Appreciating C.S. Lewis from Different Perspectives

Lewis CollectionOne of the best things about C.S. Lewis is his broad appeal. He wrote numerous volumes on multiple topics, spanning from medieval works to apologetics to children’s literature. In short, his genius is easily appreciated by many different viewpoints.

And so, we’d like to share some of the ways that Lewis has left a lasting impact on a wide range of people:

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The 30-volume C.S. Lewis Collection has been on the wish list of many users for quite a while, and we are proud to finally offer this collection in our format. During the introductory Pre-Pub period, this collection is on sale for only $279.97—30% off the regular price!

Don’t wait—lock in the best price on the C.S. Lewis Collection today!

Justification Reconsidered: An Interview with Stephen Westerholm

Blog HeaderThroughout February, get Justification Reconsidered: Rethinking a Pauline Theme for free!

We recently spoke with the author, Dr. Stephen Westerholm, about his book.

Can you give a brief overview of your projects in regards to justification in Paul?

Dr. Stephen Westerholm, McMaster University

In the early days of the discussion around Sanders’ Paul and Palestinian Judaism, I wrote Israel’s Law and the Church’s Faith: Paul and His Recent Interpreters. There I summarized and interacted with the work of a number of scholars who had anticipated significant points in Sanders’ book as well as his own contribution.

My Perspectives Old and New on Paul: The “Lutheran” Paul and His Critics was initially intended as a revised version of the earlier book, though it ended up being more than double its length. Extended treatment was given to Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and Wesley, as well as to a number of scholars who had contributed to the debate after the writing of Israel’s Law; and my own position—that, in its essence, the traditional understanding of “justification” is true to Paul, though post-Sanders Pauline scholarship has rightly drawn attention to the situation in which Paul first formulated the “doctrine” and to its social implications—is developed at much greater length.

In Justification Reconsidered: Rethinking a Pauline Theme, I attempted to state the case in a more accessible way—and with some updating. Those have been my main projects, though I have written a number of articles as well on various aspects of the debate.

One of your goals for writing was to make your work more accessible. However, for those less familiar with the New Perspective on Paul, why is this topic so important? How does the NPP directly affect the church member?

The social implications of what Paul wrote about justification have been duly emphasized by scholars of the New Perspective; but, to my mind, they tend to misconstrue (in various ways) what Paul means by “justification” itself. Since the topic is central in several of Paul’s letters, its correct understanding is important for a grasp of Paul’s gospel. Since, historically, different views of what Paul wrote about justification have divided churches, we cannot understand current divisions in Christendom without grappling with the issue.

On an individual level, the “peace with God” that Paul speaks of as a consequence of being “justified” (Romans 5:1) is, for many, a crucial part of their Christian experience as well as of their Christian faith. The question whether traditional understandings of justification are based on modern Western distortions of Paul’s message is thus hardly of trivial—or merely academic—significance.

Additionally, you write, “Those who do what they ought to do are righteous” in the “ordinary” and Pauline “sense of the word.” Do you have difficulty explaining the concept of what we “ought to do” to a postmodern society?

I attempted, very briefly, to evoke a sense for the notion in the final chapter of Justification Reconsidered. I attempted to do the same thing at greater length in chapter 3 of Understanding Paul: The Early Christian Worldview of the Letter to the Romans. The rhetoric of our day may prefer to speak of personal values rather than moral obligations. Not far beneath the surface, however, a sense for the latter remains very much in place: witness the editorial pages of our newspapers, which give daily expression to moral indignation. With the opening section of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, I believe that “right and wrong” continue to serve “as a clue to the meaning of the universe.”

In your conclusion, you mention “social implications.” Can you elaborate on what some of these might be?

In telling the Galatian (non-Jewish) believers that they ought not to be circumcised, Paul insisted that circumcision was part of a divine economy where obedience to the demands of God’s law served as the path to life in God’s favor, but where all who fail to yield such obedience are condemned. Placing all human beings in the latter category, Paul claims that the same path to life in God’s favor—through faith in Jesus Christ—has now been made available to all.

Hence, “Christian scholars today should feel free to find, in what Paul says about justification, a reason for denying that race, class, or gender can provide a basis for claiming, or for denying others a claim to, a right standing before God: Paul’s point, after all, is that human beings of all stripes are culpable before God, and God declares righteous any who believe” (Justification Reconsidered, 73–74).

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Justification Reconsidered is available for free, this month only! You can also get an alternative view with The Deliverance of God by Douglas Campbell for only 99 cents.

Get both books today!

And don’t forget to share this offer with your friends on Facebook and Twitter so they can take advantage of it, too!

February’s Sale: 10 Books under $10

february-deals-monthly-saleFind deals you’ll love this February. You don’t need a coupon code—just add these resources to your cart before the month is over to get these great discounts.

Browse all of this month’s discounts today!

