Lubbock Christian University welcomed Douglas Gresham, author and stepson of C.S. Lewis, to campus on Thursday, Mar. 26, as the special guest of the women of LOA, an LCU social club.
Gresham is the co-producer of the film adaptations of “The Chronicles of Narnia” series, and is the author of "Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis" and "Jack’s Life: The Life Story of C.S. Lewis."
The day began with Gresham addressing LCU students during their 11 a.m. chapel meeting, where he touched on the importance of faith and the strength it takes to be a Christian.
A special Q&A session with Gresham was held in the Baker Conference Center, with LCU Associate Professor of English Dr. Kenneth Hawley facilitating. During this time, Gresham fielded questions about his life with C.S. Lewis, who he fondly refers to as Jack. He also shared the adventures of his life beyond the Lewis home.
Gresham said that his time with C.S. Lewis was a time of education and great learning. He spoke openly about his mother’s battle with cancer, telling stories of the moments he prayed earnestly for her recovery and of the moments of great love between his mother and Lewis. He went on to reminisce about Lewis’ illness following his mother’s death.
He also revealed the true nature of C.S. Lewis, the more gentle and joyous side of the insightful scholar that many have come to love and admire.
“As a personality, he was enormous fun. This is what gets lost in most of the serious people who want to be thought of as scholars and write biographies of Jack. He wasn’t a dour intellectual professor type. He had a great sense of humor. If you were with Jack, you couldn’t be with him for more than ten minutes without roaring with laughter,” Gresham said.
Yet, Lewis’ nature went beyond the fun and laughter. Gresham called Lewis a deeply compassionate and charitable man whose love for Christ was visible in the way he behaved.
Many questions from the Q&A session asked about Gresham’s work on the “Chronicles of Narnia” movie series, which Gresham answered with a smile. He said that he has enjoyed working on the movies, even through the ups and downs, because he makes his work about Christ.
“Working for Christ is always fun. There are times when it is difficult, but also times of great joy when you’re doing it, and I really enjoy making the movies,” Gresham said.
When asked what it was like working with Hollywood to keep the Christian message strong in the Narnia films, Gresham replied, “The Lord has been faithful through these movies. Mostly, I think we have got what Jack wanted to have said by these books. I think we have got most of that into the movies.”
Gresham explained that he has spent many years making sure that the works of Lewis are continually published and shared with the public. Gresham believes that Lewis would be pleased and amused that his legacy continues, not only with the help of Gresham, but with the help of countless others.
He also some advice for keeping one’s faith strong in life and in one’s career saying, “If you want to keep your faith strong, look into what Jesus said. Really look into it. Find out what Jesus really meant by it… If you look deeply into what he said, there is richness there that we tend to skim over the top of.”