To celebrate 10 years of blogging here at The Wardrobe Door, I wanted to speak with some others who read, appreciate and study C.S. Lewis. Over the next two weeks, each day will feature an interview with one of these individuals (and maybe a few more).
- Joe Rigney
- Louis Markos
- Laura Schmidt
- Jennifer Neyhart
- Devin Brown
- Sarah Waters
- Brandon Smith
- Michael Ward
- Crystal Hurd
- William O’Flaherty
- Brenton Dickieson
- Dan DeWitt
- Diana Glyer
- Alister McGrath
Today, I’m talking with Louis Markos, professor of English and Honors, and Scholar-in-Residence at Houston Baptist University. There he holds the Robert H. Ray Chair in Humanities and teaches courses on British Romantic and Victorian Poetry and Prose, the Classics, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, and film.
Of note to our discussion of Lewis, Markos wrote:
- A To Z With C. S. Lewis (only 99¢ on Kindle)
- Restoring Beauty: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful in the Writings of C.S. Lewis
- On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis
- Lewis Agonistes: How C.S. Lewis Can Train Us to Wrestle with the Modern and Postmodern World
His other works include Apologetics for the Twenty-first Century and From Achilles to Christ: Why Christians Should Read the Pagan Classics.
Wardrobe Door: What do you remember about reading C.S. Lewis for the first time?
Louis Markos: The magic and wonder of being transported to Narnia! Also, the general freshness and common sense of his style.
WD: While it may be next to impossible to answer, what is your favorite Lewis work, one you consider most overlooked, and one that you tend to enjoy less than others?
My favorite is The Great Divorce. The one that needs to be read more often and more carefully is The Abolition of Man. I find The Pilgrim’s Regress a bit less enjoyable, but still love the insights in the book.
WD: Here are 50 of my favorite, what is your favorite Lewis quote?
In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Ramandu explaining a star to Edmund:
Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is, but only what it is made of.
WD: Why do you think he continues to maintain such influence in modern evangelicalism?
Because C.S. Lewis remained non-denominational, putting his focus on what all true believers have in common. And also because he so perfectly balanced reason and imagination.
WD: Like all of us, Lewis wasn’t perfect. Where do you find yourself disagreeing with him or his approach?
I find that he is remarkably right on almost all points, though I wish he had gained an appreciation for film.
WD: If you had to choose, what is the most invaluable lesson you learned from him?
That God does not judge us by our raw material, but by what we do with that raw material. And that heaven and hell are not just places but processes, things we become through a long series of small choices.