Make 2015 a year for reading: apologetics, commentaries, devotionals, and historical theology! Supercharge your library with fresh content with these 10 titles on sale for under $10 each:

  1. The Dawkins Delusion? (33% off)
    Alister McGrath, along with his wife, Joanna, scrutinize Richard Dawkins’ ideas and question his criticism of the Christian faith.
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    The central issue of Jesus’ death is not the cause, but the meaning—God’s meaning. With this book by John Piper, explore 50 purposes behind his death.
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  5. Into the Light of Christianity (17% off)
    Trace the journey of William Schnell as he enters a new relationship with God: that of a born-again Christian.
  6. The Attributes of God, volume 2 (23% off)
    In this devotional work, originally preached as sermons, A.W. Tozer focuses on God’s attributes, including transcendence, wisdom, and faithfulness.
  7. Romans (29% off)
    The power and integrity of Christianity shines through in this treatment of Romans. Thirty-nine lessons help you become thoroughly familiar with this important book of the Bible.
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    In this book, John Piper pleads with fellow pastors to abandon the secularization of the pastorate and pursue God’s call for radical ministry.
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    The holiness of God has been obscured in our time. But in this corrective resource, it is defined, explored, and praised.

Get all 10 of these titles today, and don’t forget to check out the rest of February’s deals!

Get 61 Scholarly Volumes at an Incredible Price

international-critical-commentary-seriesThis month only, you can save over $500.00 on the International Critical Commentary Series. This series provides fantastic scholarship and has been recently reconfigured with two new volumes.

Through February, add this series to your Logos library at an incredible price. 

Isaiah 56–66

Published in 2014, this volume continues in the same vein as previous Isaiah commentaries in the series. Written by John Goldingay, a noted specialist in Isaiah studies, this volume retails for over $100.00 in print.

As John Oswalt notes in his July 2014 Themelios review:

The commentary itself is very densely written. . . . Each section is very complete: the textual notes are detailed both in the discussion of the issue and in the number of sources referred to concerning the issue, and the introductions consider matters of literary structure, word usage, and etymology in great detail.

In Logos 6, you can reference individual sections, just as Oswalt recommends. The guides section allows you to jump to a specific chapter and verse, helping you get the most out of such a detailed work.

James

Similarly, this recent addition, published in 2013, brings the essential elements of a scholarly commentary together in one place. Priced at $130.00 in print, this 848-page work offers serious scholars a wealth of information. With linguistic, textual, archaeological, historical, literary, and theological aids, this single volume brings new methods of study for a fresh look at this epistle.

Upgrade your series and save!

In print, these two volumes retail for a combined $230.00. But when you upgrade from the 59-volume collection, you can get both for just $59.31!

Or, if you’re starting from scratch, you can get the entire 61-volume series for less than $87 a month for 18 months with an interest-free payment plan.

Get the International Critical Commentary Series today and save!

3 Reasons You’ll Love or Hate The Screwtape Letters

Email_HeaderThe Screwtape Letters is a series of fictional letters written by C.S. Lewis. In this collection, an elder demon, Uncle Screwtape, is advising his young nephew, Wormwood, on the best way to ensnare and beguile the human he has been assigned.

Here are three reasons you’ll either love or hate The Screwtape Letters:

1. The letters apply to you

According to Uncle Screwtape, the true job of a demon is to undermine faith and prevent the formation of virtues. Reading The Screwtape Letters will polarize your feelings. It forces a type of introspection that is seldom achieved in our fast-paced society. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I consistently building virtue?
  • What virtues have I let slip?
  • What has taken their place?

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When you come face to face with this powerful appeal, you must draw back for self-examination. You’ll either hate this as it forces you to acknowledge your own failures, or love it as it spurs you on to strive for courage again.

2. They’re different each time you read them

Each time you read these fictional letters to Wormword, you’ll discover new insights. Upon rereading this last time, I was impressed anew with the historical context in which Lewis wrote (having published this work in 1942):

Now that it is certain the German humans will bombard your patient’s town and that his duties will keep him in the thick of the danger, we must consider our policy. Are we to aim at cowardice–or at courage, with consequent pride–or at hatred of the Germans?

Lewis recognizes the danger war poses to the individual’s soul. And he discusses it in a time of fierce rhetoric and virulent opinions, possibly the most turbulent time in the United Kingdom’s history. Given the current world situation, this admonition is as appropriate today as it was over 70 years ago.

This is only one example of the numerous insights presented in this work. If you prefer a book that is old, worn, and familiar each time you return to it, this is not the book for you. But if you enjoy the discovery that comes with a fresh reading, you will enjoy it for years to come.

3. They’ll help you see the world differently

How many times as we go about our day do we completely ignore the power of the enemy to mildly influence our decisions? Lewis questions our presuppositions when he writes:

There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.

