Item description for Lewis Agonistes: How C.S. Lewis Can Train Us to Wrestle with the Modern and Postmodern World by Louis Markos...
Overview The written legacy of C.S. Lewis continues to be a rich mine of Christian thought and perspective. And each work continues to be as relevant today as it was at its original publishing. And now, Lewis scholar Louis Markos has done the community of faith a great service by organizing Lewis's thoughts on a wide scope of subjects pertaining to modernity and postmodernity--on science and the natural world, the new age movement, philosophy, evil and suffering, the arts, and heaven and hell. This book will make readers work in the same way that Lewis's writings made them work, forcing them to rethink and examine ideas--to become participants in the agon (or wrestling match) of the twenty-first century.
Publishers Description The written legacy of C.S. Lewis continues to be a rich mine of Christian thought and perspective. And each work continues to be as relevant today as it was at its original publishing. And now, Lewis scholar Louis Markos has done the community of faith a great service by organizing Lewis's thoughts on a wide scope of subjects pertaining to modernity and postmodernity--on science and the natural world, the new age movement, philosophy, evil and suffering, the arts, and heaven and hell. Lewis Agonistes will make readers work in the same way that Lewis's writings made them work, forcing them to rethink and examine ideas--to become participants in the agon (or wrestling match) of the twenty-first century.
Citations And Professional Reviews Lewis Agonistes: How C.S. Lewis Can Train Us to Wrestle with the Modern and Postmodern World by Louis Markos has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christianity Today - 12/01/2003 page 64
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Studio: B&H Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.38" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.51" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Sep 8, 2005
Publisher B&H Publishing Group
ISBN 0805427783 ISBN13 9780805427783
Availability 0 units.
More About Louis Markos
Louis Markos (PhD, University of Michigan) is professor of English and scholar in residence at Houston Baptist University. He is the author of twelve books and has published over 120 book chapters, essays, and reviews in various magazines and journals. He lives in Houston with his wife, Donna, and their two children.
David S. Dockery (PhD, University of Texas) is the president of Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois, following more than eighteen years of presidential leadership at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He is a much sought-after speaker and lecturer, a consulting editor for Christianity Today, and the author or editor of more than thirty books. Dockery and his wife, Lanese, have three sons and six grandchildren.
Reviews - What do customers think about Lewis Agonistes: How C.S. Lewis Can Train Us to Wrestle with the Modern and Postmodern World?
A Clear View Through the Fog of a Post Modern World Jul 25, 2007
All the wonderful reviews of Professor Markos' work leave little left to be said. It is a brilliant and insightful work that has many layers of instructional possibilities. One of Professor Markos' greatest strengths is as an effective communicator. His obvious love for humanity and commitment to educational values that by far exceed the norm, shine through his words, that are bolstered by his enthusiasm and love for CS Lewis. He embodies the twin roles of student and master beautifully by following Newton's advice of "standing on the shoulders of giants" and then by breathing life into his experiences so that others may benefit from his committed contemplations. I am very grateful for the work Professor Markos has done and has shared with us.
Does Not Disappoint Mar 13, 2006
I've read so many books on Lewis, many of them disappointing, that I'm always wary when I begin a new one. I picked up Lewis Agonistes because of the promise in its subtitle--that I would gain insights from Lewis' work on how to relate truth to the postmodern world. Almost every Lewis reader understands that the great British writer's incisive logic and imagination effectively sliced through modern thought, but perhaps few consider how he also addresses the postmodern error. Markos did not disappoint me. His book demonstrates a rich understanding of Lewis' body of work and does an insightful job of showing how it refutes both modern and postmodern thinking. It's a fine addition to anyone's Lewis Library. -- Thomas Williams, author of The Heart of the Chronicles of Narnia and Knowing Aslan.
Lecture series more thorough Sep 12, 2005
I did enjoy this book but I found Dr Markos' lecture series "The life and Writings of C.S. Lewis" to be much richer as it covered so much more ground and it was wonderful to hear the enthusiasm that Markos has for Lewis' body of work. The CD lectures are available here on this site and I highly recommend them.
A Literary 'Wrestling Coach' of Olympic Grade! Dec 28, 2004
I love primary sources. I would much rather read St Paul or Plato, than read about them. But must I apologize for reading and enjoying commmentary on the work of a leading Christian apologist? If dismissed as simply too academic a thing to do, you will miss an edifying and delightful 'read'.
