Parting Thoughts: 40 Years Since the Death of C.S. Lewis

Monday , November 24, 2003

By Tony Snow



Very few people took immediate notice of a great man's death on November 22, 1963.  Even so, C.S. Lewis (search) almost certainly will leave a larger legacy than John F. Kennedy (search), who died the same day, or Aldous Huxley (search), who also died on November 22. 

Lewis was a literary scholar who set out on a painstaking, lifelong trek from agnosticism (search) to Christianity.  He conducted himself like a curious tourist, looking carefully and curiously at the world around him, at the good, the bad, the seamy, the saintly, the noble and, of course, the despicable. 

He asked simply questions, such as, "Where does moral truth come from if not from God?" and "Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic or the lord.  Which is it?"

He wrote with thrilling clarity, as if tracing his words with a razor rather than a pen. 

And he was brutally honest.  He refused to evade tough questions or concoct easy excuses, as many churchmen do these days, and became arguably the most effective Christian writer of the 20th century because he wrote as a seeker, not a preacher. 

He figured we're all sinners and the best among us isn't a whole lot better than the worst.  But he did perform one great service.  He taught others how to search for the truth.  He didn't take anybody to Camelot, but he may have led a few souls closer to salvation.  Not bad. 

That's it for today.  Have a great week, and remember to start your Sundays right here on Fox News Sunday.