C.S. Lewis on coming to faith

For my graduate school class, I am reading a number of excerpts from influential people throughout history. The most modern author is C.S. Lewis, who, in his book Surprised by Joy, tells of his experience of arriving at belief in Jesus Christ. Here are a few of his words: “To accept the Incarnation was a further step in the same direction. It brings God nearer, or near in a new way. And this, I found, was something I had not wanted. But to recognize the ground for my evasion was of course to recognize both its shame and its futility… When we set out I did not believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, ad when we reached [the destination] I did. Yet I had not exactly spent the journey in thought. Nor in great emotion. “Emotion” is perhaps the last word we can apply to some of the most important events. It was more like when a person, after a long sleep, still lying motionless in bed, becomes aware that he is now awake…”

“I now know that the experience, considered as a state of my own mind, had never had the kind of importance I once gave it. It was valuable only as a pointer to something other and outer. While that other was in doubt, the pointer naturally loomed large in my thoughts. When we are lost in the woods the sight of a signpost is a great matter. He who first sees it cries “Look!” The whole party gathers around and stares. But when we have found the road and are passing signposts every few miles, we shall not stop and stare. They will encourage us and we will be grateful to the authority that set them up. But we shall not stop and stare, or not much…”

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