In 1993, John Piper shared the books that have most influenced him, paying special attention to the works of C.S. Lewis. Below is an excerpt from the post sharing three ways Lewis has had a lasting influence on him:
I discovered C.S. Lewis through Mere Christianity my freshman year in college. Since then I have read over 20 books by Lewis. He has had a tremendous influence on me in several ways.
1) He has made me wary of chronological snobbery. That is, he has shown me that “newness” is no virtue and “oldness” is no fault. Truth and beauty and goodness are not determined by when they exist. Nothing is inferior for being old and nothing is valuable for being modern. This has freed me from the tyranny of novelty and opened for me the wisdom of the ages. He said one: every third book you read should be from outside your own (provincial) century.
2) He demonstrated for me and convinced me that rigorous, precise, penetrating logic is not inimical to deep, soul-stirring feeling and vivid, lively, even playful imagination. He was a “romantic rationalist.” He combined what almost everybody today assumes are mutually exclusive: rationalism and poetry, cool logic and warm feeling, disciplined prose and free imagination. In shattering these old stereotypes for me, he freed me to think hard and to write poetry, to argue for the resurrection and compose hymns to Christ, to smash an argument and hug a friend, to demand a definition and use a metaphor.
3) Finally, Lewis has given (and continues to give) me an intense sense of the “realness” of things. This is hard to communicate. To wake up in the morning and to be aware of the firmness of the mattress, the warmth of the sun rays, the sound of the clock ticking, the sheer being of things (quidity as he calls it). He helped me become alive to life. He helped me to see what is there in the world–things which if we didn’t have them, we would pay a million dollars to have, but having them, ignore. He convicts me of my insensitivity to beauty. He convicts me of my callous inability to enjoy God’s daily gifts. He helps me to awaken my dazing soul so that the realities of life and of God and heaven and hell are seen and felt.
Among the books I have read and enjoyed with much profit are: Mere Christianity, Screwtape Letters, The Problem of Pain, The Abolition of Man, Miracles, Pilgrim’s Regress, Poems, Letters to an American Lady, Letters of C.S. Lewis, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (cf. The other 6 Narnia books), Perelandra, Out of the Silent Planet, That Hideous Strength, Christian Reflections, Experiment in Criticism, God in the Dock, The Four Loves, The Weight of Glory, A Mind Awake (anthology ed. by C.. Kilby).