BOOK: Out of the Silent Planet (C.S Lewis)

I am not sure if this is the proper place for this thread, but I’ll give it a shot.

Has anyone else read and enjoyed this book? I feel it brings up some very powerful questions.

Are the angels more scientifically logical then previously believed?

Is our universe actually a part of heaven?

Why was C.S Lewis not Catholic?!?!?!

If anyone else read the book, or any other works by Lewis, I invite you to share your thoughts.

I’ve read the entire trilogy (OotSP followed by Perelandra followed by That Hideous Strength). I enjoyed the series although there were some disturbing elements, especially in the final volume. I haven’t gone back to re-read it just because I haven’t felt up to dealing with those portions again.

It’s too late in the evening for me to post much tonight, but I’ll try to come back this weekend and chat more about it. :slight_smile: I love Lewis’ work in general, and I owe him a great debt for bringing me a good way along the road to Christianity. :thumbsup:

You should join the Inklings group at CAF. We haven’t been very busy in a while :blush: but this would be a *great *question to wake us up.

I have read the trilogy, and like Morwenna said That Hideous Strength is *quite *a story and creepy creepy creepy. You can see some of his thoughts about animals developing in there, precursors to Narnian animals. It’s quite a unique trilogy.

The angels in the trilogy–I don’t know what you mean by “scientifically logical.” He uses the old ideas that every planet is guided/guarded by an angel. And yes, I think Catholic theology supports a belief in Heaven being part of our universe. It has been said that our Earth is purgatory. Not holy enough for Heaven or damned enough for Hell, that sort of thing. Obviously our experience in outer space has discredited much of what Lewis suggested (and Venus and Mars are nothing at all like what he described) but it is a fantasy piece, and he wrote in the 40’s so he can be forgiven.

I haven’t read the trilogy in over two years (actually that was the first time I’d read it). I’d have to review the text again. I’d love to hear what you mean about what I asked earlier.

I have read that he grew up in Northern Ireland and retained some of the prejudices. Several of his students became ardent converts to Catholicism.,

I would be interested in joining that group, but I don’t know how :confused:. By scientifically logical I mean by the way they are in multiple places at once because the are so fast and they can distort light, etc etc. I haven’t yet read the other two, I’ll probably get those from the library today.

I haven’t read the Chronicles of Narnia either. I’ll be honest, after the movie I really was not interested. But if you think they are worth reading I’ll look into it.

Never in any of my reading of Lewis have I ever come across anything that could be considered to be bigoted…quite the opposite. Yes, he was born in Northern Ireland but it is unworthy to consider that an appellation for suspected bigotry.

For those interested I would recommend his talk entitled “Is Christianity Hard or Easy” which is contained in his book Mere Christianity. In the last part of the essay he speculates about the purpose of the universe, of intelligent creatures on other worlds, of how the higher animals are in a sense drawn into man and of how men can be drawn into Christ.

He finishes the essay with the following: “And there are strange, exciting hints in the bible that when we are drawn in, a great many other things in Nature will begin to become right. The bad dream will be over: it will be morning.”

There has always been great speculation as to why he did not become a Catholic. My thoughts are that he was drawn into Christ in such a way that at the end of his life he had such a peace of mind and sense of serenity that neither he nor Christ saw the necessity. He was truly Christian and I would expect now enjoys eternal life.

I think I see your point. He probably accepted all the truths that we as Catholics accept. I do wonder, however, how he can have such passion for the Lord without ever receiving the Eucharist. It really says something about his character and his intellect. Imagine all the more good he could have done if he was Catholic!

When I first became Christian it wasn’t long before I heard of CS Lewis. He became almost my only reading for a while. As far as I’m aware he was Anglican. I also found he was fairly impartial re. Christian denominations. Indeed in his Screwtape Letters he pokes fun at both parties - the types who on one side despised those who said “Mass” on one hand, and “Communion” on the other.

I’ve had a certain number of spiritual experiences myself, and I suspect CS Lewis of having similar experiences. In one of his trilogy for example he has a character going through a sort of spiritual blockade on a walk to Ransom’s house. In another he uses a character to get across the idea people might accept more easily as fiction what they will not accept as literal fact. In one book a “dead” physicist, his body inhabited by Satan, suddenly sat down and howled like a dog. I don’t think that’s unheard of in demonic deliverances.