The writings of CS Lewis continue to post major sales, so there is likelihood that many may be interested in this title in spite of its slightly overwrought subtitle. And as for the title itself, Markos explains that it's borrowed from a play written by John Milton, Samson Agonistes, (ie: Samson, the Wrestler). The OED tells us that the agon is 'a gathering or assembly, (f. to lead or bring with one), esp. for the public games; hence 'the contest for the prize at the games,' and by extension, 'any contest or struggle'. He tells us that this volume grew out of an article he wrote for Christianity Today (April 2001). In the book he says he is an evangelical who teaches English literature at Houston Baptist University, but he also states that Christianity is not the only truth. (I can almost hear his fellow pew sitters cobbling together a cross! He does go on to qualify the statement; yet it is evident that he is very broadminded.) I've learned that it is his eighth title, but the first to make it into print. So, clearly our author is tenacious!
Indeed, I find him to be an accomplished grappler, actually carrying forward the conversation advanced by CS Lewis. He attempts to "fashion an aesthetics of incarnation,one that will not only speak to the potential of the arts to bear a heavy weight of meaning but that will champion the arts as a far greater friend than foe to the beleagured apologist living in a postmodern world." This is refreshing in a day when we are weary of narcissism and nihilism in the arts. And I think he makes good on this thesis, which is not the sole goal of the book.
Rarely have I encountered an author who is as well-read and capable of weaving a grand tapestry from the canons of literature and scripture. Those already familiar with CSL's writing may find the first chapter a bit tedious as Markos sets the stage, but it's worth being patient, and this reader was rewarded several times in chapter one.
He adeptly lays a foundation for a new paradigm of the intuition to replace that worn (worn out?) by today's rationalists. This guy doesn't merely wrestle in defence of the faith, he wrestles to win! After capsulizing CSL's many joustings with materialism Markos points us forward with this delightful clip: "If a skeptic has already decided that miracles do not and cannot occur, then even if one should take place right in front of his nose, he would simply dismiss it as a coincidence, a natural anomaly, or, like Scrooge, as the result of 'an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato.'" His commanding ability to integrate what he has read, combined with his passion for reason in pursuit of truth, takes us on a joyride questing to be persuaded of his new paradigm. I'm on board.
Along the way he speaks eloquently about developing a desire to minister to devotees ['neopagans' -- a word he defines kindly] of the new age: "If we are to win back the neopagans, we need to rediscover our awe at the majesty of God and his Creation, an awe that has little to do with the modern warfare over worship styles and everything to do with that breathless sense of the numinous that we first encountered in the nursery when a timeless tale from mythology or folklore or legend ushered us into the world of faerie." And he even ventures to deconstruct heaven and hell: "Americans have the wrong understanding of heaven and hell. We think that life is like college and that if we get an 'A' we go to heaven, and if we get an 'F' we go to hell. Thus, to go to hell is to be a failure, a 'loser,' and no American can stand to be labeled as such. But the fact of the matter is there are two colleges: the College of Heaven and the College of Hell. If we enroll in the former, it means that what we truly desire is God and the things of God. And if that is our desire, Lewis asserts, we shall someday find it: 'No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it.' But if we enroll instead in the latter college, it is because we have chosen our own wills over that of God, because we have agreed to adopt as our motto that most American of phrases, 'looking out for number one.' I have met many pople who say they cannot believe in God because he sends people to hell. Invariably, though, as we speak further, it is soon revealed that this person does not like God and certainly does not wish to spend eternity with him. We can't have it both ways. Our souls are immmortal; they must go somewhere after we die: if not to God, then, by default, they must go to hell. For, as we already said above, hell is the only place in the universe where God is not. And yet, even in hell, God extends some mercy."
I will caution that Markos makes what I deem to be an occasional overstatement. Psalm 139:8 says if I make my bed in hell, God is there. And if I don't like Him, hell may be akin to being sat next to the Teacher's desk. But his concluding epilog had my ears hearing my lips pronounce a resounding 'YES'. Markos may not yet be worthy of wearing Lewis' mantle, but he is a reliable valet capable of carrying it, and the conversation across-the-centuries, onward.
Eric Chaffee, Alden NY
A Thoughtful Summary Jun 26, 2004
I enjoyed the book. The book referenced a large sample of the Lewis corpus. His approach to the Space Trilogy and how we can use Lewis to make bridges to the New Agers was very interesting. I knocked a star off because of his writing style. It was very uneven. At times it seemed forced and at other times it was inspired. The section on the deconstruction of language lost me, but that may be due to my lack of study in that area. His love of the fiction of Lewis came through very strong. I wanted to drop everything and read the Space Trilogy again.