Thanksgiving And C.S. Lewis

Praise the Lord, all you nations! Extol him, all you peoples! (Psalm 117:1)

C.S. Lewis was the most popular writer in Christianity during the last century. He is probably still in the top 10 today.

His book, Mere Christianity, started what I call the “modern revolution” in apologetics (defending the faith). When he wrote the book, nothing like it had been written before.

The chapters of the book, adapted from radio talks, defended Christianity in an easy-to-understand manner for believers, while devastating agnostics. Christianity had been taking a beating for decades by scholars, and then one of their own, having taught at both Oxford and Cambridge, wrote a book that probably outsold all the skeptics combined.

A lot about C.S. (or Clive Staples) in my blog today.

I have read all of his books. In one of his most obscure books, there is a quote, that early in my Christian walk formed my thoughts about praise and thanksgiving. Besides apologetics, Lewis wrote a book on the Psalms.

The quote from Reflections on the Psalms: “I don’t want my dog to bark approval of my books.”


The context in the book for this quote:

When I first began to draw near to belief in God and even for some time after it had been given to me, I found a stumbling block in the demand so clamorously made by all religious people that we should ‘praise’ God; still more in the suggestion that God Himself demanded it.

C.S. Lewis asks why the God of the Universe would come to the “lowest of rational creatures” and demand praise?

His answer:

But the most obvious fact about praise – whether of God or anything – strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise.

It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.

My foundation for praise and thanksgiving for decades:  God wants us to praise Him and be thankful because it makes us complete. We are made to worship God and enjoy Him forever.

How can we fulfill our purpose in life without praise and thanksgiving?

As C.S. Lewis concludes:

It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is.

I am thankful to both God and C.S. Lewis – both authors you need to know.

And you will want to tell your friends about Intercessions at (bold self-promotion!).

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