Tag Archives: C.S. Lewis

My New Book “Bless-ed” Is Now Out! Almost. Blessing #23!


My new book, Bless-ed! Fifty-Two Weekly Blessings You Have as a Believer and How to Help Your Lost Friends Find Theirs will soon be available on Amazon here. I have advanced copies if you are interested. I will send you a copy for $10 (which includes shipping). Here’s Blessing #23 in Bless-ed:

BLESSING #23: The Blessing of a Healthy Sense of Humor

“Please don’t do that, Jim!” I said out loud in my car as I listened to my favorite stand-up comedian resort to four-letter words to entertain his audience. Considered by many to be a “clean stand-up comedian”, he gave into vulgarity and coarseness. And I found it sad.

I have a vested interest in stand-up comedy. My son and I took stand-up comedy lessons together a few years ago and I know how hard it is to write a good sketch. He and I (and maybe one other guy) were the only clean students in the class. Effective comedy needn’t be abusive or demeaning or gross, especially for the one who believes that God gave us a sense of humor.

I have unsaved friends who have a great sense of humor, but for others they have no boundaries. For that reason, I thank God for laughter and would suggest that one blessing all believers (potentially) have is –


THE BLESSING While it is certainly true that Jesus was “a man of sorrows,” we should not conclude that He was not also a man of great joy and laughter (see Elton Trueblood’s excellent book The Humor of Christ).

The blessing of believers is that we can laugh, for we have been created by a God of great humor.

THE BIBLE The Bible teaches that “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Prov. 17:22). The psalmist says of the Lord’s rescue, “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy” (Ps. 126:2). We’re told that there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance . . .” (Ecc. 3:4). Job’s friend Bildad erringly challenges Job to confess his “sins”, promising that the Lord “will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy” (Job 8:21).

The Bible condemns the laughter of the wicked. We read of laughter which often mocks, scoffs, or derides (Genesis 21:9; 38:23; 39:14, 17; 2 Chronicles 30:10; Psalm 52:6; 80:6; Proverbs 1:26; Ezekiel 23:32; Habakkuk 1:10).

We even have a text which says of the Lord laughing “at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming” (Ps. 37:13). There is also the laughter of not believing God’s promise shown in the response of Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 17:17 and 18:12).

Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters speaks about four types of humor. Some advance “the Enemy’s (Christ’s) cause”; some advance the cause of the demons. The first type — JOY — is the one most detested by the demons, for it makes others feel warm and wanted.

The second type is FUN which Screwtape describes as “a sort of emotional froth arising from the play instinct.” FUN can divert humans from something else which Christ would like them to be feeling or doing. Fun is great, but it can also be distracting.

The third type of humor — THE JOKE PROPER — is usually why we laugh at things. Something takes us by surprise or “turns on a sudden perception of incongruity.” But the joke can become a kind of armor that keeps us from admitting a fault or facing possible shame. This type of humor can be weaponized, allowing us to cover our malice.

The fourth type of humor is FLIPPANCY, a kind of humor which prevents serious dialogue and treats critical subjects (sexual purity before marriage, male leadership in the home, a biblical worldview) as a joke, mere punchlines. Hollywood and the internet thrive on flippancy and we become inoculated to it.


1. This week watch a sit-com on TV and analyze the kind of humor that is presented there. Into which of Lewis’ categories does that humor seem to fit? How would you criticize that kind of humor?

2. Take time this week to read through one of the gospels and ask, “Where does the humor of the Lord Jesus show up?” Compare your notes with another believer doing the same.

3. Read the article “God Laughs Out Loud to Quiet Our Fears” by David Mathis (found at Website:

4. PRAYER So how do I pray for my lost friend? I pray that my sense of humor will be alive and real and reflective of the God who created us to laugh and experience life. And I pray for my friend to get serious with the Lord so he can experience real joy.

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Posted by on April 20, 2023 in "Bless-ed!"


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What Christmas Means to Me (C.S. Lewis)

Three things go by the name of Christmas. One is a religious festival. This is important and obligatory for Christians; but as it can be of no interest to anyone else, I shall naturally say no more about it here. The second (it has complex historical connections with the first, but we needn’t go into them) is a popular holiday, an occasion for merry-making and hospitality. If it were my business too have a ‘view’ on this, I should say that I much approve of merry-making. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own friends. It is highly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs. But the third thing called Christmas is unfortunately everyone’s business.

I mean of course the commercial racket. The interchange of presents was a very small ingredient in the older English festivity. Mr. Pickwick took a cod with him to Dingley Dell; the reformed Scrooge ordered a turkey for his clerk; lovers sent love gifts; toys and fruit were given to children. But the idea that not only all friends but even all acquaintances should give one another presents, or at least send one another cards, is quite modern and has been forced upon us by the shopkeepers. Neither of these circumstances is in itself a reason for condemning it. I condemn it on the following grounds.

