Few modern writers have made their mark worldwide. Jack Lewis is one of those writers. Given the magnitude of his impact, it’s fair to ask a few questions about books. Of his own writings, what was his favorite? It appears to be Till We Have Faces. What books influenced C. S. Lewis? He gave an answer to that question, the year before he died. Responding to The Christian Century, he ranked the top ten books that influenced him the most.
George MacDonald’s Phantastes was first, but G. K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man was second. In fact, six months before his death, Jack Lewis said:
The contemporary book that has helped me the most is Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man.
C.S. Lewis lived a life marked with intense pain and intense happiness. He possessed a faith that became strong after it was tested beyond the breaking point. Put differently, he lived the life of a typical human being who experiences joy and sorrow, happiness and pain. But through it all, once he found his way back to God, he knew what counted most of all are the things that last. The things that are eternal:
All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.
Jack’s books are still not out-of-date because they focus on what counts the most in life: on what is eternal. They help his readers "aim for heaven" and, as a necessary byproduct, help increase the quality of life on earth.