The Great Divorce – by C.S. Lewis

28 03 2021

I was thinking about what books I should aim to read this year, and having had this set of C.S. Lewis books for several years, I thought I should aim to read at least one each year, and I remember a friend saying how good this one was a long time ago, and at under 150 pages, it seemed like a doable step into “clever” books.

The book is essentially an illustration of Heaven and Hell, expressed in the first person of someone who’s in a grey town, and gets on a bus to a bright country. It feels very much like someone telling you about a weird dream they had, and takes some work to get your head around until they explicitly say what those places represent (around halfway through!), but once that’s happened, it makes a bit more sense!

When he reaches the bright place, everything is so much more solid than those who have arrived, so much so that he describes those from the bus as Ghosts in comparison. There are several stories where Ghosts are met by Solid People who they maybe knew in life, and we see examples of different ways people have lived, which they think are fine and good, but maybe weren’t so much.

Towards the end of the book I think I started to feel out of my depth again, I imagine cleverer people would get more out of it than I did, but certainly I enjoyed it and it gave me plenty to think about from the rest of the book!

A few lines that made me think:

  • “A sum can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that pint, never by simply going on. Evil can be undone, but it cannot ‘develop’ into good.”
  • “Once you were a child. Once you knew what inquiry was for. There was a time when you asked questions because you wanted answers, and were glad when you had found them.”
  • “Do not fash yourself with such questions. Ye cannot fully understand the relations of choice and Time until you are beyond both.”
  • “There have been men before now wo got so interested in proving the existence of God that they came to care nothing for God Himself. […] There have bene some who were so occupied in spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ.”
  • “I am in love. In love, do you understand?”





Even more concise 10 second sermons – Milton Jones

15 06 2014

Most people will know Milton Jones for his stand-up, and as a panellist on Mock the Week.

However, he’s also a Christian, and this book is a mixture of both of those worlds, similar to the first one.

There’s a running theme throughout the book about things we debate on that are not the most important thing – something people don’t normally admit! Some excerpts below:

http://instagram.com/p/pOOmbakYlF/

I like these books of Jones’ as they’re very easy to read in one sitting at less than 100 pages, and yet there’s plenty to them. They make you laugh, but also definitely make you think. One line that definitely struck me was:

“Christianity is not so much a religion, more the beginning of a realisation of how things really are.”

even more concise 10 second sermons





Wisdom from the Jones ladies on Worship

16 07 2013

Just before I went to uni I had drinks with my friend Kim and her mum Shona. All of the ladies in this family have the most beautiful voices, and we had the immense privilege of having Shona leading worship in church on Sunday’s with that beautiful Scottish lilt we miss so much.

The beauty of their voices came up in conversation, and I joked how obviously I’d never match up to them, and they shared this wonderful concept with me, which I now share with you if you’ve never had much confidence in your own ‘worship’ voice.

They told me how God has this worship filter. Where we hear the quality of the voice, that’s all sifted out. What He hears is the pureness of heart, the meaning and sincerity behind what is being sung. That which is sung in all honesty and passion is what sounds most beautiful to Him. You could have the most beautiful voice in the world, but if you didn’t mean a word you sang, it’d sound tone deaf to Him.

What a lovely thought!