  1. It gives on the whole much more pain than pleasure. You have only to stay over Christmas with a family who seriously try to ‘keep’ it (in its third, or commercial, aspect) in order to see that the thing is a nightmare. Long before December 25th everyone is worn out — physically worn out by weeks of daily struggle in overcrowded shops, mentally worn out by the effort to remember all the right recipients and to think out suitable gifts for them. They are in no trim for merry-making; much less (if they should want to) to take part in a religious act. They look far more as if there had been a long illness in the house.

  2. Most of it is involuntary. The modern rule is that anyone can force you to give him a present by sending you a quite unprovoked present of his own. It is almost a blackmail. Who has not heard the wail of despair, and indeed of resentment, when, at the last moment, just as everyone hoped that the nuisance was over for one more year, the unwanted gift from Mrs. Busy (whom we hardly remember) flops unwelcomed through the letter-box, and back to the dreadful shops one of us has to go?

  1. Things are given as presents which no mortal every bought for himself — gaudy and useless gadgets, ‘novelties’ because no one was ever fool enough to make their like before. Have we really no better use for materials and for human skill and time than to spend them on all this rubbish?

  2. The nuisance. for after all, during the racket we still have all our ordinary and necessary shopping to do, and the racket trebles the labour of it.

We are told that the whole dreary business must go on because it is good for trade. It is in fact merely one annual symptom of that lunatic condition of our country, and indeed of the world, in which everyone lives by persuading everyone else to buy things. I don’t know the way out. But can it really be my duty to buy and receive masses of junk every winter just to help the shopkeepers? If the worst comes to the worst I’d sooner give them money for nothing and write if off as a charity. For nothing? Why, better for nothing than for a nuisance.

From God in the dock—Essays on Theology and Ethics by C. S. Lewis, published by William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co. © 1970 The Trustees of the Estate of C.S. Lewis, first appearing December, 1957
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Posted by on December 25, 2022 in Christmas


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C.S. Lewis on Responding to the Coronavirus!

I’m taking some liberties here, friends, but C.S. Lewis wrote something about how Christians should respond to . . . World War 2. But if you substitute “Coronavirus” for “the bomb”, there is a lot of wisdom in his statement.

Before I give you the C.S. Lewis quote, I must share a small bit of humor with you. I’m not being insensitive to those who have been afflicted with the virus, and certainly not to those who have died from it. But we all need a bit of lightheartedness in the face of such devastating circumstances.

Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Your sneeze has now become a lethal weapon!

2.  Christians are to greet one another with a holy hug or holy kiss. We’re now relegated to a fist or elbow bump.

3.  Social distancing — which is being recommended to all of us — is an introvert’s DREAM!

4.  With the news of Tom Hanks becoming infected, it gives new meaning to the expression “Run, Forest, Run!” (away from other people). And in his new movie about Mr. Rogers, “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” becomes “Mr. Rogers All By Himself”!

Here’s the C.S. Lewis quote. If you substitute “Coronavirus” for “bomb,” you’ll get the point. [By the way, Lewis didn’t capitalize TENNIS. I did].










Your thoughts?

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Posted by on March 15, 2020 in CS Lewis


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No Belief in God? No Belief in Thought! (Time for a great C.S. Lewis quote)

“Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so, I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”


Posted by on December 19, 2019 in atheism


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Time for a Great C.S. Lewis Quote: on Heaven and JOY!

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Posted by on August 30, 2019 in joy


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What a Surprise! A Free Cruise in Europe! Part 5 (final)

Sooo — We’ve been given a free river cruise on a 90-passenger ship in Europe! Jeff and Gina, who started Teeming River Cruises two years ago, organize their cruises at about 1/3 of the cost of Viking cruises. Their website is here. Two years ago we had a great time with them on their inaugural voyage.

I have the privilege of conducting a Sunday service for the passengers and crew on August 25th. Would you pray for me as I prepare for that service? I’ll be going over the wonderful fish story in Luke 5. Let’s look at that text one more time:

I’m open to any sermon titles that come to your mind. But we’ve noticed so far that Simon Peter is —

I. Doing a Religious Teacher a Favor (vv. 1-3)

Allowing Jesus to use his boat as a floating pulpit, no doubt, made Peter just a tad proud. But then Jesus steps out of His role as spiritual teacher and challenges Peter and the others in —

II. Recognizing Who Jesus REALLY Is! (vv. 4-10)

Invading Peter’s area of expertise by telling him when and where to fish, Jesus promises “a catch” if Peter and the others will simply obey.

