Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "More than a warlord," July 21, 2001

Insult to injury

After reading the article on C.S. Lewis, I feel ill ("Off with his Head," June 16). Apparently rearranging the original order of the Narnia chronicles was not enough injury to heap upon us (ignorant unwashed that we are), but now we must be subjected to the insult of an attempt to "fill in the gaps" of an already great series. There are no annoying gaps, merely a little room left for the imagination, which HarperCollins apparently assumes we do not possess. I cringe to imagine what the suggested authors will stuff into these "gaps." Simon Adley says they will use "writers who will not mimic Lewis." They will not because there are none of Mr. Lewis's caliber available. I also sympathize with Carol Hatcher, and am not surprised that her documentary has been shelved. History is being rewritten every day, so why should it be a shock that the enemy would attack a work about a man who was blessed with an ear for God's wisdom and an eye for a glimpse of God's promise? - Pamela Cummings, Ponca City, Okla.

Over the top

I thought "The abolition of C.S. Lewis?" was a bit over the top. HarperCollins and Zondervan have every right to support, or not to support, any project they wish to. As for the potential new Narnia books, should we judge a book by a cover we haven't even seen yet? Given C.S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.'s track record for only approving high-quality World of Narnia products in the past, might we not hope for the best in the future? Perhaps it would be better simply to pray for Mr. Gresham and others who are in control of the Lewis literary legacy and not write any more stories that only create tempests in teapots. - Will Vaus, Murrysville, Pa.

On their own

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C.S. Lewis and his works can and will stand on their own merit regardless of what the marketers may do. Lewis never intended for his Narnia books to be received as "Christian" literature but rather to plant a seed in the minds of readers that there is truth in myth. - Karen Robertson Kennedy, Wichita, Kan.

N.I.C.E. meets Narnia

Reading your article on the de-Christianizing of C.S. Lewis, I must say that I was dismayed but not surprised. His books are wonderful not only for their Christian merit but also for their stories. No wonder the secular world wants them. Reading of the trail of memos and the hunt for who was actually making the decisions regarding the sanitizing of Lewis's life was rather like reading the third book of his space trilogy, That Hideous Strength. It sounds as if the villainous N.I.C.E. (National Institute of Coordinated Experiments) has gotten hold of Narnia. - Barbaranne Kelly, Coral Springs, Fla.


I think that it would be wrong to try to write more Narnia books, and it would fail. - Thomas Graydon, 12, Milton, N.C.

Leavened by Lewis

Your story on C.S. Lewis stirred many wonderful memories. In 1943 my best friend and I were new Christians and we read together everything that Lewis wrote, sometimes reading by flashlight under the covers after "lights out." His writing and other godly teaching shaped our whole adolescent and young adult lives. - Helen D. Wells, Greenville, S.C.

New beginning

I received my first copy of WORLD today. It was a perfect beginning with the cover story on C.S. Lewis, whom I have read since I was 17. - Michael Suozzi, La Mesa, Calif.


Andree Seu's "Diamonds in the sky" in the June 16 issue was masterful. I, too, am a boomer and failed ballplayer, and her evocative reminiscences of standing in right field, admiring the stars, brought back summertime memories that had slipped away. As I write this, I'm sitting at the bedside of a loved one who is desperately ill. Mrs. Seu's column gave me a just-right "happy-ache" that momentarily replaced some heartache. - Dale Davidson, Las Vegas, Nev.

Exhibit B

Thank you for "Anglican civil war" (June 16). If Accokeek is "Exhibit A," then my church, the former St. John's Episcopal Church of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., is surely Exhibit B. On March 25 our bishop, Charles D. Bennison of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, ordered us to receive him in an official visitation, something we have refused to do because we believe he holds unbiblical doctrinal positions. On May 20 we disaffiliated from the Diocese of Pennsylvania and the Episcopal Church USA, and soon after we offered to purchase the property. But because we have affiliated with the Anglican Mission in America, under the Episcopal Church of Rwanda, Bishop Bennison refused our offer and gave us until June 9 to vacate the premises. We were not permitted to take any church property, including the camping supplies or VBS materials that our youth group uses for their annual missions trip to North Dakota, or the 1928 Prayer Books (that the Bishop will probably replace with the revisionist 1979 version). We are now "Rwandan refugees," having escaped the ECUSA without a single bell, book, or candle. - Susan Wendling, Wyndmoor, Pa.


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