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God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics
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God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  5,192 Ratings  ·  170 Reviews
"Lewis struck me as the most thoroughly converted man I ever met," observes Walter Hooper in the preface to this collection of essays by C. S. Lewis. "His whole vision of life was such that the natural and the supernatural seemed inseparably combined."It is precisely this pervasive Christianity which is demonstrated in the forty-eight essays comprising God in the Dock. Her ...more
Paperback, 346 pages
Published March 24th 1972 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (first published July 2nd 1971)
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Apr 14, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of essays and letters by C.S. Lewis that mostly aren't available elsewhere. Probably my favorite of all the essays is "Man or Rabbit?", which is a word-picture of conversion. ("All the rabbit in us is to disappear -- the worried, conscientious, ethical rabbit as well as the cowardly and sensual rabbit.")
Some of the essays are less interesting to me, and some of them I don't find interesting at all. But Lewisian gems are sprinkled everywhere, and I like that his curmudgeonly
Jason Mccool
Jul 22, 2012 Jason Mccool rated it really liked it
"God in the Dock" is a great collection of essays and letters from C.S. Lewis, compiled and edited by Walter Hooper. For the American readers like myself, the book title (from an essay of the same name) is not referring to God being down at the boat dock, but rather in the dock, or witness stand, in a British court. Modern man has essentially put God on trial, asking Him to defend His existence and right to judge us. This book will appeal to the veteran reader of Lewis's major works looking to f ...more
M. J.
Dec 17, 2012 M. J. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-non-fiction
I had read so much fiction of late that I felt almost a necessity to return to some non-fiction; and having no unread books within my grasp I chose one I had read before. I have read this half a dozen times before, since first encountering Lewis in undergrad thirty-mumble years ago, and expect that I will read it as many times again if I live long enough. It is a collection of essays, letters, and published interviews on a broad variety of subjects which the editor has gathered from many sources ...more
Dec 30, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book. At one moment it would be delightful, then next abominable theology, and the next the best theology I've heard in a long time. Definitely one to cherry pick from and re read in the future
Luke Miller
Oct 25, 2016 Luke Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read a number of books from Lewis, but I don't think I have savored one as much as this one. This is due in large part to the style of the book. "God in the Dock" is a collection of 60 letters and essays, so it's kind of like picking C.S. Lewis' brain over coffee... minus the coffee.

When I read Lewis, it feels like I am reaping a harvest, but as time passes, I realize that it was really more like planting for one. At times, Lewis is very quotable. Every good author is. But he is more than
Karly Noelle Noelle
Feb 07, 2017 Karly Noelle Noelle rated it really liked it
This collection, an assortment of unrelated essays, interviews, letters, and articles that were never intended for publication, let alone publication together in one volume, is a conundrum. Because of the varying themes and styles in the documents contained within, as well as the timeline ranging several decades, God in the Dock runs the gamut of Lewis, representing him at both his absolute best and his absolute worst, his most insightful and his most close-minded, his most progressive and his m ...more
Jan 16, 2017 Dana rated it really liked it
It's always a pleasure to get a glimpse inside the brilliant mind of C.S. Lewis. This tiny book if filled with thought provoking short essays. Very enjoyable! A favorite quote that will stick with me, that I think is interesting to apply to today's society and standards is his view of inequality..."I cannot conceive how one could get through the boredom of a world in which you never met anyone more clever, or more beautiful, or stronger than yourself."
C.H. Cobb
Aug 08, 2014 C.H. Cobb rated it really liked it
Reading Lewis is like peering through a freshly washed window into the depths of his soul. A rare communicator among great thinkers and writers, Lewis is able to put deep thoughts on the lower shelf, accessible to the man who has callouses on his hands and dirt under his fingernails.

God in the Dock is a compendium of Lewis’ essays, articles, letters, and a few transcripts of his speeches compiled by editor Walter Hooper, who served briefly as Lewis’ secretary during the illness that took Lewis’
Jan 25, 2008 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, read-2005
Before I discovered Adrian Plass and Philip Yancey, CS Lewis was unquestionably my favourite Christian author. He still ranks as one of my top three. For apologetics and clear explanations of doctrine, I don't think he has any equal.

