Page 77. " Christ said we could only get into His world by being like children "

Matthew 18:1-4 (KJV): "At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Page 77. " as St Paul points out, Christ never meant that we were to remain children in intelligence "

1 Corinthians 13:11 (KJV): "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Ephesians 4:14-15 (KJV): "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ."


Page 77. " He told us to be not only 'as harmless as doves', but also 'as wise as serpents'. "

Matthew 10:16 (KJV): Christ says, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."


Page 77. " 'Be good, sweet maid and let who can be clever' "
Charles Kingsley
Public DomainCharles Kingsley

Lewis is quoting from Poem #1191 by Charles Kingsley, which reads,


My fairest child, I have no song to give you;

No lark could pipe to skies so dull and grey:

Yet, ere we part, one lesson I can leave you

For every day.


Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever;

Do noble things, not dream them, all day long:

And so make life, death, and that vast for-ever

One grand, sweet song.

Charles Kingsley was an Anglican priest who lived from 1819 to 1875.


Page 78. " That is why an uneducated believer like Bunyan was able to write a book that has astonished the whole world. "
John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim's Progress
Public DomainJohn Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim's Progress

Lewis is referring, of course, to John Bunyan (1628-88) and The Pilgrim's Progress. Bunyan had, at best, a grammar school education and said of himself, "My descent was of a low and inconsiderable generation, my father's house being of that rank that is meanest and most despised of all the families of the land" (wikipedia).

Bunyan, a Baptist, wrote the allegorical work while serving years in jail for continuing to hold religious services when it was illegal to do so without the approval of the Church of England. Published in 1678, The Pilgrim's Progress has never been out of print since (wikipedia).

Page 79. " One great piece of mischief has been done by the modern restriction of the word Temperance to the question of drink. "

Wine bottles
Public DomainWine bottles
In this paragraph Lewis seems to be touching on principles taught by Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:12: "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."


Page 82. " The Golden Rule of the New Testament (Do as you would be done by) "

Christ said, "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 7:12, ESV), and "And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them" (Luke 6:31, ESV).


Page 82. " As Dr Johnson said, 'People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.' "


Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-84) was a famous English writer and lexicographer. The quote referenced here (which originally read, "Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed") came from the Saturday, March 24, 1750, issue of his biweekly periodical, The Rambler, which he published from 1750 to 1752.

Page 83. " When it tells you to read the Scriptures it does not give you lessons in Hebrew and Greek "

The Old Testament was originally written primarily in Hebrew; the New, in Greek.

Page 84. " if man does not work, he ought not to eat. Every one is to work with his own hands, and what is more, every one's work is to produce something good "

Lewis is likely thinking of the following passages here.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 (KJV):"For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (KJV): "And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing."

1 Corinthians 3:13-15 (KJV): "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.


Page 84. " On the other hand, it is always insisting on obedience "

Obedience from all of us to magistrates: "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work." (Titus 3:1 KJV; see also Romans 13)

Obedience from children to parents:"Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." (Exodus 20:12 KJV)"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." (Ephesians 6:1-3 KJV)

Obedience from wives to husbands: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." (Ephesians 5:22-24 KJV)

Page 84. " Thirdly, it is to be a cheerful society: full of singing and rejoicing, and regarding worry or anxiety as wrong. "

"Full of singing and rejoicing": "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:18-20 KJV)

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16 KJV)

Creative Commons Attribution"Consider the lilies of the field..." - Credit:
"Regarding worry or anxiety as wrong": Christ said, "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:25-34 KJV)

"Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7 KJV)

Page 84. " the New Testament hates what it calls 'busybodies'. "

2 Thessalonians 3:11-12 (KJV): "We hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread."

1 Timothy 5:13 (KJV): "And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not."

1 Peter 4:15 (KJV): "Let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters."

Page 85. " All these people told us not to lend money at interest; and lending money at interest--what we call investment--is the basis of our whole system. "

As Lewis indicates, many passages in the Old and New Testaments prohibit "usury," or lending money at interest. Passages that use the term may be found here. Lewis's reference to Moses comes from the fact that he is considered the author of the first five books of the Old Testament, also called the Pentateuch or Torah.

Page 86. " In the passage where the New Testament says that every one must work, it gives as a reason 'in order that he may have something to give to those in need'. "

Lewis is being a little sloppy with his exegesis here. The New Testament passage to which he is referring is Ephesians 4:28 (KJV): "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." Clearly the passage is directed at reforming someone who is a thief; it is not a passage saying "every one must work." Passages exhorting all Christians to work are quoted above--see the first Bookmark for page 84.

