Books by Dr. Jerry Root

And Others

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Splendour in the Dark: C. S. Lewis's Dymer in His Life and Work

November 2020

Several years before he converted to Christianity, C. S. Lewis published a narrative poem, Dymer, under the pseudonym Clive Hamilton. Later, of course, Lewis became well known for his beloved imaginative stories, such as The Chronicles of Narnia and Till We Have Faces, as well as his ability to defend and articulate the faith in works such as Mere Christianity. But what about his literary work before his conversion? In this fourth volume in the Hansen Lectureship Series, Jerry Root contends that Lewis's early poem Dymer can not only shed light on the development of Lewis's literary skills but also offer a glimpse of what was to come in his intellectual and spiritual growth―a "splendour in the dark," to borrow one of Lewis's own lines from the poem. Under Root's careful analysis, Dymer becomes a way to understand both Lewis's change of mind as well as the way in which each of us is led on a journey of faith. This volume also includes the complete text of Dymer with annotations from David C. Downing, co-director of the Marion E. Wade Center. The Hansen Lectureship series offers accessible and insightful reflections by Wheaton College faculty members upon the transformative work of the Wade Center authors.

The Neglected C.S. Lewis: Exploring the Riches of His Most Overlooked Books

June 2020

Readers who can quote word for word from C.S. Lewis’s theological classic, Mere Christianity, or his science fiction novel, Perelandra, have often never read his work as a professional literary historian. They may not even recognize some of the neglected works discussed, here. Mark Neal and Jerry Root have done students of Lewis a great service, tracing the signature ideas in Lewis’s works of literary criticism and showing their relevance to Lewis’s more familiar books. Their thorough research and lucid prose will be welcome to all who would like to understand Lewis more fully, but who feel daunted by books of such evident scholarly erudition.

For example, when you read The Discarded Image on the ancients’ view of the heavens, you understand better why Ransom has such unpleasant sensations when first descending toward Malacandra in Out of the Silent Planet. And when you come across Lewis’s discussion in OHEL  of a minor sixteenth-century poet who described the hellish River Styx as a “puddle glum,” you can’t help but chuckle at the name when you meet the famous Marshwiggle in The Silver Chair. These are just two examples of how reading the “Neglected Lewis” can help every reader understand Lewis more fully.

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Naked and Unashamed: A Guide to the Necessary Work of Christian Marriage

June 2018

Happy marriages don’t just happen.
 
Despite the abundance of magazines and self-help books available, people continue to struggle with marriage. Wedding planners, consultants, Pinterest pages, and bloggers have shaped young hearts to dream and plan for the biggest day of their lives. The day is everything, and they will plan each element with precision, from flowers to cake decorations to party favors. Couples will spend an enormous amount of time and money preparing for the wedding, but they will spend little to no time in preparation for the marriage itself.
 
It takes work to make a marriage successful. Divorce rates are clear evidence of this, but so also are the many married people who are in dire need of counseling and care, who persist in loneliness and difficulty, feeling ill-equipped to navigate the unforeseen difficulties of marriage.

​This book exists to coach couples through strategies which will assist them to succeed.

The Surprising Imagination of C. S. Lewis: An Introduction

September 2015

Narnia, Perelandra—places of wonder and longing. The White Witch, Screwtape—personifications of evil. Aslan—a portrait of the divine. Like Turkish Delight, some of C.S. Lewis’s writing surprises and whets our appetite for more. But some of his works bite and nip at our heels. What enabled C.S. Lewis to create such vivid characters and compelling plots? Perhaps it was simply that C.S. Lewis had an unsurpassed imagination. Or perhaps he had a knack for finding the right metaphor or analogy that awakened readers’ imaginations in new ways. But whatever his gifts, no one can deny that C.S. Lewis had a remarkable career, producing many books in eighteen different literary genres, including: apologetics, autobiography, educational philosophy, fairy stories, science fiction, and literary criticism. And while he had and still has critics, Lewis' works continue to find devoted readers. The purpose of this book is to introduce C.S. Lewis through the prism of imagination. For Lewis, imagination is both a means and an end. And because he used his own imagination well and often, he is a practiced guide for those of us who desire to reach beyond our grasp. Each chapter highlights Lewis’s major works and then shows how Lewis uses imagination to captivate readers. While many have read books by C.S. Lewis, not many readers understand his power to give new slants on the things we think we know. More than a genius, Lewis disciplined his imagination, harnessing its creativity in service of helping others believe more deeply.

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The Sacrament of Evangelism

April 2011

A recent statistic suggests that 15% of the churches in America are growing but only 2.2% are growing evangelistically.
Much of the church in America has lost its evangelistic zeal and forgotten how to re-ignite it; this book is an attempt to light the fuse of the powder keg so that the church, long-distracted by so many things, might return to its primary mission in the world. 
We do not take Christ to anyone; He is already there. We go to make explicit what we see Him doing implicitly. It is not a question of whether God is at work in His world . . . Our hope is to see more of God’s people at work with Him! Learn about why we share our faith, Christ's role in our evangelism, the deep longings in all our hearts, and how to effectively live a sacramentally evangelistic lifestyle.
We are offering a way of looking at life and the world that is open to God’s presence everywhere. This approach is called sacramental. And where better to experience God’s presence than in His workplace? This is the Sacrament of Evangelism.

The Soul of C. S. Lewis: A Meditative Journey through Twenty-Six of His Best-Loved Writings

August 2010

Drawing inspiration from Lewis’s fiction and nonfiction, The Soul of C. S. Lewis is a devotional-style book that encourages reflection and thought. It includes 240 meditations designed for the reader’s personal growth. 
C. S. Lewis opened up more than just wardrobe doors―he opened the doors to human experience, new worlds of ideas, and imaginative discoveries. His honest observations about life highlight the interconnectedness of Scripture to real life and encourage a worldview that is integrated and harmonized.

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C. S. Lewis and a Problem of Evil: An Investigation of a Pervasive Theme

January 2009

C. S. Lewis was concerned about an aspect of the problem of evil he called subjectivism: the tendency of one's perspective to move towards self-referentialism and utilitarianism. In C. S. Lewis and a Problem of Evil, Jerry Root provides a holistic reading of Lewis by walking the reader through all of Lewis's published work as he argues Lewis's case against subjectivism. Furthermore, the book reveals that Lewis consistently employed fiction to make his case, as virtually all of his villains are portrayed as subjectivists. Lewis's warnings are prophetic; this book is not merely an exposition of Lewis, it is also a timely investigation into the problem of evil.

The Quotable Lewis

February 1990

This book presents more than 1,500 quotes from Lewis's writings, providing ready access to his thoughts on a variety of topics. An exhaustive index references key words and concepts, allowing readers to easily find quotes on any subject of interest. Also included are many photographs of Lewis and his close circle of friends.

Quick summary: 

  • More than 1,500 quotes from Lewis's writings.

  • Sixteen pages of photographs.

  • Extensive index and numbering system.