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Much has been written about the influence of C. S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, Till We Have Faces, Mere Christianity, and numerous other books. Author Gary Selby approaches Lewis’s life and works from a unique and refreshing perspective in this book. He shows that Lewis appreciated all things made by God, “the glad Creator,” and how this pointed to “the possibility that savoring the sensations of taste and touch, sight and smell and hearing, these experiences that are often the richest of our earthly lives, represented a doorway into the presence of God and the first step in the spiritual journey.”

Selby shares Lewis’s faith journey on which he experienced glimpses of what he called “Joy.” At the same time, Lewis experienced religion and church culture characterized by “negative spirituality,” which valued spiritual realities over the physical. Selby then explores Lewis’s alternative to this view, highlighting two essential qualities for becoming spiritual as God intends us to be—first, the necessity of becoming increasingly aware of ourselves, others, the world in which we live, and, most important, God himself; and, second, growing in our awareness of our ability to choose, and to do so more and more willingly according to God’s desires. Selby points out that Lewis “believed that God’s presence and grace lay behind all of this.”

Particularly inspiring are Selby’s chapters on Lewis’s understanding of how an earthy spirituality relates to the life of virtue (the development of character); to how Christians should interact with believers who are different from themselves; and to the life of hope we have in heaven with Christ after we die. Pursuing an Earthy Spirituality offers readers a passionate, stimulating, and encouraging window into Christian hope and its implications for living in God’s presence today and for all eternity. (IVP)

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