For people that are within my friendship group (or even have known me for a while), then they would know that I am quite a fan of the works of C.S. Lewis and have been now for a number of years. This simply began as why people were quoting the guy that wrote the Chronicles of Narnia, but then as I began venturing more and more into his bibliography and I can see why now people refer to him as one of the most influential Christians of the 20th Century. It has now gotten to the point that whenever mentions his name, people will turn their heads to look at me and see my face just gleam with excitement.
A number of years ago, I was lucky to purchase the Signature Lewis Collection, which includes the classics like Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, Miracles, etc.
Slowly but surely I have been able to get through them as well as read the Chronicles of Narnia (stay tuned for that at some point) and recently I have finished reading The Great Divorce which was first released in 1941. Now this book is similar somewhat to Screwtape or the Narnia series as they are fictional and not like his other books where he speaks on a subject in relation to Christianity. But even though it is in the realm of fantasy, there are still many things that people can take away from it.
The book is about a fictional C.S. Lewis travelling from Hell to Heaven and seeing all the different types of people that would go and there they are confronted by all the people that they met in their past lives and seeing how people should be when they are about God’s Kingdom.
Lewis pushes on at both the start of the book and at the end that this is all allegory and not once is he trying to bring a theological point as to what Heaven and Hell are actually like. But still the imagery and how he describes these places have still been brought into question and how to interpret it all. Within the question of being in a very anti-social environment (Hell) and choosing to stay hundreds upon thousands of miles away from everybody else. That was as interesting concept to see within the book, but as Lewis kept repeating persistently it is merely a concept and nothing more.
That as well as seeing people talk to one another in Heaven and seeing who would actually ‘make it’ or not, it ranges from unforgiving people and even (to my surprise) Vicars who merely want to study and examine Heaven and Christianity and not wanting to know Christ for themselves. Even Lewis is confronted by his one of his own personal heroes within the book and the two go on a walk and they discuss why things are the way they are. Here this is where Lewis does some of his best known pieces of writing and even (bizarely) confronts himself on how he spent his life, reading about Christ but not spending enough time with Him. Which for me, a fan of Lewis’ work got me challenged as well as it is quite easy to merely study Christian works but it is another thing to be in full relationship with Christ.
Overall Lewis tells a very simple story and even though it is not anything that is theologically based, I would still read this and be happy to take away elements from the themes and characters that are presented in this book and then unravel it all and see where that would fit in my own life as someone wanting to live for God and as someone entering into a ministry of sorts. So I’d give it a read and see what you can take away from it as well.
You can more than likely get the book on Amazon and most common book shops, or even on Audible if you’re more of an auditory learner.