If, as Scripture states, we are in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:12), then the battle rages around us every day. The great reformer Martin Luther understood this when he penned the beloved hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”:

And though this world with devils filled, should threaten to undo us.

We will not fear what God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.

If you prefer to go about your daily life blissfully unaware, don’t read this book. But if you seek to have your eyes opened, then this satirical piece is the perfect starting point.

Pre-order and save!

Discover insights in this book and 29 others when you pre-order the entire C.S. Lewis Collection. Lewis’ works engender deep and powerful responses; there is seldom middle ground.

The C.S. Lewis Collection contains 30 of Lewis’ most-loved works. And best of all, the Logos edition is fully tagged and searchable, providing you with the ability to gain insights from Lewis’ works like never before.

Pre-order today to save 30%!

Get February’s Free Book & Save 98% on the Plus One!

justification-reconsidered-rethinking-a-pauline-themeFebruary’s free book is here! And all month long, you can save over 98% when you get the Plus One, The Deliverance of God.

After decades of discussion, these two incredible books show that there is still room for mutual understanding between these differing perspectives.

Get both titles today!

Throughout February, get Justification Reconsidered: Rethinking a Pauline Theme for free! This short study by Stephen Westerholm surveys the Pauline-studies landscape. Over the years, a lot has been written about what the Apostle Paul meant when he spoke of justification by faith, not the works of the law.

Justification Reconsidered seeks to provide a readable treatment of the topic, and it was named one of Desiring God’s Top 14 Books of 2014. This resource will explore strengths and weaknesses on both sides of the discussion.

the-deliverance-of-god-an-apocalyptic-rereading-of-justification-in-paulSave 98% on this month’s Plus One!

This month’s Plus One is Douglas Campbell’s The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul.

Pushing beyond both Lutheran and “new” perspectives on Paul, Campbell uncovers issues relating to the Apostle’s most famous—and troublesome—texts. The new perspective on Paul is still important today.

Regularly $55.00, you can get this respected work for only 99 cents!

Enter to win the Two Horizons Commentary

Don’t miss your chance to win the 10-volume Two Horizons Commentary. Published by Eerdmans, this series will allow you to engage both concentrated biblical exegesis and meaningful theological reflection without slighting the significance of philological, historical, and social-scientific questions. Scholars focus their primary interests on theological readings of texts, past and present.

Learn from experts like Joel B. Green, Peter Enns, and J. Gordon McConville as they examine 14 books of the Bible—five from the Old Testament and nine from the New Testament. Visit the Free Book of the Month page to enter!

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Get both books today for only 99 cents!

And don’t forget to share this offer with your friends on Facebook and Twitter so they can take advantage of it, too!

Why I Love A Grief Observed

Email_HeaderLast night, I opened up C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed for the first time in several years. As I began to read, I remembered the first time I read Lewis’ work. It was a powerful and stirring point in my life. It helped me to read Scripture in a new light. Instead of the flat, two-dimensional perspective I had held for so long, the Bible now held an added element: emotion.

Love, hate, grief, joy, and sorrow all flowed out of the text. With Lewis’ writing, a new dimension was added to my understanding. A few months later, I had the privilege of preaching through John 11. The depth of Jesus’ emotions swept over me as I read John 11:35: “Jesus wept.” To imagine the divine Son of God weeping struck me afresh as I thought of my own personal losses.

As Lewis’ stepson Douglas Gresham remarks in his introduction:

I had yet to learn that all human relationships end in pain—it is the price that our imperfection has allowed Satan to exact from us for the privilege of love.

The powerful grief of Lewis’ journals captures many of our hearts. Whether we have lost a spouse or not is irrelevant. Through our lives, each of us has lost friends, siblings, parents, or children. This is why A Grief Observed is, in my opinion, one of the finest works in Lewis’ repertoire.

The cathartic power of self-expression

Lewis illustrates the personal nature of loss as he writes:

For the first time I have looked back and read these notes. They appall me. From the way I’ve been talking anyone would think that H.’s death mattered chiefly for its effect on myself. Her point of view seems to have dropped out of sight. Have I forgotten the moment of bitterness when she cried out, ‘And there was so much to live for’?

And still, even as this personal pain impresses itself upon each and every one of our lives, there is incredible value in self-expression and reflection. Those of us who have suffered the death of a loved one are sometime so afraid to express our sense of loss to a friend. But here, even as Lewis ridicules his own selfishness, it is its very expression that has allowed him to acknowledge it—and to move beyond it.

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The process of moving forward

And so, Lewis limits the contents to four manuscript books:

I resolve to let this limit my jottings. I will not start buying books for the purpose. In so far as this record was a defence against total collapse, a safety-valve, it has done some good. The other end I had in view turns out to have been based on a misunderstanding. I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.

