A weekly podcast from Premier Unbelievable? with Professor Alister McGrath exploring C.S. Lewis’ thought, theology and teaching.
C.S. Lewis is one of the most influential voices in modern Christianity. The 20th Century British writer and lay theologian has profoundly impacted Christians around the world and brought many atheists and agnostics to faith in Jesus.
One person whose faith was greatly encouraged by the writings of C.S. Lewis is Professor Alister McGrath. Both men were raised in Northern Ireland, studied at Oxford University and went on to become professors there. They also both came to faith from atheism slightly later in life. Alister has written numerous books on C.S. Lewis, including a seminal biography C.S. Lewis – A Life.
Every Monday, Professor Alister McGrath will reflect on C.S. Lewis’ ideas, life and influence as well as trying to answer questions that impact culture today.
In the third episode of our series focussing on McGrath’s book CS Lewis: A Life, we explore Lewis’ experience of the First World War and the significant relationships he formed during this time, such as with the Moore family. We also delve into Lewis’ interest in sadomasochism! Plus, a quick reminder of our competition to win a copy of McGrath’s seminal biography of Lewis.
In the second episode of a new series focussing on McGrath’s book CS Lewis: A Life, we look at why Lewis found school so thoroughly unpleasant and how it helped to cement his growing atheism. Plus, we launch a competition to win a copy of McGrath’s book.
In this first episode of a new series focussing on McGrath’s book CS Lewis: A Life, we look at Lewis’ early childhood in County Down, their family life and the death of his mother.
As we begin a new year, we pause to remind ourselves of the thought, life and legacy of CS Lewis. Professor Alister McGrath shares why and how we can engage with Lewis and his writings as we introduce a new series focussing on McGrath’s book CS Lewis: A Life.
There is something inherently Christmassy about The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and a church in the North East of England have used Lewis’ classic children’s tale to put on a special event, inviting local families to engage with the Christmas story in an imaginative way.
What did Christmas mean to CS Lewis? How did he celebrate it? Did he ever write about the festive season? Professor Alister McGrath shares his insights into CS Lewis’ depiction of the incarnation and Christmas.
Teri-Anne Cavanagh is training for ordained ministry in the Church of England, but she wasn’t always a Christian. CS Lewis played an instrumental role in initiating her journey back to the faith of her childhood.
Northern Irish artist Ross Wilson BEM talks about his remarkable sculpture The Searcher, which is based on the character of Digory Kirke who, in ‘The Magician’s Nephew,’ creates a wardrobe made from a magical apple tree.
Ruth Jackson continues her conversation with author Joshua Karras who has penned a modern appropriation of The Screwtape Letters. 80 years after the publication of CS Lewis’ classic epistolary novel, Karras shares why he has included some of the contemporary temptations in his literary adaptation.
80 years after the publication of The Screwtape Letters, young author Joshua Karras has written an appropriation of CS Lewis’ classic epistolary novel for a modern audience. Ruth Jackson discovers the inspiration behind this audacious project.
Justin Brierley takes podcast listeners on a revealing tour around The Kilns, the house Lewis shared with his brother Warnie in Oxford.
Author and pastor Trevin Wax shares why he loves CS Lewis. They look at the relevance of Lewis’ writings as well as debating whether or not he was a heretic!
Ruth Jackson speaks to author and pastor Trevin Wax about CS Lewis. They discuss numerous topics including objective truth, Christian morality and evangelism.
The second part of a conversation between philosopher Mark Vernon and poet-theologian Malcolm Guite on the spiritual journeys of The Inklings, a group of writers and poets including Owen Barfield, CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, who met in Oxford to discuss each other’s work. Part 2 of an Unbelievable? show first broadcast in 2019.
Mark Vernon, author of ‘A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the last Inkling and the evolution of consciousness’ engages with poet-theologian Malcolm Guite on the spiritual and religious influences of Owen Barfield, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, three key members of ‘The Inklings’. Part 1 of an Unbelievable? show first broadcast in 2019.
Holly Ordway grew up as an atheist before converting to Christianity in her adult years. The fantasy work of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien would be an important part of her journey to faith. She engages with atheist writer Laura Miller author of ‘The Magician’s Book: A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia’ in this replay of an Unbelievable? episode first broadcast in 2013.
