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C.S. Lewis answers country’s dilemma

OPINION by Jim Davidson | May 8, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

When you were in school and growing up, did your teachers ever give you "challenge" work? This is work that was one or two grades higher than where you were at the time. Of course, the purpose of this was to stretch your ability and skills to cause you to grow and reach higher.

This has happened to me, but it was self-imposed. When I married my wife Janis, she had a pretty good library, and I have benefited from this. One of the books she had was titled, "A Year with C.S. Lewis -- Daily Readings from His Classic Works." While I had heard of C.S. Lewis, I didn't know anything about and had never read any of his work.

Well, I am here to tell you that C.S. Lewis was an intellectual giant and way above anything I have ever done. Here is what is written on the dust jacket developed by the publisher, Clive Staples. "(C.S.) Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably the most influential Christian writer of his day.

He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University. He wrote more than 30 books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of readers each year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include: 'The Chronicles of Narnia', 'Out of the Silent Planet', 'The Four Loves', 'The Screwtape Letters' and 'Mere Christianity'."

The book I referenced earlier was produced by the publisher by taking from all of his works to produce a daily devotional with 365 entries. The first time through it was difficult for me to understand much of what he wrote. This time through I am understanding more and am looking forward to the years ahead.

On March 2, the article is titled, "The Moral Dilemma," and I will share a portion of the work of the late C.S. Lewis. "Morality then, seems to be concerned with three things. Firstly, with fair play and harmony between individuals. Secondly, with what might be called tidying up or harmonizing the things inside each individual. Thirdly, with the general purpose of human life as a whole, what man was made for: what course the whole fleet ought to be on: what tune the conductor of the band wants it to play.

"Almost all people at all times have agreed (in theory) that human beings ought to be honest and kind and helpful to one another. But though it is natural to begin with all that, if our thinking about morality stops there, we might as well not have thought at all. Unless we go on to the second thing –the tidying up inside each human being – we are only deceiving ourselves."

And skipping down to the last paragraph: "You cannot make good men by law: and without good men you cannot have a good."

And that, my friends, is our moral dilemma. So, what does it take to have good men?

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