Book Review: If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis

If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis by Alister E. McGrath

If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life
by Alister E. McGrath

4 out of 5 stars

The author postulates what subjects might arise if you had lunch with Lewis. Taking quotes from Lewis’ written works, we can guess what direction the conversation would take and generalize things that Lewis would probably say. However, this is not a book of imagined dialogue. It is a compilation of generalizations and paraphrases about what the author thinks Lewis would be likely to think and say on certain topics.

There are chapters about finding meaning in life, friendship, grief, education, hope, and faith. There are chapters about Narnia and how they illustrate the importance of imagination and storytelling. Each chapter begins by posing a question about a certain topic, then the author details some history from Lewis’ life that show how he experienced friendship or grief or hope or faith. Then we dive further into the topic with deeper explanations of what Lewis wrote and said about the topic. It was nice to see how certain of Lewis’ life events directly corelate to his writing and philosophy.

I did not like that the author often repeats themselves, sometimes using the exact same Lewis quote again and again. It made the writing a little tiresome and annoying.

But I did like that the author doesn’t just accept that every little thing Lewis ever said was golden. He questions and analyzes and criticizes Lewis’ spiritual ideas, mostly approving and supporting Lewis’ reasoning, but always leading the reader to think it through for themselves.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this very much!

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