Lewis asks the hard questions—questions that any one of us might, in a similar fit of despair, find ourselves asking. And yet, there is comfort within this short book: the comfort that we are not alone. That this path, no matter how rocky, and filled with obstacles, has been traveled before us by another.

Discover Lewis for yourself

A Grief Observed is part of the 30-volume C.S. Lewis Collection. The Logos editions of C.S. Lewis’ works allow you to not only read the depth of his writing, but to discover new elements as well. With Logos, you can search his writings to compare his powerful thought and emotion, as well as to discover the same thread running through his other works and letters. You’ll get digital, searchable volumes of Lewis’ best works that allow you to study his insights like never before.

For a limited time, get the C.S. Lewis Collection for 30% off. Pre-order now to lock in this special price!

Exploring C.S. Lewis’ Wisdom in Mere Christianity

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In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis records a series of radio broadcasts. These broadcasts, now transcribed into a single volume, contain some of the most powerful apologetic elements of the Christian faith. Get this work, and 29 others, when you pre-order the C.S. Lewis Collection.

The four divisions

Mere Christianity is broken into four sections:

  • Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe
  • What Christians Believe
  • Christian Behaviour
  • Beyond Personality: Or First Steps in the Doctrine of the Trinity

What Christians believe

In the segment “What Christians Believe,” Lewis introduces one of the best-known apologetic arguments—that Jesus cannot simply be a good moral teacher:

One part of the claim tends to slip past us unnoticed because we have heard it so often that we no longer see what it amounts to. I mean the claim to forgive sins: any sins. Now unless the speaker is God, this is really so preposterous as to be comic.

A moral man would not make such a claim unless it was true, and no simple human can truly forgive the sins of the world. Now, there remain two options:

This man we are talking about either was (and is) just what He said or else a lunatic, or something worse. Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God. God has landed on this enemy-occupied world in human form.

Few things exhibit Lewis’ sharp intellect better than his logical paradigms. His clear, rational thinking has led to the conversion and assurance of many, yet he maintained a deep humility throughout his life.

Read Lewis like never before

In Logos, you can search Lewis’ writings to compare not only the progression of his thoughts through a single book, but through time and the surrounding context. With the 30-volume C.S. Lewis Collection, you’ll get digital, searchable volumes of Lewis’ best works that allow you to study his insights like never before.

For a limited time, get the C.S. Lewis Collection for 30% off. Pre-order now to lock in this special price!

10 Resources under $10 Each

Time’s running out to save big on January’s deals! You don’t need a coupon code—just add these resources to your cart before the month is over to get these great prices.

Browse all of this month’s discounts today!

Make 2015 a year for reading: apologetics, commentaries, devotionals, or even a new Bible version! Supercharge your library with fresh content with these 10 titles on sale for under $10 each:

  1. jesus-the-final-daysJesus: The Final Days (36% off)

    Together, Craig A. Evans and N.T. Wright concisely and compellingly convey the drama and world-shattering significance of Jesus’ final days on earth.

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    In this easy-to-read book, Peter Jeffery shows us just how tantalizingly enjoyable Bible teaching can be.

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    If you are thirsting for more of God, Tozer’s timeless classic will draw you into a deep, abiding relationship with the one who “nourishes the soul.”

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These titles will help you get a head start on your 2015 reading goals. The Logos versions go where you go—on mobile, on your desktop, and now on your Kindle with Logos 6.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of January’s monthly deals.

Add January’s Free Book to Your Library!

Email Header 600x175This month’s free book is here! Through January, you can download The Cambridge Bible for School and Colleges: Genesis for free.

Born in London in 1856, Herbert Edward Ryle was a prolific writer and theologian, focusing heavily on the Old Testament and Genesis. In 1910, he was appointed as the Dean of Westminster.

In this volume, he provides a bridge between the text and the reader with transliterated Hebrew. His commentary on Genesis still speaks to modern questions, including the use of mythology in Scripture. This can be seen as he writes on Genesis 1:2:

Nothing could more effectually distinguish the Hebrew Narrative of the Creation from the representations of primitive mythology than the use of this simple and lofty expression for the mysterious, unseen, and irresistible presence and operation of the Divine Being. It is the ‘breath’ of God which alone imparts light to darkness and the principle of life to inert matter.

Though this is just one excerpt from his extensive work, Ryle provides this same depth of study throughout his entire commentary.

Get a second book for just $0.99!

the-cambridge-bible-for-schools-and-colleges-an-introduction-to-the-pentateuchAll month long, you can also get An Introduction to the Pentateuch for only 99 cents

A.T. Chapman, another well-respected Cambridge scholar, authors this all-encompassing volume. If you have ever wondered about the Pentateuch’s origins, its composition, or its impact for today’s readers, then this book is for you. Chapman addresses these and other important elements of the first books of the Old Testament in a well-respected resource that has stood the test of time.

Get both books for only 99 cents!