Page 86. " in the frightening parable of the sheep and the goats "

When speaking of Christ's teaching about "the sheep and the goats," Lewis is referring to Matthew 25:31-46, in which Christ taught His disciples about the Last Judgment. (See also the Bookmark for page 51.)

"When the Son of Man [Jesus Christ] comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'

"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Page 87. " I cannot really carry it out till I love my neighbour as myself: and I cannot learn to love my neighbour as myself till I learn to love God: and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him. "

Lewis ties loving one's neighbor with loving God based on Matthew 22:35-40 (KJV):

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The command to "love thy neighbour" occurs in at least eight passages in the Bible.

"I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him": See John 14:15 ("If ye love me, keep my commandments") and John 15:10 ("If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love").

Page 88. " the philosophy of Freud--is in direct contradiction to the other great psychologist, Jung "

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and Carl Jung (1875-1961) were two pioneers in the field of psychoanalysis. Although colleagues and friends, their theories diverged from one another. "Both men drew on the concept of the unconscious as a way of explaining dreams, but Jung drew more on a multi-layered concept of the subconscious. . . .

"A main schism which separates the two psychiatrists pertains to religion. Freud felt religion was an escape and a fallacy, which ought not to be propagated. His relationship to religion resembles that of Karl Marx. Religion was 'opiate' of the masses. His faith was fully in the mind's ability to access its unconscious thoughts, thus curing any neuroses.

"Jung conversely believed that religion was an important place of safety for the individual as he or she began the process of individuation, exploring and accepting all parts of the self. Religion further was a means of communication between all types of people, because although religions differed, the archetypes and symbols remained the same" (


Page 89. " the perverted desire of a man for a man would be of the second "

Like the Bible's teaching regarding the wife's submission to her husband (see Bookmark for page 84 above), Scripture's teaching (and hence Lewis's comment here) on homosexuality has fallen out of favor in many cultures today. Nonetheless, Bible passages that prohibit homosexuality include the following (quoted from the English Standard Version).

Leviticus 20:13: "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them."

1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

1 Timothy 1:8-11: "Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted."

See also Romans 1:18-32.

Page 91. " And this free choice is the only thing that morality is concerned with. "

See the second Bookmark for page 47 for a discussion of man's free will and God's sovereignty.

Page 91. " it is quite possible that in God's eyes he has shown more courage than a healthy man may have shown in winning the V.C. "

The Victoria Cross
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Victoria Cross - Credit: Richard Harvey

"V.C." is an abbreviation for the Victoria Cross, "the highest military decoration awarded for valour 'in the face of the enemy' to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories" (



Page 91. " if we gave up life itself for a friend "

Lewis may have John 15:13 in mind here: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Page 91. " and then with the power, say, of Himmler? "

Lewis is referring to Heinrich Luitpold Himmler. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, "Himmler presided over a vast ideological and bureaucratic empire that defined him for many--both inside and outside the Third Reich--as the second most powerful man in Germany during World War II. Given overall responsibility for the security of the Nazi empire, Himmler was the key and senior Nazi official responsible for conceiving and overseeing implementation of the so-called Final Solution, the Nazi plan to murder the Jews of Europe. . . . Captured by Russian soldiers on May 20, 1945, he was turned over to the British, to whom he eventually confessed his identity. On May 23, 1945, while undergoing a body search, Himmler killed himself by biting down on a cyanide capsule hidden in his mouth for that very purpose."

Page 91. " Christians are told not to judge. "

Lewis is referencing a portion of Christ's Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) in which He says, "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again" (Matthew 7:1-2, KJV).

Some Bible expositors interpret the statement differently than Lewis did, since it is impossible for people never to make a judgment call on anything, and since Christ goes on in the same passage to require believers to use discernment when judging ("Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you," Matthew 7:6). In addition, in John 7:24 He commands His followers to "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."

Other translations soften the seeming bluntness of Christ's statement in Matthew 7:1.

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged." (New International Version)

"Do not judge so that you will not be judged." (New American Standard)

"Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves." (Amplified Bible)


Page 91. " when his body dies all that will fall off him, and the real central man, the thing that chose, that made the best or the worst out of this material, will stand naked "

Lewis is thinking of the Last Judgment (see second Bookmark for page 86 above). Other passages that relate to Lewis's comment here include the following.

