Surprised By Joy is the spiritual autobiography of C. S. Lewis who is considered as one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of this day. An excellent book for any thinking non-believers and those who are skeptic about C. S. conversion from atheism to Christianity.
In Surprised By Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, C. S. Lewis (Author, Mere Christianity) describes the processes that took place in his conversion from atheism to Christianity. In this book, Lewis describes the events surrounding his accidental discovery of and consequent search for the phenomenon he labeled ‘joy’. The book overall contains less detail concerning specific events than typical autobiography, although it is not devoid of information about his life. Lewis recounts his childhood years to a young man that neither sought nor believed in God. His atheism grew in parallel with his intellect. His conversion to Christianity can be described as a scholarly process coupled with his discovery of the true nature and purpose of Joy and its place in his own life.
- “I discovered this book while living in Scotland at a time when I was neck-deep in the pit of atheism and feeling almost totally lost. What this book so remarkable is his unashamed honesty and willingness to shed all masks in the face of reality, no matter how unpleasant or frightening that reality may first seem. Lewis did not want to find God, and we feel with him that burning desire to run away once God has been discovered. We see in this book that his defenses against God shattered one by one as he follows an intellectual path to belief. He tries his best to argue his way out of it, fighting every step of the way and using all the trivial excuses that human beings use, but we feel God’s presence bearing down on him step by step like a great weight until he realizes that there is no escape. Lewis’s account of his spiritual journey shows that God can be discovered in the most unlikely places and in the most unlikely ways, no matter how hard we try to avoid Him. When we think we have trumped God, we find that He has in fact trumped us, always remaining well ahead of us on the path. Lewis’s account often reads like a great chess match between one man and God, but it remains familiar because it is a match that we play again and again. As always, Lewis’s honesty is disarming, his insight staggering, and his humor refreshing. I cannot recommend this book enough.” – Aquila, Amazon Review
- “Surprised by Joy is a worthy read for Christians and non-Christians alike. Whenever I read Lewis I want to take the book to a particular friend of mine who is as inquiring as is Lewis, but who is a determined atheist, or perhaps agnostic. He is determined not to believe, and I would wish otherwise for him.” – K. Leicester, Christianbook Reviews
- “I read this book at a pivotal time in my quest for God. It showed me that faith is not incompatible with intellect. Lewis was incredibly smart and insightful and expressed himself so intelligently that I found it impossible to NOT believe in God after reading this and Mere Christianity. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wonders how to find God in a secular world.” – E. Keim, Goodreads
- “The incredible story of Lewis’ conversion from a sworn Atheist to an avowed Christian. It left a great impression on me, as I’m as analytical and skeptical as he was, and it helped me see what I’ve already known in a new light: that Christianity is a logical, intelligent belief system, and not just a touchy-feely experience. Actually it’s a perfect balance of both.” – Tim, Goodreads