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The Misquotable C.S. Lewis: What He Didn’t Say, What He Actually Said, and Why It Matters
The Misquotable C.S. Lewis: What He Didn’t Say, What He Actually Said, and Why It Matters
The Misquotable C.S. Lewis: What He Didn’t Say, What He Actually Said, and Why It Matters
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The Misquotable C.S. Lewis: What He Didn’t Say, What He Actually Said, and Why It Matters

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C.S. Lewis wrote many great words, but not everything you see with his name on it is from the famed author of the Narnia books. Seventy-five quotations are presented that have an association in one way or another with a host of names, including: Ryan Seacrest, Anthony Hopkins, Max Lucado, Rick Warren, and Tim Allen!
Learn the three most common ways Lewis is misrepresented:

1.Falsely Attributed Quotes: Expressions that are NOT by him.
2.Paraphrased: Words that are ALMOST what he said.
3.Out of Context: Material he wrote, but are NOT QUITE what he believed.

This book doesn't stop there. Also discover what Lewis actually said that is related to the presented misquotes. Those new to Lewis and the more serious reader of his works will grow in their appreciation of a writer that is not only quotable, but obviously misquotable!
ИздательWipf and Stock
Дата выпуска16 мар. 2018 г.
The Misquotable C.S. Lewis: What He Didn’t Say, What He Actually Said, and Why It Matters
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William O'Flaherty

William O’Flaherty holds a master’s degree in counseling and works as a family therapist. He is the author of C. S. Lewis Goes to Hell: A Companion and Study Guide to The Screwtape Letters (2016). In addition to writing for his website EssentialCSLewis.com, William has contributed to Christianity Today, Breakpoint.org, and NarniaFans.com. His podcast, “All About Jack,” mostly features interviews with authors of other books related to C. S. Lewis.

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    The Misquotable C.S. Lewis - William O'Flaherty


    The Misquotable C.S. Lewis

    What He Didn’t Say,

    What He Actually Said,

    and Why It Matters

    William O’Flaherty

    foreword by Jerry Root


    The Misquotable C.S. Lewis

    What He Didn’t Say, What He Actually Said, and Why It Matters

    Copyright © 2018 William O’Flaherty. All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in critical publications or reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher. Write: Permissions, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 199 W. 8th Ave., Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401.

    Wipf & Stock

    An Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers




    th Ave., Suite


    Eugene, OR



    paperback isbn: 978–1-5326–3842–8

    hardcover isbn: 978–1-5326–3843–5

    ebook isbn: 978–1-5326–3844–2

    Manufactured in the U.S.A.

    Table of Contents

    Title Page




    Chapter 1: Not Lewis Quotations

    1.1 Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.

    1.2 You doubt your value, don’t run from who you are.

    1.3 To defeat the darkness out there, you must defeat the darkness in yourself.

    1.4 We read to know/discover that we are not alone.

    1.5 Experience that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.

    1.6 I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time—waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God—it changes me.

    1.7 Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

    1.8 You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.

    1.9 You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.

    1.10 I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most perfect person that I can think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing ever.

    1.11 The next moment is as much beyond our grasp, and as much in God’s care as that a hundred years away. Care for the next minute is just as foolish as care for a day in the next thousand years. And neither can we do anything, and both God is doing everything.

    1.12 Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.

    1.13 It’s not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.

    1.14 Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars—let go to move forward.

    1.15 Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

    1.16 It is a happy moment when our desire crosses with the will of Heavenly Father.

    1.17 Don’t shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you, others can see Him.

    1.18 A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.

    1.19 Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you never know who would love the person you hide.

    1.20 My prayer is that when I die, all of hell rejoices that I am out of the fight.

    1.21 In hell they talk a lot about love. In heaven they just do it.

    1.22 Be sure that the patient remains completely fixated on politics.

    1.23 Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different.

    1.24 God always hears the cry of suffering, God always sees the oppression of the week [sic], & God demands we be a people who do the same.

    1.25 Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.

    1.26 Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.

    1.27 C.S. Lewis said that education is ‘like a tantalizingly perpetual verandah—the initiation of unending beginnings.’

    1.28 God always allows us to feel the frailty of human love so we’ll appreciate the strength of His.

    1.29 Repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.

    1.30 Every man should keep a fair-sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends.

    1.31 A little lie is like a little pregnancy—it doesn’t take long before everyone knows.

    1.32 The grand point is not to wear the garb, nor use the brogue of religion, but to process the life of God within, and feel and think as Jesus would have done because of that inner life. Small is the value of extended religion, unless it is the outcome of a life within.

    1.33 Loving everybody in general may be an excuse for loving nobody in particular.

    1.34 A woman’s heart should be so close to God that a man should have to chase Him to find her.

    1.35 If you love deeply, you’re going to get hurt badly. But it’s still worth it.

    1.36 Life is too deep for words, so don’t try to describe it, just live it.

    1.37 On the back of Satan’s neck is a nail scarred footprint.

    1.38 Thirty was so strange for me. I’ve really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult.

    1.39 Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties.

    1.40 You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.

    1.41 In your life you meet people. Some you never think about again. Some, you wonder what happened to them. There are some that you wonder if they ever think about you. And then there are some that you wish you never have to think about again. But you do.

