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    What did C. S. Lewis believe about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, heaven, hell, creation, the Fall, the forgiveness of sins, marriage and divorce, war and peace, the church and sacraments, masculinity and femininity?

    Lewis was not a professional theologian, but anyone who has read his writings--whether fiction or nonfiction, essays or correspondence--knows that profoundly Christian convictions permeate them all.  The more one reads, the more it becomes clear that Lewis could write with charity and simplicity while preserving theological accuracy because he was well informed and thoroughly grounded in the Christian faith.

    Will Vaus has masterfully brought together Lewis's thought from throughout his voluminous writings to provide us a full-orbed look into his beliefs on twenty-five Christian themes.  This book gives us not only a comprehensive view of Lewis's theological convictions but also guidance and encouragement for our own spiritual journeys toward the God whom Lewis found so real, personal and present.


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    One of the most fascinating conversion stories of the 20th century, My Father Was a Gangster tells the dramatic life story of Jim Vaus, former associate of crime syndicate boss Mickey Cohen. In this book, son Will Vaus tells the inside story of his father's nefarious activities in organized crime and describes how close his father came to losing his life in a "Sting" operation.  The author then describes the dramatic transformation that took place in his father's life as a result of attending the 1949 Billy Graham meetings in Los Angeles.

    This story has been recounted in Time, Life and Reader's Digest, and was chronicled in a motion picture, The Wiretapper. Now it is told from a son's perspective, a son who watched his father reach juvenile delinquents across America with the same message of hope that changed his own life.


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    Have you ever wanted to meet the man behind the magical land of Narnia?  Now you can meet C. S. Lewis, the Oxford tutor and Cambridge professor who wrote the seven books: The Chronicles of Narnia.  Learn what made the creator of the most beloved fairy tales of the 20th century the man who he was.  Along the way you will visit all the important places of Lewis's life: from Belfast, Northern Ireland to the steps of the Parthenon in Greece and you will also meet some of Lewis's best friends, like J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.  Your tour guide for this fabulous journey is Will Vaus, author of Mere Theology: A Guide to the Thought of C. S. Lewis, founder of three C. S. Lewis Societies, leader of a C. S. Lewis tour to England, and one of the few people in the world who actually lived in The Narnia Cottage in Ireland.  Will stepped through the wardrobe door for the first time when he was 9 years old, and now that he has three sons of his own he knows how much every young person who reads the Narnia books or has seen the blockbuster Disney/Walden Media Narnia movies wants to know more about the author of these delightful stories, C. S. Lewis.  So come along for the ride and you may even get to meet the great lion Aslan himself.


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    Since The Chronicles of Narnia were first written by C. S. Lewis in the late 1940's and early 1950's various schemes of thematic unity have been suggested for the books.  Some have maintained that each of the books represent one of the seven Catholic sacraments.  Others have put forward that each book acts as a commentary on one of the seven deadly sins, or one of the seven virtues.  More recently it has been suggested that each of the seven Narnia chronicles corresponds to one of the seven planets of the medieval cosmos.  But what did Lewis himself say about the overarching and unifying thematic structure of the Narnia books?  That is what this book seeks to set out and explore: what C. S. Lewis called "the hidden story" of Narnia.

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    Speaking of Jack is the result of Will Vaus' experience in leading three different C. S. Lewis societies. Included here are introductions to most of Lewis' books as well as questions designed to stimulate discussion. These materials have been "road tested" with groups made up of young and old, some very familiar with Lewis and some newcomers. Speaking of Jack can be used in high school or college courses, an existing book discussion group or Sunday school class, to start a C. S. Lewis Society or as a guide to your own exploration of Lewis' books.

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    Every living thing or person requires certain ingredients in order to grow, and if a thing or person is not growing, it is dying. What is true in the physical realm is also true in the spiritual arena. In order to grow spiritually, individual Christians, and the whole Church in fact needs certain fundamental ingredients. The Acts of the Apostles is a book that is all about growth. Will Vaus has been meditating and preaching on Acts for many years. In this volume, he offers the reader forty-one keys from the entire book of Acts to unlock spiritual growth in everyday life. 


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    If you ask most people, “What is Advent?” they will probably not be able to give a correct answer. At best, they might tell you that when they were children they opened the doors of an Advent Calendar in the days leading up to Christmas. Similarly, if you asked the average person in the street, “What are the Twelve Days of Christmas?” they might only be able to sing a few lines from the song of the same name.



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    The life story of Sheldon Vanauken is one of adventure, romance, conversion, grief, and recovery. Much of this was chronicled in the autobiographical bestseller, A Severe Mercy. However, a good deal of Vanauken’s fascinating life remained shrouded in secrecy … until now. Through a process of careful historical research, including interviews with Vanauken’s many friends, colleagues, and students, Will Vaus reveals to the reader the numerous facets of a complex character. In this biography we discover: Vanauken the struggling student, the bon-vivant lover, the sailor who witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the seeker who returned to faith through C. S. Lewis, the beloved professor of English literature and history, the feminist and anti-war activist who participated in the March on the Pentagon, the bestselling author, and Vanauken the convert to Catholicism. What emerges is the portrait of a man relentlessly in search of beauty, love, and truth, a man who believed that he found all three in the end.


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    If you had to describe the message of the Bible in one word, what word would you choose? Author Will Vaus suggests that "love" is what the Bible is all about; it is a love story between God and human beings. As such, it displays all the characteristics of a human love story: falling in love, jealousy, heartbreak, sacrifice, faithful endurance, separation, and glorious reunion. The message of the Bible is that the greatest need of every human being can be met, and that is the need for love.
     
    The Bible has sometimes been called "God's Love Letter," and in a sense that is quite true. The word "love" in various forms appears over five hundred times in the sixty-six books of Holy Scripture. Out of all of those books, love appears more often in one than in any other. That book is the First Letter of John where we see various words for "love" thirty five times in five brief chapters.
     
    This book invites you on a journey of reading and reflection: reading the First Letter of John and reflecting on God's love for us, our love for God, and our love for one another.



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    Will Vaus
    Box 581
    Monterey, VA 24465
    Phone: 540-292-8544
    Email: will@willvaus.com

    All items on this web site are copyright 2014 by Will Vaus. Use permitted for educational purposes only. 

    Header photo copyright Lancia E. Smith www.lanciaesmith.com

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