However this particular book isn't one of his best. To be fair, it was never intended as a book. It's a collection of Lewis's articles and talks on various topics, which don't really hold together. The chapters are short, and I enjoy his intellectual but clear style
Apr 05, 2012 Carla rated it it was amazing
God in the Dock is the first C.S. Lewis book I completed. It was excellent. The essays are short so that I was able to read them as a morning devotional.

I was able to get comfortable with Lewis' style and went on to read 2 or 3 other books by him.

Very enjoyable, especially the chapter which was a Q & A event at an English factory.
Apr 16, 2009 John rated it it was amazing
Sometimes I forget how great CS Lewis is. Then, I go back and re-read this book and see that the man is a genius. People give him a lot of attention for Narnia, but I think his brilliance shines in his essays.
Mar 12, 2008 Jan rated it really liked it
This is a collection of essays that is outstanding. I took a C.S. Lewis class at Ricks (one of the benefits of attending a church school) and the teacher pulled a lot of material out of this book. It is great.
Jan 12, 2017 Bryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Essential and at some points quite entertaining reading for Lewis readers.
Scott Hayden
Sep 24, 2012 Scott Hayden rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Daniel Groot, Daniel Lamb
Rich, deep, practical, provoking.
One of those books that I ought to create an outline for for future reference.
Nathan Albright
Jan 05, 2016 Nathan Albright rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge
As someone who is quite fond of the writings of C.S. Lewis [1], I was glad to be able to pick up a book I had long looked forward to reading. In many ways, this particular book is a feast of scraps, a topically organized collection of essays, articles, and letters about theology and ethics by C.S. Lewis that had been largely forgotten until they were collected after his death by his longtime friend and personal secretary, Walter Hooper. The essays themselves are divided into several parts: part ...more
Nov 08, 2016 Fred rated it really liked it
Shelves: cs-lewis
In reading these 48 essays and 12 letters together I am struck with how different C.S. Lewis is from most American evangelicals. No doubt this is part of the value of his writing. Not only is he not answering the questions most of us are asking, he doesn't even care about them. He makes cavalier statements about, say, the folly of thinking any government can be or should be called "Christian" or the value of non-Christian religions, with a freedom that is not found this side of the Atlantic even ...more
Kevin Black
Feb 27, 2017 Kevin Black rated it it was amazing
Read it around 1981. Loved it. One of the essays, "The Problem with X," combines a brilliant moral lesson with one of the best-crafted beginnings of any essay I've read on any topic. Another essay, if I remember correctly, argues that young ministers should be required as an exercise to translate their sermons into vernacular English, and cites examples of words like "creature" and "sacrifice" that likely mean very different things to the priest and the parishioner. I've thought ever since that ...more
Jan 14, 2017 Jkanz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
God in the Dock was another wonderful CS Lewis book. Classic essays such as "Meditations in a Toolshed" and "On the Reading of Old Books" appear within, but I also encountered some new favorites. His essay "Delinquents in the Snow" reveals a wise curmudgeon speaking wisely about social policy issues and approaches to correction. Lewis's breadth and depth of knowledge, grounded in biblical worldview, was exceptional.
Brance Gillihan
Mar 01, 2017 Brance Gillihan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lewis is a very good thinker, especially when it comes to ethics. He's not a very good theologian though. He relies to heavily on his intellect and reason, and not enough on scripture. Some of these essays were brilliant, some were awful. It's worth reading, but biblical discernment is required.
Mar 18, 2017 M. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Powiedzmy, że nie przypadła mi do gustu...
(view spoiler)
Pat Roseman
I had a hard time getting through this. I confess I skimmed some of it. Some of it was on topics I couldn't get interested in. Maybe I do better on a single subject.
Luke Paulsen
May 29, 2016 Luke Paulsen rated it really liked it
Most people know C.S. Lewis as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia children's fantasy series. Somewhat fewer know him as the author of Mere Christianity and other excellent works of Christian thought. Even fewer are fortunate enough to know him as the author of Till We Have Faces and the trippy science-fiction "Space Trilogy". But if there's a least appreciated side of C.S. Lewis, it's probably his role as an essayist and letter-writer who was very much engaged in the intellectual world of bo ...more
Christaaay - Christy Luis Reviews
C. S. Lewis (English professor and popular apologist, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, friend of J. R. R. Tolkien, etc.) probably needs no real introduction, so I'll skip that and move right on to the book itself.

