Why We Need Good Books and Movies

I’m currently re-reading C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity (for at least the third time) with a group of guys from my church. The other day I came across something which sticks out to me every time I read it. Lewis writes of people’s inability to come to terms with the Christian conception of sexuality and marriage:

“Make quite sure that you are judging [this view] by what you really know from your own experience and from watching the lives of your friends, and not by ideas you have derived from novels and films. This is not so easy to do as people think. Our experience is coloured through and through by books and plays and the cinema, and it takes patience and skill to disentangle the things we have really learned from life for ourselves.” (emphasis mine)

In the margin, I wrote “Our vicarious lives inform and affect our real lives. This is why we need good books and movies!” I believe this even more strongly today. Our God chose to reveal himself to us in a book, and I believe that good books, movies, and music are able to reveal Truth to us in a way that nothing else can. The elements that make a story great remind us of the greatest story ever told.

Speaking of Lewis and Mere Christianity, I also came across another quote that I love:

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

This reminded me of a great song written a few years ago by a fellow Lewis-lover named Brooke Fraser. The song consists of quotes from the writings of the great British author, and is, fittingly enough, titled “C.S. Lewis Song”. Enjoy!

Lyrics:

If i find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here
If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary,
then of course I’ll feel nude when to where I’m destined I’m compared

[CHORUS]
Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for hope to come for me

Am i lost or just found? On the straight or on the roundabout of the wrong way?
Is this a soul that stirs in me, is it breaking free, wanting to come alive?
‘Cause my comfort would prefer for me to be numb
And avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become

[CHORUS]

[BRIDGE]
For we, we are not long here
Our time is but a breath, so we better breathe it
And I, I was made to live, I was made to love, I was made to know you
Hope is coming for me
Hope, He’s coming

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