Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Abolition of Man

The top of any list of the best non-fiction books should be reserved for The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis. It should be compulsory reading for everyone. No one should be allowed to attend college without having read and understood the concepts presented in this little book. And it is short. You could read it about an hour. Maybe two if you’re used to being spoon-fed your abstract thought.

What? You haven’t read it? Here. Now you have no excuse.

This book shows the genius of Lewis. He was one of the best thinkers of the Twentieth Century. In Abolition, he is quite simply a prophet. He saw the way popular culture was embracing post-modern philosophy and accurately described what would happen to our society as a result. He fictionalized the concepts of this book into That Hideous Strength, which is also worth a read.

C. S. Lewis was a Christian thinker, but this book does not use theological reasoning to defend its position. It is not a “Christian” book. So it is not a case of a religious person complaining about where society is headed, but rather an accurate portrayal of the danger society faces when it abandons the recognition of natural values; when objective truth is no longer acknowledged to exist.

This book is especially relevant today, when people seem to be dominated by slick salesmen who lead our culture around by the nose telling them what to do and what to believe. Whether it is politicians or preachers, newscasters or entertainers; we have become a society of “men without chests.” Secular society is not the only area affected; the Evangelical Ghetto has just as much a “blind leading the blind” problem. Maybe more so.

1 comment:

  1. agreed - great book. agreed - prophetic. Some of chesterton's work is similarly prophetic.

    ReplyDelete

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