John Piper’s ministry, Desiring God, is scheduled to host its 2013 National Conference entitled “The Romantic Rationalist: God, Life, and Imagination in the Work of C.S. Lewis” on September 27-29. Along with numerous other Christians, the well-known author and former pastor has been deeply influenced by Lewis’ timeless literature.
C.S. Lewis died in 1963, yet his writings still have a profound impact on modern-day Christians. “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy author J. R. R. Tolkein was a good friend of Lewis, and helped him to become a follower of Christ. Lewis later wrote several Christian classics of his own, such as “Mere Christianity,” “The Chronicles of Narnia,” and “The Screwtape Letters.”
In a video for the conference, John Piper describes C.S. Lewis as “a defender of the Christian faith, [and] an apologist for ordinary folks.” Lewis has had a profound impact on Piper - “I would put Lewis in the top five people on the planet who have influenced me most,” he said. He cited “Mere Christianity” as one of the most influential books in modern history, and noted that Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia” has sold more than 100 million copies in 41 different languages. Lewis was a “good guide for us in cherishing the eternal – the unseen world that was his supreme source of joy,” said Piper, noting that Lewis had helped shape his views on Christian Hedonism.
In an interview with Piper, New York Pastor Timothy Keller attested that Lewis was profoundly insightful and had a unique ability to think progressively. “He was a world-class scholar in his own right, and he was a Christian layman who was unusually wise about getting Christianity across to other people … He combined a knowledge of intellectual trends with this wonderful ability to speak pictorially,” he said. Keller is amazed by Lewis’ ability to understand intellectual trends, such as post-modernism thinking, which became commonplace years after the author’s time.
Both English and American speakers with admiration for Lewis’ writings, including Randy Alcorn and Colin Duriez, will accompany Piper in Minneapolis for the conference. Christian artists Shane & Shane will also perform at the event.
Piper’s eBook on C.S. Lewis, “Alive to Wonder,” is available for download at no cost, and registration for the 2013 National Conference is available on his website.