God in the Dock collects together several essays, lectures, articles, speeches, Q&As, debates and personal letters written by C. S. Lewis on a variety of topics: politics, science, other religions, feminism, social problems and, of course, Christianity and its theologies. It's a
Dec 24, 2011 Rob rated it really liked it
This is another collection of essays by CS Lewis. As in "Christian Reflections", some were excellent, some were OK, and a very few I just skipped after reading the first few paragraphs.

There are two quotes that I felt really stood out. The first may be a paraphrase, as I can't find it right now. But I believe it to be darn close. "We do not believe Christianity because we think it is GOOD. We believe Christianity because we think it is TRUE."

And in the same vein, in response to the question of
This book is a collection of essays on a wide range of topics from theology, ethics and social issues of his time. Lewis has a great command of logic in looking at the implication of holding certain beliefs, taking certain actions or denying truths we hold as self evident. For example, in dealing with the problem of evil, there are several standard theological answers, but Lewis addresses it from the point of view that non-Christian worldviews lack the foundational epistemology necessary to even ...more
Alexis Neal
Dec 21, 2011 Alexis Neal rated it really liked it
Shelves: 100-books, religion
Editor Walter Hooper has collected an impressive assortment of Lewis's previously unpublished--in book form, at any rate--essays and letters. The topics range from miracles to apologetics to theories of punishment to gender roles. The essays are not terribly long, and the collection is necessarily a bit disjointed, as there is often no connection between the various topics. The individual essays are still quite good, however.

Because Lewis was writing to different audiences at different times, th
Miss Clark
Sep 23, 2008 Miss Clark rated it really liked it
Recommended to Miss Clark by: Biblia Fyle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeni Enjaian
A review from my old blog...

Previous to making this huge reading list the only C. S. Lewis books I had read were the Chronicles of Narnia and 'Til we have Faces... none of his nonfiction.

God in the dock is the second of the his nonfiction books that I have read.

To be honest, it took me a while to get into the book and I never really stayed captivated by it. I don't mean to say anything against Lewis' writing because as usual Lewis uses spectacular and striking images. The structure of the book w
Joe Duffus
Aug 06, 2015 Joe Duffus rated it really liked it
This is a collection of essays by Lewis, all on religious topics or related to it. Unlike his more unified apologetics, though, this book includes discussions about hymns, whether the purpose of punishment (for crimes) is desert or remedial, all sorts of things. Some of the essays are less interesting than others, but all are packed with his wisdom and compact style. I particularly like his take on the language evangelism should use: he makes the point that if a minister cannot explain anything ...more
Apr 17, 2010 Coyle rated it it was amazing
I intended to read this book the way I read non-fiction books- pen in hand, highlighter at the read, prepared to mark the important or critical passages, so that the next time I read the book I don't actually have to read the whole thing, just skim over my notes and markings.
Lewis defies such an approach. His thinking and writing are not systematic and cannot be easily summarized, at least not without losing the force of his arguments. To get his whole point you have to read the whole article.
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  • The Everlasting Man
  • A Christian Manifesto
  • Warranted Christian Belief
  • The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life
  • Against Christianity
  • On the Incarnation
  • Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity
  • Christianity and Liberalism
  • Reasonable Faith
  • Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis
  • Jesus and the Victory of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, #2)
  • The Christian Mind: How Should a Christian Think?
  • The Life of God in the Soul of Man
  • The Cross of Christ
  • The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind
  • Lectures on Calvinism
  • The Descent of the Dove
  • The Quotable Lewis
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature
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“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.” 190 likes
“If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles, criminals, enemies, or capitalists for the same reasons.” 121 likes
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