    1.42 C.S. Lewis remarked that the goal of the Left is to ‘make pornography public and religion private.’

    1.43 Denial is the shock absorber for the soul. It protects us until we are equipped to cope with reality.

    1.44 What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.

    1.45 We are what we believe we are.

    1.46 In worship, God imparts Himself to us.

    1.47 God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.

    Chapter 2: Almost Lewis Quotations

    2.1 (48) The world does not need more Christian literature. What it needs is more Christians writing good literature.

    2.2 (49) I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun. Not because I can see it, but by it I can see everything else.

    2.3 (50) No clever arrangement of bad eggs ever made a good omelet.

    2.4 (51) The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only—and that is to support the ultimate career.

    2.5 (52) A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.

    2.6 (53) There is someone I love, even though I don’t approve of what he does. There is someone I accept, though some of his thoughts and actions revolt me. There is someone I forgive, though he hurts the people I love the most. That person is me.

    2.7 (54) The fact that our heart yearns for something Earth can’t supply is proof that Heaven must be our home.

    2.8 (55) Everything is different because of the Resurrection.

    2.9 (56) You won’t get credit for bowing when standing isn’t an option.

    2.10 (57) Let’s pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere.

    2.11 (58) There are, by best estimates, currently approx­imately eight billion people in the world. Each person is unique; each person has a purpose; each person extraordinary. We always must watch ourselves when we begin to believe someone is ordinary.

    2.12 (59) We meet no ordinary people in our lives.

    2.13 (60) Reason is the natural order of truth, but imagination is the organ of meaning.

    2.14 (61) The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of the earth—the very thing the whole story has been about.

    2.15 (62) I want God. Not my idea of God.

    2.16 (63) What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.

    Chapter 3: Not Quite Lewis

    3.1 (64) Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose.

    3.2 (65) Try to remember that the ‘bottomless sea’ can’t hurt us as long as we keep on swimming.

    3.3 (66) You can’t know. You can only believe—or not.

    3.4 (67) Make your choice, adventurous Stranger.

    3.5 (68) No great wisdom can be reached without sacrifice.

    3.6 (69) It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, who is the true word of God. The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good teachers will bring us to Him.

    3.7 (70) Reality looked at steadily is unbearable.

    3.8 (71) The Grotesque is a ridge from which one can descend into very different valleys.

    Chapter 4: Multiple Category Quotations

    4.1 (72) Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Law Giver.

    4.2 (73) Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

    4.3 (74) There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.

    4.4 (75) Everything that is not eternal is worthless in eternity.



    "In Surprised by Joy Lewis notes how his father, Albert, was fond of telling anecdotes about Sir John Mahaffy, anecdotes which Lewis later (at Oxford) found attached to Benjamin Jowett. This, alas, is the fate of any great figure: to serve as a convenient magnet for stories or quotations that other people want to perpetuate, however inaccurately. William O’Flaherty is to be commended for soberly demagnetizing C. S. Lewis in a well-researched, useful, and timely book."

    —Michael Ward, University of Oxford, co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis

    "William O’Flaherty’s carefully researched book is the perfect antidote for the quickly written student paper based on sources from the internet where anyone can claim anything. The Misquotable C. S. Lewis serves as a reminder that facts really do matter and a commitment to the truth is not simply an option one may choose to have when convenient, but a necessary requirement to all human endeavors."

    —Devin Brown, Professor of English at Asbury University, author of A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis

    "Few authors are as quotable as C. S. Lewis. Nor, as O’Flaherty reveals, as misquotable. The internet and published books are full of quotes that are not quite accurate or are total fabrications, and O’Flaherty has done the solid research needed to discern where these false attributions came from. But this isn’t just a book of scholarly nitpicking. It is an entertaining, deep dive that will give the reader a deeper understanding of the things Lewis really did say. The Misquotable C. S. Lewis is an indispensable addition to my own library of books about one of my favorite authors!"

    —Terry Glaspey, author of the award-winning


Every Christian Should Know, Not a Tame Lion: The Spiritual Legacy 
of C. S. Lewis

    William O’Flaherty amiably and thoroughly investigates the phenomenon of Lewis misquotes. He asks why this has happened—after all, those who use quotes wrongly are not out to mislead. He helps us by searching for the origins of the misquotes that are fast becoming rife, providing guidance on what is genuine or not in the swirling fog of misquoted Lewis.

    —Colin Duriez, author of C. S. Lewis: A biography of Friendship, 
and The A-Z of C. S. Lewis

    "William O’Flaherty has moved to the front of the line of C. S. Lewis scholarship with his meticulously researched The Misquotable C. S. Lewis. Unlike the clever, imaginative theories about the works of Lewis with precious little real evidence, this book represents the painstaking work of tedious scholarship that tracks down the origins of misquotations, distortions, and fabrications to give the reader a treasure trove of stories about the many misrepresentations of what C. S. Lewis actually wrote. This book is a must-have resource for people who love Lewis."

    —Harry Lee Poe, author of The Inklings of Oxford

    "Historians are taught to document every quote. As a professional historian with a number of published books, my goal has been to be as perfect in my documentation as possible, and as a professor of history, I challenge my students to meet that high standard. William O’Flaherty has, in his book on the misquotations of C. S. Lewis, attained that high standard. I also appreciate the commentary he offers for each misquotation,

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