C.S. Lewis

The City Podcast: On CGI

by Timothy Motte on February 3, 2014

The City, a podcast of Houston Baptist University: Smart. Sane. Spiritual.

Featuring: Dr. Holly Ordway, Cate MacDonald, Dr. John Mark Reynolds

Will we ever be able to be in a movie the way we can be in a story when we read a book?

We love movies. And we love stories. So here we are, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of CGI versus models versus imagination.

Spoiler: Imagination wins.

Recommended in this podcast: On Fairy Stories by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Email us at podcast@hbu.edu with your thoughts, questions, or suggestions for future episodes.

The City Podcast: That Hideous Strength

by Timothy Motte on October 18, 2013

The City, a podcast of Houston Baptist University: Smart. Sane. Spiritual.

Featuring: Cate MacDonald, Dr. John Mark Reynolds

C.S. Lewis’ great novel, That Hideous Strength, has had a most profound shaping effect on the life and work of Provost Dr. John Mark Reynolds. Here he and Cate MacDonald discuss some of the insights found in this beloved work, especially the great value placed on living a normal life. Our contemporary culture needs to hear the message that you don’t necessarily need to accomplish anything in your life other than living well and loving well.

We hope this conversation edifies you. You don’t need to have read the book, but after this you might end up making it a priority.

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Email us at podcasts@hbu.edu with your thoughts, questions, or suggestions for future episodes.

The City Podcast: Imaginative Apologetics

by Timothy Motte on September 9, 2013

The City, a podcast of Houston Baptist University: Smart. Sane. Spiritual.

Featuring: Dr. Michael Ward, Dr. Holly Ordway, Dr. John Mark Reynolds

This is the third part of a three part conversation with Dr. Michael Ward, C.S. Lewis scholar and author of Planet Narnia and The Narnia Code.

Dr. Ward has been hired to work full-time for HBU at the C.S. Lewis Centre in Oxford, as well as teaching both online and on campus classes. What will his work be on?

Imaginative Apologetics.

In this conversation Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Ordway talk about what Imaginative (or Cultural) Apologetics is and how it will serve the kingdom of God.

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Email us at podcasts@hbu.edu with your thoughts, questions, or suggestions for future episodes.

If you are interested in attending the unveiling of the C.S. Lewis memorial in Westminster Abbey this November, visit www.lewisinpoetscorner.com.

 

The City Podcast: C.S. Lewis in Poets’ Corner

by Timothy Motte on September 2, 2013

The City, a podcast of Houston Baptist University: Smart. Sane. Spiritual.

Featuring: Dr. Michael Ward, Dr. Holly Ordway, Dr. John Mark Reynolds

This is the second part of a three part conversation with, Dr. Michael Ward, author of Planet Narnia and head of HBU’s C.S. Lewis Centre in Oxford. Listen to part 1 here.

Here the conversation turns from Narnia in particular to Lewis broadly. Along the way, Dr. Reynolds, Dr. Ordway, and Dr. Ward discuss tensions in higher education in both America and England.

Dr. Ward has led the project to memorialize C.S. Lewis in Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey. The memorial will be unveiled during a two day conference in November of this year. For more information, go to www.lewisinpoetscorner.com

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Email us at podcasts@hbu.edu with your thoughts, questions, or suggestions for future episodes.

 

The City Podcast: Planet Narnia

by Timothy Motte on August 26, 2013

The City, a podcast of Houston Baptist University: Smart. Sane. Spiritual.

Featuring: Dr. Michael Ward, Dr. Holly Ordway, Dr. John Mark Reynolds

This is the first part of a three part conversation with prominent C.S. Lewis scholar, Dr. Michael Ward. Listen to part 2 here.

Dr. Ward is the author of Planet Narnia, a book that shook Lewis fans and scholars alike by propounding the theory that the Chronicles of Narnia were thematically built upon Medieval cosmology.

HBU recently hired Dr. Ward to run the C.S. Lewis Centre in Oxford, as well as teach courses both online and in Houston. Suffice it to say that Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Ordway jumped at the opportunity to talk with their new colleague about one of their favorite authors.

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Email us at podcasts@hbu.edu with your thoughts, questions, or suggestions for future episodes.

 

A to Z with C.S. Lewis: Z is for Zeitgeist

by Lou Markos on July 17, 2013

CS LewisZeitgeist is a German word that means “spirit of the age.”  The zeitgeist of Periclean Athens was self-knowledge (supremely embodied in the thought of Socrates), while that of the Middle Ages and Victorianism was hierarchy (Dante) and progress (Tennyson), respectively.  As for the darker zeitgeist of modernism, marked by relativism and subjectivism, though Lewis did not embody it, he understood it better than many of its most ardent supporters.

In a sense, all of Lewis’s books offer a critique of modernism, but the one that does so with the deepest insight and the greatest prophetic power is The Abolition of Man.  In this brief book, which bears the rather intimidating subtitle of “Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of School.” Lewis predicts (with woeful accuracy) what the outcome will be for a society that trains its youth in accordance with the principles of aesthetic subjectivism and moral and ethical relativism.

At the core of the modern zeitgeist, Lewis locates a refusal to abide by any fixed, transcendent standards of the Good, the True, or the Beautiful.  Everything now is subjective.  The old verities are up for grabs.  No longer do our beliefs point back to a divine law code or an essential, in-built sense of good and evil; they exist only and solely in the eye of the beholder.

Lewis begins his analysis of this deeply-entrenched relativistic zeitgeist by highlighting an elementary textbook that teaches children that the so-called sublimity of a waterfall does not rest in the waterfall itself but in the perceptions of the one looking at it.  Though this distinction may seem unimportant, Lewis shows how such a subjective view of the power of a waterfall leads in time to a subjective view of all judgments of value.

What happened in the 20th century is that we went from relativizing all matters of beauty and sublimity (not only in nature but in the arts as well) to relativizing all matters of right and wrong.  Thus, whereas modern schools revel in scientific facts and sociological statistics, they ridicule “old fashioned” notions of courage, patriotism, and honor.  And yet, ironically, at the very moment we have thrown out traditional values, and the super-natural standards on which they rest, we cry out desperately for the very duty and self-sacrifice that such values make possible.

“In a sort of ghastly simplicity,” warns Lewis, “we remove the organ and demand the function.  We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise.  We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.  We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

For thousands of years, parents and teachers have ensured the maintenance of civilized life by training their children and students not only to understand and obey the God-given, conscience-approving standards of right and wrong, but to nurture proper feelings vis-à-vis those standards.  Thus, we teach young people to feel an inner sense of pride and self-respect when they perform a virtuous action and an inner sense of shame and disgust when they chose instead the way of vice.

The sign that our society is disintegrating is not to be found in the wildness of teenagers (that has always been with us), but in the fact that when those teens commit immoral actions, they feel neither guilt nor remorse.  Such chest-less young people are the vanguard of a new Dark Age.