At one stage he describes angels, in their real appearance, as being like wheels within wheels, a spinning conglomeration of almost mathematical symbols I’ve had the experience some nights of becoming a aware of a presence, and at the same time I seem to get an image of spinning mathematical symbols. I’m not a mathematician, and have never been immersed in the sort of environment to encourage that sort of imagery.

So I think at times he had certain spiritual experiences of his own he could draw upon. He was apparently prone to nightmares, and I’ve had the experience of a dream suddenly veering into a nightmare. When I wake up there’s a sense of something sinister in the room. And I don’t think I’m the only one.

So apart from being a brilliant logician, probably the best 20th century apologist the Christian faith had, I also suspect he had his fair share of spiritual experiences, which he best expressed as fiction. Catholics often quote Chesterton, but I still think Lewis was the more brilliant apologist.

I presume that he accepted the Anglican Eucharist as valid.

Re the good he did: IHe died the same day as John Kennedy. Some suggested that we note which one brought more souls to the Church. Sheldon Vanauken [A Severe Mercy] is but one of several who were led to Catholicism by him.

I would think CS Lewis would have contributed far more to the Church than John Kennedy. Kennedy’s legacy was political - Lewis’ legacy was spiritual.

Lewis also wrote books on medieval literature for example, but who remembers them? It was his spiritual contribution he is remembered for.

Wow I didn’t know that. You think there is a message to that?

Assassinated politicans get more publicity?

lol no i meant the fact that they both died on the same day, I wonder if God intended that to be some kind of message. I don’t really believe in coincidences so that’s why I ask.

I was joking myself. I can’t see any particular significance. Lewis died of an illness; Kennedy was murdered.

Clearly the worldly John Kennedy got much greater publicity and this will always be the case. For all we know some big wig got assassinated or died at the same time as Christ died, and in Rome that would have gotten far more publicity at the time than Christ’s death.

But since the death of both of them, Lewis has had far more lasting significance. Oh, Kennedy’s death is good for films, conspiracy theories (he’s been seen sitting in a wheelchair next to Elvis, who has a walknig stick) and speculation about who ultimately gave the orders for the hit (I personally think it was Kruschev, whom Kennedy had forced to back down over Cuba. In my old pastor’s words, Kruschev wasn’t the sort of bloke who’d take that lying down, and Oswald had been in Russia. But now they’re all dead anyway.)

But Kennedy’s spiritual significance is basically nil. Yet influential Christian after Christian (eg. Charles Colson) has written about the influence that Lewis had on their thinking.

Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World died that day as well.

Read these book years & years ago & really enjoyed them.Rarely hear much about them anymore.They’d make great films.:thumbsup:

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Peter Kreeft wrote an interesting book Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis & Aldous Huxley postulating a discussion between these three, as spokesmen for three different philosophies - Humanist, Theist and Pantheist respectively, as they await judgment.

I can’t find my copy at the moment, and it is a long time since I read it. I can’t give much detail. I found it interesting but thought Kreeft had a problem in impartially presenting the different philosophies, since he clearly agrees with Lewis. I think it may be impossible to see a philosophy that one does not agree with from the point of view of one who does espouse it.

Or maybe the failing was in the reader rather than the writer. I probably need to see a review by a Pantheist and a Humanist to get it in perspective.

raises hand I remember them. I love them. I read them fairly often. The Discarded Image is sheer brilliance.

Back to the topic, I have read and greatly enjoyed Out of the Silent Planet. Regarding the “incorrect science”, well, Lewis knew that much of it was inaccurate even at the time. Scientific accuracy was not his intention. He was writing science-fiction.

I have always loved this book, the whole trilogy really. Unlike several posters, though, I think That Hideous Strength might be my favorite.

To the poster who was wondering about whether the Chronicles of Narnia are worth reading, yes, they absolutely are. They are incredible.

As for why Lewis never became Catholic, I could not say. He was dear friends with J.R.R. Tolkien for many years; Tolkien was instrumental in Lewis’ conversion. Later, however, their friendship cooled. I haven’t read the details of why. I almost prefer not to know. :blush: But, for anyone who does know, is the rumor I heard that it was over disagreements about the Eucharist true?

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