"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1 Corinthians 3:11-15, KJV, emphasis mine)

"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." (Hebrews 4:13, KJV, emphasis mine)

Page 92. " People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, 'If you keep a lot of rules I'll reward you, and if you don't I'll do the other thing.' "

Regarding this paragraph, A. N. Wilson says, "It is unfortunate that shorthand . . . makes Lewis imply that the life of submission to Grace is a course of self-improvement. Indeed overall, he says surprisingly little about Grace and next to nothing about the sacramental life" (C. S. Lewis: A Biography, 179).

Page 92. " all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature "
Cover, All My Road before Me
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumCover, All My Road before Me - Credit: Steven N. Skaggs

Lewis may have had Christian author George MacDonald in mind in this passage where he talks about people being slowly turned into something more heavenly or something more hellish. The same idea occurs as a theme in MacDonald's novel The Princess and Curdie, where "many human beings, by their acts, are slowly turning into beasts; [Curdie, the novel's hero] is given the power to detect the transformation before it is visible, and is assisted by beasts that had been transformed and are working their way back to humanity" (wikipedia). These transformations are symbolic of spiritual growth or regression.

"Macdonald [sic] (1824-1905) [was a] Scottish novelist, clergyman and author of children's stories [who] was admired by many of his peers for his tender spirituality through his graceful poems and fantastical verse. They rank high among the classics of juvenile literature" (The Literature Network).

Lewis "regarded [George] MacDonald as his 'master': 'Picking up a copy of Phantastes one day at a train-station bookstall, I began to read. A few hours later,' said Lewis, 'I knew that I had crossed a great frontier'" (wikipedia). In his diary entry for January 11, 1923 (years before his conversion to Christianity), Lewis wrote, "I read Macdonald's [sic] Phantastes over my tea, which I have read many times and which I really believe fills for me the place of a devotional book. It tuned me up to a higher pitch and delighted me" (All My Road before Me, 177).

Page 93. " When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less. "

Lewis may have had Romans 7 and 8 in mind here, which reads in part,

"For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

"So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death."

Page 95. " Chastity is the most unpopular of Christian virtues. "

As Lewis goes on to say, "The Christian rule is, 'Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence.'" Passages supporting this statement include the following, taken from the New International Version.

Exodus 20:14: You shall not commit adultery.

Proverbs 5:16-20: Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer--may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man's wife?

Matthew 5:28: But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Acts 15:20: Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

1 Corinthians 6:13, 15-19: "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"--but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. . . . Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh." But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.

Ephesians 5:3: But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality,or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.

Colossians 3:5: Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

Page 98. " some kind of body is going to be given to us even in Heaven and is going to be an essential part of our happiness, or beauty and our energy "

Passages that refer to what Christians refer to as their "glorified bodies" in heaven include the following.

1 Corinthians 15:50-53: I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

2 Corinthians 5:1-4: For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. [References to "tent" and "earthly home" are metaphors for the body.]


Page 98. " Christianity has glorified marriage more than any other religion "

Christian wedding
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeChristian wedding - Credit: David Ball / Mactographer
There are many Bible passages on marriage. Here are two from the New Testament, quoted from the English Standard Version.

Mark 10:6-12: [Christ said,] "From the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife,and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

Hebrews 13:4: Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

Page 99. " A famous Christian long ago told us that when he was a young man he prayed constantly for chastity "

The "young man" referred to here is Augustine of Hippo (359-430), one of the Church Fathers, whose "writings were very influential in the development of Western Christianity" (wikipedia) and who has been "accepted by most scholars to be the most important figure in the ancient Western church" (Christian Classics Ethereal Library).

"As a youth Augustine lived a hedonistic lifestyle for a time, associating with young men who boasted of their sexual exploits with women and urged the inexperienced boys, like Augustine, to seek out experiences or to make up stories about experiences in order to gain acceptance and avoid ridicule. It was during this period that he uttered his famous prayer, 'Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet' (da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo)" (wikipedia). In the year 386 he converted to Christianity and went on to live a life of celibacy. His most famous work is The City of God.

Page 100. " The Christian principles are, admittedly, stricter than the others; but then we think you will get help towards obeying them which you will not get towards obeying the others. "

Lewis may well have 1 Corinthians 10:13 in mind here: "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."