Lewis as Father Figure – Douglas Gresham Interview (Pt. 3)


I have so enjoyed this 8-part interview with C.S. Lewis’ stepson, Douglas Gresham.

Over the next several weeks I’ll be sharing some brief thoughts on each part of the interview, and I invite you to share your own as well in the comments below. Here’s part three:

In part three, Douglas discusses the impact that “Jack” had on him as a father figure.

“I am the man I am today, very largely because of Jack’s training—not in any formal sense, he didn’t teach me in any formal sense—he showed me…”

Is there someone like that in your life? Someone who had an impact on you—not because of what they said, but how they lived? Might there be someone right now that you’re having that kind of impact on?

Douglas then goes on to say something startling,

“Christianity isn’t really a religion… It’s a relationship with the Creator of the universe, and obedience to the Creator of the universe.”

I don’t know about you, but I grew up thinking the Bible was a set of rules to keep. Examples in the Bible to follow. All about what I needed to do.

But a relationship? With the creator of the universe?

Finally, Douglas talks about how he looks at the Bible:

“If you have a machine, like a brand new tractor, you always get a maker’s manual with it, you know a user’s manual. If you ignore that, your tractor doesn’t last very long. If you do what it says, the tractor will give you long years of good service.

It’s exactly the same with a human being. If you read the Maker’s manual, the instruction manual on how to run the human life—and do what it says—you’ll have a very rewarding and enjoyable life.

Douglas’ analogy builds on Lewis’ own–the one I love about putting porridge in a car. (I loved this analogy so much I put it in Thoughts To Make Your Heart Sing and Jago did a fabulous illustration of cars lining up to get porridge in their gas tanks.) Putting porridge in the gas tank? You are free to do it if you want, but the car won’t run very well. In fact it won’t run at all.

What if this manual isn’t about making our lives miserable. Or punishing us. What if it’s about blessing us, showing us how to live, showing us how life works best–and leading us into life in all its fullness.

Well. When you put it like that…

What part of the interview did you most enjoy? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


PS: To read some of my thoughts on the previous parts of the interview, click the following links Part 1 | Part 2


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