In this second part of a live kids Q&A on Narnia, recorded at Oxford University, Dr Michael Ward continues to answer questions such as ‘Where did the wood between the worlds come from?’, ‘Can people from Narnia enter our world?’ and ‘Is Narnia something CS Lewis experienced as a child?’
Recorded live at Oxford University, Narnia expert Dr Michael Ward engages with a panel of young people with a variety of questions about Narnia and CS Lewis. How old is Narnia? How many ways are there into Narnia? Were the Pevensie children destined to go through the wardrobe?… and many more.
On Thursday September 8th Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, died aged 96. In this special one-off episode about the Queen and CS Lewis, Ruth Jackson speaks to CS Lewis scholar Dr Michael Ward. They discuss Lewis’ thoughts on monarchy, the Queen’s coronation and the kings and queens of Narnia. Watch out for a brutally honest potted history of some of the British monarchs!
In the third part of their discussion David Marshall tells Justin Brierley about his own time as a missionary in China and East Asia and how he found CS Lewis’ writing helped his journey there. How does the subject of miracles - the death and resurrection of Alan for instance - get addressed in Narnia?
My sister Susan,” answered Peter shortly and gravely, “is no longer a friend of Narnia.”
‘The Case for Aslan: Evidence for Jesus in the land of Narnia’ examines how Lewis employed Christian apologetics throughout the fantasy writing of Narnia. Author David Marshall tells Justin Brierley how in The Silver Chair, Puddleglum proves himself to be a wise, if gloomy, thinker.
Alister McGrath joins Justin Brierley and a panel of Christian thinkers, scientists and church leaders to take audience questions on vocation, culture and Christian witness in this continuation of last week’s session, originally recorded live at Unbelievable? the Conference 2022.
Recorded live at Unbelievable? the Conference 2022, Justin Brierley leads a panel including Alister McGrath, Sharon Dirckx, John Wyatt, Skye Jethani, and Joseph D’Souza on bringing Christian faith into the spheres of art, science, education and global justice.
Prof Alister McGrath draws on CS Lewis and scripture to encourage Christians to live out ther vocation and make a difference in a confused and divided culture. This keynote address was given at Unbelievable? the Conference 2022.
‘If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things’. Alister and Justin discuss the way that CS Lewis’ 1948 essay is remarkably relevant to modern crises such as Covid and the war in Ukraine.
‘The Weight of Glory’ is a sermon that CS Lewis preached at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford in 1941. It is widely regarded as one of his most significant short works, focussing on the way our human longings in this world point to another world that we were made for.
Originally published in 1942 this essay argues that humans often turn ‘second order’ things such as music, art, romantic love, etc into ‘first order’ things in place of God. In doings so they lose the joy of those things in the process. “You can’t get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first.”
Originally given as a talk in 1945, this was the first piece of Lewis’ writing that Alister Mcgrath ever read as a student and it had a profound influence on him. It includes Lewis’ memorable phrase: ‘I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.’
This essay originally took the form of a talk at the Socratic club in Oxford in 1952. Lewis explains the difference between ‘Faith A’ as ‘intellectual assent’ and ‘Faith B’ as ‘trust or confidence in God’, as well as the experience of awe.
Originally preached a sermon in 1945, this essay by Lewis uses the imagery of a diver to explain the significance of the incarnation as God stepping into creation to ultimately redeem it.
CS Lewis discusses the importance of ‘myth’ in this critique of those who want to ‘demythologise’ Christianity. He explains why Christ is the ‘true myth’ that all other stories of dying and rising gods are pointing towards.
Originally published in 1943 in a Christian magazine, ‘Dogma and the Universe’ sees Lewis look at the fact that modern science tells us the Universe had a beginning and that life will also come to an end one day.
We begin season 6 of the CS Lewis podcast looking at a number of CS Lewis’ shorter articles, essays and sermons. ‘Meditation in a Toolshed’ (1945) sees Lewis exploring the idea of ‘looking at’ a beam of sunlight vs ‘looking along’ the beam. Alister and Justin discuss how Lewis related this idea to the Christian faith.
Alister McGrath continues to respond to listener questions about science, faith and doubt (and CS Lewis!) in the second part of a show first recorded as a livestream listener Q&A edition of Unbelievable? in 2020, hosted by Justin and Lucy Brierley and Ruth Jackson.