What happens when Peter acts on his statement, “but because you say so, I will let down the nets”? We read that the catch is so large that the nets they had been washing were in danger of breaking! They have to call in reinforcements and both boats are so loaded with fish that they began to sink!

That’s a nice problem to have if you are a fisherman, don’t you think? While his co-workers — with $ signs in their eyes — are taking care of the fish, Peter draws a profound conclusion. He doesn’t say, “Jesus, thank you for somehow providing these fish for us!” Or “Wow! I’ve never seen such a catch. How did you know, Jesus, that there would be fish there?” No! Peter launches into an incredible, yet succinct, theological declaration: “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (v. 8).

It seems reasonable to say that Peter was overwhelmed at his underestimating Jesus. He had Him pegged as simply another religious teacher. But the miraculous prediction and catch of fish overcame Peter with the truth of Jesus’ power (and, perhaps, divinity).

We know from other Scriptures that Jesus is the Creator of all things. We read in Colossians 1: 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Aren’t you glad that Jesus didn’t take Peter’s advice and walk away? Instead the Lord does the opposite. Instead of abandoning Peter, Jesus appoints him to become a fisher of men!

I’m reminded of C.S. Lewis’ famous statement — and with it we will conclude the posts on this topic:


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Posted by on August 20, 2019 in Luke 5


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Time for a Great C.S. Lewis Quote ….. on Enjoying Heaven!

“We are very shy nowadays of even mentioning heaven. We are afraid of the jeer about ‘pie in the sky’, and of being told that we are trying to ‘escape’ from the duty of making a happy world here and now into dreams of a happy world elsewhere. But either there is ‘pie in the sky’ or there is not. If there is not, then Christianity is false, for this doctrine is woven into its whole fabric. If there is, then this truth, like any other, must be faced, whether it is useful at political meetings or no. Again, we are afraid that heaven is a bribe, and that if we make it our goal we shall no longer be disinterested. It is not so. Heaven offers nothing that a mercenary soul can desire. It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to. There are rewards that do not sully motives. A man’s love for a woman is not mercenary because he wants to marry her, nor his love for poetry mercenary because he wants to read it, nor his love of exercise less disinterested because he wants to run and leap and walk. Love, by definition, seeks to enjoy its object.”

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Posted by on August 10, 2019 in heaven


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Time for a Great C.S. Lewis Quote — on TRUST and OBEDIENCE!

“[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.” (Mere Christianity)

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Posted by on August 8, 2019 in heaven


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Playing with Philosophy (Time for a Great C.S. Lewis Quote)

Joe Barnard in his forthcoming book The Way Forward: Clear Advice for Confused Men gives the following illustration from C.S. Lewis as Lewis powerfully describes his first encounter with the living presence of God in Surprised by Joy.

He says, “As the dry bones shook and came together in that dreadful Valley of Ezekiel’s, so now a philosophical theorem, cerebrally entertained, began to stir and heave and throw off its grave-clothes, and stood upright and became a living presence. I was allowed to play with philosophy no longer.”

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Posted by on June 25, 2019 in philosophy


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Finding Deep Joy in a Sad, Shallow World (A Study of Philippians) Part 2 (Joy and Happiness)

How would you distinguish between JOY and HAPPINESS? For many people, they are the same. But “deep joy,” lasting joy, is more solid, more permanent, than the flitting feeling of giddiness sometimes bestowed by our stingy culture.

True, deep JOY goes beyond circumstances. It is deeper than the vicissitudes of life. [I knew that “vicissitudes” was a word, but I had to look up the spelling]. Vicissitudes are “successive, alternating, or changing phases or conditions, as of life or fortune; ups and downs.” JOY transcends the ups and downs of life.

But this kind of profound JOY is not the same as stoicism, a gritting-of-one’s-teeth to resignedly toughen out life. This kind of JOY recognizes life’s tragedies, catastrophes, and collapses, but remains steadfast and permanent and accessible.

Why is this so? Let me suggest it is because this kind of JOY is focused on the Person of the Lord Jesus. It is not primarily found in salvation, although that is certainly an aspect of this JOY. It is not located essentially in the good circumstances of this life, although one is grateful for God’s providential kindnesses. No, this kind of steady JOY is inextricably connected to the Lord of glory Himself — and that makes all the difference. HE never changes — and the fluctuation of feelings of happiness aren’t the foundation of the believer’s life. As John Piper says in his short little book God Is the Gospel, “When you trusted Christ, you got GOD!”

C.S. Lewis eloquently hit the proverbial nail on the head when he wrote: “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”

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Posted by on April 23, 2019 in joy


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