The Lewis Legacy-Issue 76, Spring 1998
The Power of a Pious Myth: Milking the Kilns Cash Cow
The C. S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing
March 1, 1998
Doug Gresham's 1997 fundraising letter began, "Four miles from the towering spires of Oxford lies a modest brick home. A single glance would lead one to believe that the resident family had decided to restore the 72-year-old house. They would be right about the restoration, but the family..., well, that is a bit more complex.
"Within the walls of this special house lies the story of a man who sought truth above all else; a man who encouraged young people from around the world to imagine and believe through tales of high adventure in a far off land called Narnia; a man who wrote of his pilgrimage from atheism to faith in ways that earned him the title 'Twentieth Century Apostle to the Skeptics'; a man who found undying love within the rough exterior of an American poet, a communist Christian, Joy Davidman Gresham, as recounted recently in the award winning film 'Shadowlands.' The man? C. S. Lewis!"
"The home was set upon eight acres of woodland with a small pond, a place frequented by Lewis and members of the Inklings including J. R. R. Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings, as they discussed Narnia and Middle Earth." [It is not true that the Inklings frequented Lewis's woodland pond, nor that they discussed Narnia and Middle Earth there. Furthermore, Tolkien disliked the Narnian Chronicles.]
The letter claims that "years from now, someone else who has fallen under the spell of C. S. Lewis's Christ-fired imagination can come here too and be inspired by a glimpse into his world.." "...an intellectually and spiritually nourishing environment that reflects something of Lewis' own lively interest in the life of the mind fueled by imaginative experience grounded in a vital Christian faith." "...a Christ-centered Christ-inspired view of the world in which we live. A view that ignores nothing, imagines anything, and changes everything."