Lewis, Jack Lewis, Oxford discussed on The Eric Metaxas Show


You're listening to a special version of the arithmetics show I am doing a Socrates in the city event in Oxford, England. Let's continue my conversation with professor Walter hooper. You must have known J.R.R. Tolkien. Yes. Can you tell us a little bit about him? He died in 73. You came here in 63 and then in 64 for good. Any memories of him and his estimation of Lewis, did it change at all in his last years? I don't think so. I think Humphrey Carpenter is wrong and what's on a wrong to talk about them becoming cold towards one another. I saw nothing of this at all. I mean, when I first met him, he invited me to see him. And he was living at that time here in Oxford still in Oxford. And he was using his garage as a study, and when he went in, he said, you got 30 minutes. And he put one of the big alarm clocks in front of me. You could see here, you could hear it in the next room. And so you got 30 minutes. And so he did most of the talking himself. And at one point, he was talking still, he left. He said, where you are. And perhaps I stay well, and he came in through another door. So this is something what he said. But I was so worried about the clock. And so finally, he was in the middle of telling me something about Lewis. When I said, it's half an hour. He said, sit still, I am the lord of the clock. I'll tell you when you can go. Then when he led me to the door, he could not have been more tender, he held my arm and he said, I'm so sorry. You've lost your great friend. And I said, but you've lost one who you knew much longer. It's a no, what makes your case much sadder than mine is you would just beginning to love it. So he said, I had had many years, but you ought to be pitted. And I found that after that, he could not have been nice and talking about Lewis. He one time, when I was editing, I showed him some of the letters I was editing from Lewis to greaves. 1929, they were, he said, he agrees that he and talking stayed up to very, very late, as he was reading some of the middle earth documents. So I assume this was The Lord of the Rings. So I'll ask professor Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings that you might be oh no, no, he said, I had no story had been written. I wasn't really interested in writing stories. I was interested in creating a world, and so it was a language and a genealogist and the land that I was interested not stories, but you know what our boy, Jack Lewis was. He had to have a story, and that story, The Lord of the Rings, was written to keep him quiet. Wow. I think he meant it, too. Because our letters appears which by the side. But the very idea that the genesis of this juggernaut, called The Lord of the Rings. Would have begun. In that way, it's extraordinary. And what a strange thing that someone like Tolkien could be made in such a way that he would desire to create a world. Yeah. What a strange thing most of us aren't that way. But that led to all these other things and to a $1 billion industry. Fascinating. But I gave him his turning point about him. In 1971, I had finished God of the dark, and I gave him a copy of that. And that's the collection. That's the collection of essays. A collection. Got in the Doc collection of essays. Lewis effectively defending the Christian. The best right. Anyway, Tolkien said, you know, Jack Lewis is the only friend I've ever had who's written more since he died than before. And I said, I know exactly what you mean and exactly the same. What happened to you? He said, no it won't. No, it won't, because I don't have that much material and Christopher won't know what to do. Wow, was he wrong? He was stupendously wrong about that. Had the silmarillion been published before he really wore it a lot about that. I heard him. I've got to get finished. He really worried about that. But I think he simply was just too old to get up the manuscripts and try to do it. But he loved Lewis very much. And I think he would have been appalled by what others said about this getting cold. In fact, his son for the John Tolkien told me that he took his father up back to Lewis to see Louis right before those times. A number of number of business he paid off back to the kills to see him. And I said to John talking, do you know what they talked about? He said, I remember they talked about matters mortar and while the trees ever die. Smell the reason for Darth. That seems just what you'd imagine that we were talking about and whether trees ever died. Not in their books, they don't. Remind those of us who don't know who Arthur greeves was because you've mentioned him a number of times. This is Lewis boyhood friend. They met when they were just teenagers. They lived across the road from one another. They built up not only friendship, but a correspondence, which is one of the longest of all Lewis correspondents. It was a great pleasure at that time to have somebody who is absolutely on your wavelength that you can correspond with. Did he become Arthur greaves a Christian? Hey, what's the Christian already? Well, this brings me to when you mentioned when we mentioned Tolkien, it's not been told often enough. But what happened, Lewis had become somehow a reluctant believer in God. But not a believer in Jesus. Not a Christian by any means. But a believer in some kind of God. And it was Tolkien specifically who on Addison's walk behind maudlin college right here who really led Lewis. Can you tell us a bit about that? Yes, you said Louis had become a theist, but then something like a year or more later. One of the things that was holding him back for many years was something that happened when he was really about ten years old. When he was reading the classics for the first time, he noticed that the editors of the classics like and the name assume that they have that beliefs of these ancient Greeks were wrong, but that Christianity was right. Well, Lewis himself love the O miss more than he, like Christianity. And so he concluded Christianity is just happens to be the mythology that we've been brought up in. But other mythologists are in one way more interesting, like the Norse mythology he thought more interesting than Christianity. So it was still in the belief that it was a mythology that that he believed that night that Tolkien and Hugo Dyson came to dine. Or what they mean is showed him was, yes, it is a mythology like the others, but the others incomplete. They never lead anywhere. But the thing that makes this less beautiful than the other north mythology Greek mythology general that is it's true. This is a case of myth becoming fact. And his son is sober. It was a myth come true. And because it is truth, it come up shine in the way most mythology girls fall for great mythology with gods and giants and all of this wonderful things. And but then it's true. And so it offers hope for the world, this is a special Oxford edition of the Eric metaxas show..

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