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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 722)...

    Were you influenced by any of the works of CS Lewis? Particularly I'm referencing "The Great Sin" excerpted from his "Mere Christianity." In this, Lewis goes in depth on how in the Bible it is pride which is Man's greatest sin. He sites how in the Bible Satan tempted man to find seek a independence and from this "human history; money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, slavery" etcetra resulted. He even uses an analogy similar to your pilot analogy (the man in free fall) where he sites a machine that "seems to start up alright and runs a few yards" only to fail because it is not being run on the proper fuel. The similarities are there, even if you weren't at all influenced, I wanted to thank you for perhaps opening my eyes to some truth.

    ...and the response:

    On reflection, I realize that Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra were important influences on me during what might be called my "formative" years-the mid-twenties. I read each of them at least three times. I'd say that they opened in me an inclination to review human history with a questioning mind, though I don't believe I thought of either book as I was writing the book that eventually became Ishmael. I've never read Mere Christianity. The fact that he used a metaphor in that book that is similar to my "in-the-air but not-in-flight" metaphor shows that we share a common way of thinking about things.


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