did find the book to be somewhat complex in understanding certain points he was trying to emphasize, but I overall I took out the meat of his message that was relative to my understanding and didn't try to stress over the portions of the book I was unable to fully comprehend.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Williams

    All great! Mere Christianity is logic at it best. The Screwtape Letters, from a Senior Devil to a Junior One are succinct, sensible with a nicely, vicious threat in every chapter. The Great Divorce shows that no one stays in 'the grey place' unless they want to.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    Lewis's notable apologetics in a single set. Each worth reading in its own right.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Only finished the first book, Mere Christianity, but will definitely return to read the others. Perhaps one Lewis book per break.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robert Vincent

    I finished "The Abolition of Man" on June 20, 2015 (thereby, finishing "The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics): This book is a scholarly writing taken from a lecture given by the author. I found it hard to understand. However, Chapter three, titled the same as the book itself made clear the intent or message of the book. The following quote could be taken as a summary statement: “The process which, if not checked, will abolish Man goes on apace among Communists and Dem I finished "The Abolition of Man" on June 20, 2015 (thereby, finishing "The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics): This book is a scholarly writing taken from a lecture given by the author. I found it hard to understand. However, Chapter three, titled the same as the book itself made clear the intent or message of the book. The following quote could be taken as a summary statement: “The process which, if not checked, will abolish Man goes on apace among Communists and Democrats no less than among Fascists. The methods may (at first) differ in brutality. But many a mild-eyed scientist in pince-nez, many a popular dramatist, many an amateur philosopher in our midst, means in the long run just the same as the Nazi rulers of Germany. Traditional values are to be ‘debunked’ and mankind to be cut out into some fresh shape at the will (which must, by hypothesis, be an arbitrary will) of some few lucky people in one lucky generation which has learned how to do it.” ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I finished "A Grief Observed" on June 17, 2015: This book is short but intense. C.S. Lewis gives an account of his grief at the passing of his wife, Helen Joy Gresham. One may recall the movie, “Shadowlands” which is based on Lewis’ book. In the book’s introduction opening Lewis’ son-in-law gives an insight on facing the hurt of great personal loss of life and love: “A Grief Observed is not an ordinary book. In a sense it is not a book at all; it is, rather, the passionate result of a brave man turning to face his agony and examine it in order that he might further understand what is required of us in living this life in which we have to expect the pain and sorrow of the loss of those whom we love.” Lewis went through a grieving process so intense that it took this God-loving man to the depths of questioning God’s love and even His existence: “If God’s goodness in inconsistent with hurting us, then either God is not good or there is no God: for in the only life we know He hurts us beyond our worst fears and beyond all we can imagine. If it is consistent with hurting us, then He may hurt us after death as unendurably as before it.” That quote would seem even damning not considering the writer’s personal relationship with Him and salvation irrevocably given by a loving God despite his child’s depth of despair. As the reader moves on through Lewis’ account he or she finds the story unfolding much like that of what is found of the suffering of Job in the biblical account. In the final realization as Job found, Lewis discovered the sovereignty of God. God is God and we do not understand His ways. In writing his notes which were originally not meant to be published he did acknowledge God with a touch of resignation: “Looking back, I see only a very little time ago I was greatly concerned about my memory of H. and how false it might become. For some reason—the merciful good sense of God is the only one I can think of—I have stopped bothering about that. And the remarkable thing is that since I stopped bothering about it, she seems to meet me everywhere.” He goes on to explain that he does not mean that he has apparitions, or hears voices, or even emotional experiences. It is because of God’s good sense of mercy that he has a sort of unobtrusive but massive sense that H. is, just as much as ever. Then Lewis comes back to praising God for the gift that was H: “Praise is the mode of live which always has some element of joy in it. Praise in due order; of Him as the giver, of her as the gift. Don’t we in praise somehow enjoy what we praise, however far we are from it?” Lewis comes to the point of knowing that when he raises questions to God he would get a welcoming response, “…Peace, my child; you don’t understand” Finally C.S. Lewis finds that heaven is the answer: “Heaven will solve our problems, but not, I think, by showing us subtle reconciliations between all our apparently contradictory notions. The notions will all be knocked from under our feet. We shall see that there never was any problem.” I not only recommend this book to my friends but also would recommend, if not already seen, the movie, “Shadowlands” ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I finished reading "The Problem with Pain" on February 3, 2015. Quotes from C.S. Lewis from The Problem of Pain worth noting: “As St Augustine says somewhere, 'God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full--there's nowhere to put it.” “If God were a Kantian, who would not have us till we we came to Him from the purest motives, who could be saved?” “Prostitutes are in no danger of finding their present life so satisfactory that they cannot turn to God: the proud, the avaricious, the self-righteous, are in that danger.” “If the thing we are doing is, in fact, the thing God wants us to do, yet that is not our reason for doing it; it remains a mere happy coincidence.” C.S. Lewis writes that when all the toys and pleasures of life are threatened by illness or impending disaster: “I remind myself that all these toys were never intended to possess my heart, that my true good is in another world and my only real treasure is Christ.” “We must be careful to attend to what we know and not to what we imagine.” “The Christian doctrine of suffering explains, I believe, a very curious fact about the world we live in. The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The sevurity we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to ourreturn to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns. But will not encourage us to mistake them for home.” ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I finished reading "The Great Divorce" on January 6, 2015. This was an interesting short book to read. I picked up a couple of passages worth quoting: “There have been men before now who got so interested in proving the existence of God that they came to care nothing for God Himself…as if the good Lord had nothing to do but exist! There have been some who have been so occupied in spreading Christianity they never gave a thought to Christ. Man! Ye see it in smaller matters. Did ye never know a lover of books that with all his editions and signed copies had lost the power to read them? Or an organizer of charities that had lost all love for the poor?” I would add that there have been men who have loved the music of worship and forgot the worship of the One who loved us and gave himself for us. “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.” “Those that hate goodness are sometimes nearer than those that know nothing at all about it and think they have it already.” “…Thirst was made for water; inquiry for truth.” And finally speaking about heaven here is my favorite: “We know nothing of religion here: we think only of Christ.” --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I finished reading Miracles on June 17, 2014, and found that the book was a bit hard to follow yet I gained many insights on nature and the supernatural. I found chapter 14, The Grand Miracle most interesting. The incarnation of Christ is the “grand miracle” and C.S. Lewis describes it best on page 401: “In the Christian story God descends to reascend. He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity; down further still, if embryologists are right, to recapitulate in the womb ancient and pre-human phases of life; down to the very roots and seabed of the Nature He has created. But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world up with Him. One has the picture of a strong man stooping lower and lower to get himself underneath some great complicated burden. He must stoop in order to lift, he must almost disappear under the load before he incredibly straightens his back and marches off with the whole mass swaying on his shoulders. Or one may think of a diver, first reducing himself to nakedness, then glancing in mid-air, then gone with a splash, vanished, rushing down through green and warm water into black and cold water, down through increasing pressure into the death-like region of ooze and slime and old decay; then up again, back to colour and light, his lungs almost bursting, till suddenly he breaks surface again, holding in his hand the dripping, precious thing that he went down to recover. He and it are both coloured now that they have come up into the light: down below, where it lay colourless in the dark, he lost his colour too.” The Grand Miracle is the most glorious miracle except for the miracle of saving me and giving me eternal life in Christ Jesus! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I finished Screwtape Letters, the second C. S. Lewis book in this “Signature Classics” collection on December 15, 2013; actually read it quickly in two sittings. It was indeed a “Goodread”. There were good lessons on how Satan attacks the human heart and society in general. One attack that is pulling on American society is what may be called “parity of esteem”. I pray that this would not be allowed to advance any more in our education system. I agree with what Lewis expressed in this account relevant today as when he wrote it, showing Screwtape’s desire for destruction, “Let no man live who is wiser, or better, or more famous, or even handsomer than the mass. Cut them all down to a level; all slaves, all ciphers, all nobodies. All equals. Thus tyrants could practice, in a sense, ‘democracy’. But now ‘democracy’ can do the same work without any other tyranny than her own.” Even today we can see a “…movement towards discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence – moral, cultural, social, or intellectual…The basic principle of the new education is to be that dunces and idlers must not be made to feel inferior to intelligent and industrious pupils.” Lest I be too self-righteous, there is much in this book that touches me in very vulnerable areas. I must be careful as Lewis shows me how false humility, pride, and even spiritual pride can easily take hold of me. There are many good lessons in this short book and I recommend it for profitable reading. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I finished reading “Mere Christianity” on Monday, August 26, 2013. I had read this book many years ago but had little knowledge of the scriptures then. So I have enjoyed rereading Lewis’ explanation and defense of what we call Christianity in light of my understanding of the Old and New Testaments. Although he presents few chapter and verse references, his text is rich in biblical passage support. He presents his purpose in the preface of the book: “Ever since I became a Christian I have thought that the best, perhaps the only, service I could do for my unbelieving neighbours was to explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times.” I believe that Lewis accomplishes his purpose as he carefully gives his perspective on the nature of life, Christian beliefs and deeper Christian doctrine in three books contained within the book itself. As he explains in the preface he avoids denominational disputes and at the same time recognizes that there are indeed different interpretations to be reckoned with. But he does well in bringing forth general Christian core values and essentials of Christian living. He does not make absolutely clear the centrality of the gospel and belief in Jesus Christ as the only way to eternal life. In fact this is what Lewis says in the chapter entitled “The Obstinate Toy Soldiers” (page 147): "You can say that Christ died for our sins. You may say that the Father has forgiven us because Christ died for our sins. You may say that the Father has forgiven us because Christ has done for us what we ought to have done. You may say that we are washed in the blood of the Lamb. You may say that Christ has defeated death. They are all true…" That is essentially the gospel, see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. However, he goes on to say that if this is not what you prefer to believe you can take a different path: "…If any of them do not appeal to you, leave it alone and get on with the formula that does. And, whatever you do, do not start quarrelling with other people because they use a different formula from yours." Now Lewis may not be inferring that another formula is acceptable for eternal life but only that we should not quarrel with those who espouse another formula. He is unclear on the subject. The apostle Paul was clear, see Galatians 1:6-10. Lewis focuses mainly on how a Christian should live once having become a Christian and that is very instructive. He says that God wants every Christian to be a “new creation” to “put on Christ” in all the fullness of what that means biblically. In the chapter called, “Is Christianity Hard or Easy? (page 157)” he gives a description of the life Christ desires for his followers: "Christ says ‘give me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it…Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you myself: my own will shall become yours.’" I recommend this book to any reader serious about learning what Christians believe, but I recommend first the source of Christian doctrine, the Bible itself starting with the gospel of John. It is interesting that when I started reading “Mere Christianity” that I found that there were so many key statements, explanations and illustrations that I felt it profitable to highlight and make notes in the book’s margins. I haven’t done that in perhaps thirty years. This seemed good for me to do in this instance. I hope others are as refreshed with reading this book as I was!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bailey Marissa

