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Remembering Lewis, who "made the world safe for intelligent Christians"

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis. In this poignant guest blog, publisher Mark Carpenter remembers the legacy of the author “who made the world safe for intelligent Christians.”

I was introduced to C. S. Lewis by my father, who gathered us all together around the dinner table to read to us the new series of books he had brought from the United States. For me, the voice of the narrator in the Narnia books will always be my father's voice. It seemed to me that the experience of reading through those seven books with us infused him with an enlightened logic, light with its consequence and counterintuitive in its moral. My father was never the same, and neither were we.

In a world overturned by continental wars, C. S. Lewis found cynicism and atheism to be too simplistic a posture to sustain. He worked his way up from despair by thinking deeply and discovering--albeit dejectedly--that the Christian myth was true. He spent his life plumbing the depths of beauty and truth to awaken within the imaginations of his readers the conviction that love really does conquer all.

And so he made the world safe for intelligent Christians. 

His death in Oxford on November 22, 1963, was overshadowed by the shots that rang out in Dallas that same day. The New York Times, which under normal circumstances might have noted the death on the front page, waited three days before publishing a modest obituary on page 19.

Lewis's legacy can be told through the lives of millions of readers who have engaged their imaginations to discover thrilling truth. It can be apprehended by listening to the thousands of readers who have had their convictions unsettled to the core by a logic that simplifies the most intricate theories into their most basic shared origin. 

In Mere Christianity he wrote, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." Lewis will live on, here and abroad.

—Mark Carpenter is CEO of Editora Mundo Cristão publishing house in Brazil and former chair of the MAI Board of Directors

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