Alister McGrath talks about his memoir ‘Through a Glass Darkly: Journeys Through Science, Faith & Doubt’ in the first part of a show recorded as a livestream listern Q&A edition of Unbelievable? in 2020, hosted by Justin and Lucy Brierley and Ruth Jackson.
The Four Loves (1960) is a reflection on four types of love - affection, friendship, eros and charity. Alister examines them and the concept of ‘Agape’ love that Lewis draws out.
Reflections On The Psalms (1958) is CS Lewis’ only book that directly comments on the Bible. Alister explains why Lewis chose to write about the Psalms and what lessons we can draw from it today.
Surprised By Joy (1955) is CS Lewis’ ’spiritual autobiography of his conversion experience. Alister draws out the lessons his life can give us today.
The Great Divorce (1945) is an unusual story told from the perspective of passengers on a ‘day trip’ from hell to heaven. Alister explains how the story and characters draw out Lewis’ views on the nature of heaven and hell.
The Screwtape Letters (1942) saw CS Lewis rise to international prominence as an author. Alister and Justin talk about its creative approach to conversion, temptation and the Christian life.
The Problem Of Pain (1940) was CS Lewis’ apologetic on the problem of God & suffering. Alister reviews its content and impact.
Published in 1933, Pilgrim’s Regress was Lewis’ first book written after his conversion. Modelled after Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’, Alister explains why it is among the least well-known of Lewis’ writings.
In this new season of the podcast hosted by Justin, Alister introduces seven of CS Lewis’ popular Christian works.
Alister takes audience Q&A on Jesus, CS Lewis and evangelism. From Unbelievable? the Conference 2013
Alister McGrath’s talk at Unbelievable? the Conference 2013 on ‘Jesus the Lunatic?’
Alister concludes this season of the podcast looking at the different ways Lewis and Tolkien expressed the Christian story through their well-known fantasy writings.
CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, two of the greatest writers of the 20th Century, were good friends. So how did Lewis and Tolkien influence each other’s faith and writing?
Why is the concept of friendship in books such as The Four Loves, so important to Lewis? How did Lewis’ friendship and romance with Joy Davidman affect his circle of friends? Alister continues to explore this theme with Justin.
Who were Lewis’ closest friends from childhood and as an adult? Who were the Inklings and which pub did they actually meet at? What can we learn from Lewis about friendship? All these questions and more are explored by Alister and Justin in today’s conversation.
Alister and Justin continue their conversation on what Lewis’ writings have to say to our modern technological age including the rise of big tech platforms such as Google and Facebook’s ‘Meta’ universe.
What do Lewis’ writings such as ‘The Abolition of Man’ and ‘That Hideous Strength’ have to say to the rise of AI and Transhumanism?
Alister McGrath and Justin Brierley continue their conversation on the ‘meaning crisis’ in the West and how Lewis’ wisdom applies to today’s world and the modern mental health crisis.
In Season 4 of the podcast, Alister McGrath and Justin Brierley discuss the ‘meaning crisis’ in the West, how Lewis responded to it in his own day, and Lewis’ book Miracles.
Michael Ward, William Lane Craig, Michael Ramsden, Jeanette Sears, Peter S Williams and Judith Wolfe take part in a panel discussion on what 21st century apologetics can learn from CS Lewis. Recorded at the 2013 CS Lewis Symposium at Westminster Abbey.
Poet, priest and author Malcolm Guite speaks on “Telling the Truth Through Imaginative Fiction” in this second lecture from the 2013 CS Lewis Symposium at Westminster Abbey.
To mark the 50th Anniverary of CS Lewis’ death in 2013, Westminster Abbey hosted the CS Lewis Symposium. In this first lecture Alister McGrath gave a talk titled “Telling the Truth Through Rational Argument” followed by audience Q&A.
Justin Brierley continues his conversation with Max McLean, writer and star of the new movie CS Lewis: The Most Reluctant Convert.
Justin Brierley speaks to Max McLean, writer and star of the new movie CS Lewis: The Most Reluctant Convert.
Justin Brierley speaks to CS Lewis scholar Michael Ward about his new book ‘After Humanity: A guide to CS Lewis’ The Abolition Of Man’.
Professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about The Last Battle, focussing on difficult questions around topics such as racism, pluralism and death.
Professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about one of the darkest books in the Narnia series – The Silver Chair. They look at how we can know that Christianity is true and unpack the relevance of Lewis’ countercultural ideas in today’s skeptical culture.
Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, looking at difficult topics such as human trafficking, sin and faith and how they impact us today.
Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about Prince Caspian, focussing on painful questions such as the apparent silence of God. They also look at how to share our faith in a culture that is saturated with opposing worldviews.
Professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about The Horse and His Boy, looking at pertinent issues such as inequality, the treatment of women and how we should approach other religions.
Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about Lewis’ most famous book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, unpacking some of its theology, such as forgiveness and the atonement. They also look at how we can speak truth to a sceptical society.
Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about The Magician’s Nephew, focussing on topics such as creation, suffering and how the hope of the gospel can transform our hurting world today.
In the first episode of the third series of The C.S. Lewis Podcast, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about how Lewis’ famous works of fiction came to be written.
Alister McGrath answers audience questions following his lecture on CS Lewis the Storyteller.
Part 1 of two bonus episodes featuing a talk by Alister McGrath from Unbelievable? the Conference 2013 on the way CS Lewis uses imagination and storytelling in his apologetics.
In the eighth episode of the second series of The C.S. Lewis Podcast, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about the impact that our Christian hope should have on our own lives and the world around us by looking at Lewis’ thoughts on this topic. They also look back over some of the topics they have covered in this second series.
In the seventh episode of the second series of The C.S. Lewis Podcast, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about Lewis’ understanding of the nature of God and the Trinity, looking at why his thoughts are still relevant to our prayer life and Christian journey today.
In the sixth episode of the second series of The C.S. Lewis Podcast, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about how we can live as Christians today by unpacking Lewis’ thoughts around faith, reason and behaviour.
In the fifth episode of the second series of The C.S. Lewis Podcast, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about Lewis’ understanding of Jesus and how we can use Lewis’ arguments and principles to speak truth to a sceptical culture.
In the fourth episode of the second series of The C.S. Lewis Podcast, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about how Lewis viewed sin and the role Christians have in fixing the brokenness of today’s world.
Professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about Lewis’ understanding of fundamental Christian beliefs and how they continue to impact us today.
Professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about Lewis’ perception of the moral law and what that means for us. They also explore other important themes such as the limits of materialism and science in today’s sceptical society.
In the first episode of the second series of The C.S. Lewis Podcast, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about how Lewis’ seminal book, Mere Christianity, came to be written and what relevance it has in today’s culture.
In the second part of this special episode of The C.S. Lewis Podcast, we have delved into the Unbelievable? archives to share Professor Alister McGrath’s answers to listener questions around apologetics, Narnia, Lewis’ relationships with women and more.
In the first part of this special episode of The C.S. Lewis Podcast, we have delved into the Unbelievable? archives to share an interview with Professor Alister McGrath.
In the ninth episode of The C.S. Lewis Podcast, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about Lewis’ thoughts on hope and heaven. They also look back over some of the topics they have covered in this first series.
In the eighth episode of The C.S. Lewis Podcast, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about Lewis’ thoughts on suffering and pain.
In the seventh episode of The C.S. Lewis Podcast, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about Lewis’ thoughts on education. Alister also shares a little of the impact Lewis had on his own Christian education.
In the sixth episode of The C.S. Lewis Podcast, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about Lewis’ thoughts on who should do apologetics and how best to approach it.
In this special episode of The C.S. Lewis Podcast, we are sharing part of a livestream we recorded with Professor Alister McGrath during one of the Coronavirus lockdowns in the UK.
In the fourth episode of our brand-new podcast on C.S. Lewis, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about the character of Aslan in the Narnia series and the Christian life.
In the third episode of our brand-new podcast on C.S. Lewis, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about the importance of storytelling and imagination, looking particularly at the Narnia series.
In the second episode of our brand-new podcast on C.S. Lewis, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about some of Lewis’ friendships, including ‘The Lord of The Rings’ author J.R.R. Tolkien.
In the first ever episode of our brand-new podcast on C.S. Lewis, professor Alister McGrath speaks to Ruth Jackson about some of Lewis’ key thoughts as well as the impact of Lewis on Alister’s own life.
A brand new weekly podcast with Professor Alister McGrath exploring C.S. Lewis’ thought, theology and teaching. C.S. Lewis is one of the most influential voices in modern Christianity.