    (3.95) *ALL LINKS GO TO MY REVIEW OF THE INDIVIDUAL BOOKS IN THIS COLLECTION* This collection showed Lewis' range of nonfiction, religious writings. Though I do not agree with all of it, it was nevertheless insightful and good to read. Mere Christianity: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... The Screwtape Letters: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Miracles: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... The Great Divorce: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... The Problem of Pain: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... A Grief Observed: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... The Abolition of Man: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mike Hovis

    Reading this book, while a pleasure and a challenge, made me think of the dumbed down nature of the modern education system in our country. Most young adults I know today are not prepared for reading books such as this collection; it would be like reading a foreign language. Their education has not prepared them for it nor developed in them a thirst for the kind of thinking that comes from the mind of a man like C. S. Lewis. Unfortunately young people today are not educated so much as they are t Reading this book, while a pleasure and a challenge, made me think of the dumbed down nature of the modern education system in our country. Most young adults I know today are not prepared for reading books such as this collection; it would be like reading a foreign language. Their education has not prepared them for it nor developed in them a thirst for the kind of thinking that comes from the mind of a man like C. S. Lewis. Unfortunately young people today are not educated so much as they are trained to take proficiency tests. As a result much potential is lost. Books such as those in this collection are good for the mind. I want my grandchildren to have an education that enables them to read and appreciate material such as this.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dj Wells

    I appreciate the writings of C.S. Lewis a great deal and acquiring the Signature Classic containing eight of this books was a great way to get these read. The collection contains the following books: 1. Mere Christianity 2. The Screwtape Letters 3. Miracles 4. The Great Divorce 5. The Problem of Pain 6. A Grief Observed 7. The Abolition of Man 8. The Four Loves This has been an awesome read and I suggest it for anyone who appreciates C.S. Lewis.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Overall enjoyed reading this collection, some of them were more challenging to read than others. I seemed to like those with more imagination better as well as a couple with very quotable head canons. Mere Christianity: 5/5 The Screwtape Letters: 4/5 Miracles: 3/5 The Great Divorce: 4/5 The Problem of Pain: 4/5 A Grief Observed: 3/5 The Abolition of Man: 3/5 Average rating: 3.7/5

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maria Keffler

    I could read anything C.S. Lewis wrote over and over and over again. I wish I could sit with him over a cup of tea and ask him his thoughts on today's culture, politics, and state of the Church. But in fact, many of the things he wrote 40-50 years ago are spot on when read in light of contemporary events. This volume is one of my favorites and I'll never let it out of my house.

  27. 4 out of 5

    EL Core

    It's C.S. Lewis, for heaven's sake! What more could be said about its excellence? This book is a collection of seven books. The only thing that can be said against it is it's too big: smaller print, smaller pages, smaller margins, thinner paper, would have given us a tome much easier to handle.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Steven A.

    A great book for meditation and perspective. All of the stories I found interesting, thought provoking, and useful for self introspection. Too many stories and concepts to go into more detail.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Diane Coon

    Read in college

  30. 4 out of 5

    Zach Opsitnick

    Read for The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce, the two I had never read.

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