CS Lewis is one of the most beloved authors of all time – especially in the Church.
I recently read The Space Trilogy, which is one of his lesser-known fictional pieces. The Chronicles of Narnia, Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianity are the more popular Lewis books that come to mind. However, The Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, & That Hideous Strength) I believe should be counted amongst one of his greatest works. In fact, there are more than a few reasons why everyone should read this series.
First of all, The Space Trilogy is just a whole lot of fun to read. Lewis literally takes readers out of this world – into new realities and fantastic possibilities; before realizing it, after the turning of a few pages, the reader will be speaking new languages and imagining fresh landscapes. Much like his renowned children’s series, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Space Trilogy is simply a spectacular, riveting, exciting story. It tells the story of a college professor who is kidnapped and taken to another planet; after this, he learns of a whole new reality – and begins a crazy adventure through the solar system (and ends on our very home, Earth). It’s an excellent piece of literature!
2. Theological Profundity
For anyone who has ever read anything by CS Lewis, the reality of his theological and philosophical depth in thought is evident. However, he is truly unique in his ability to bring that wisdom down to a layman’s level; in fact, he follows a paradigm set by Christ himself – teaching profound lessons of eternal value through stories and allegory. CS Lewis speaks of deep, complex issues (such as creation, depravity, angelology, and naturalism vs. theism) in a way that engages readers on their own levels.
3. Exploration of Big Questions
Like I said, The Space Trilogy explores some very complex questions. What is the measure of man? Is there a system of ethics that should be applied to science? Is evil real? Of course, it does not overtly answer these questions – but does so through fiction, in a way that grabs the reader’s attention. There is significance to this literature that goes much further than the surface level of excellent fiction; The Space Trilogy really addresses some important stuff!
4. Modern Relevance
Though CS Lewis wrote The Space Trilogy in the 1940s, it is still relevant today. In fact, scientism (one of the main themes in the series) is still a major worldview and something with which the Church still struggles. Matters of sin and redemption that are addressed in the series are matters of eternal importance and timeless truth, and Lewis’s commentary is just as important in 2013 as it was in the middle of the 20th Century.
Do yourself a favor this summer: while your relaxing on the beach or lounging by the pool, pick up The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis – enjoy a fantastic read!