C.S. Lewis on Devotionals

“For my own part,” wrote Lewis, “I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await many others. I believe that many who find that `nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.”

–C.S. Lewis

I feel this way now although 1) I got a lot out of Oswald Chambers devotionals in the past and 2) There are some very good, meaty devotionals out there now. But I would rather read a chapter of Calvin’s Institutes each day, which is only about two pages, or a commentary or Puritan theology or something of the sort.

1 Response to “C.S. Lewis on Devotionals”


  1. 1 Scripture Zealot

    From David Black:

    Here’s a must read called C. S. Lewis on Devotionals. Jeff, I had to laugh out loud when I read Lewis’s reference to pipe smoking while cogitating. Markus Barth’s seminars in Basel were held in a tiny room and I think I was the only non-smoker in the place. I suppose I’ll pay for it some day, but the stimulating discussions that took place on those Tuesday evenings were something to experience, I tell you.

    Of course, your main point has nothing to do with smoking, and I quite agree that the best “devotions” are those that are rooted in the text of Scripture. I, for one, have never found it possible to separate the “devotional” study of the Bible from the “academic.” And why should we?

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