I think Lewis would agree with the sentiment of the quote. I trust he wouldn’t have wanted someone else to put those words in his mouth, but I’m sure he’ll not hold it against me when I meet him! Now, there are in fact many quotations online that are falsely attributed to various people. The most famous quote from Blaise Pascal, for instance, is one that he apparently never said.
Plagiarism is definitely a problem—sadly, even within parts of the Christian community. However, as I share in this past blog, the talk about the serious sin of plagiarism has helped cultivate a suspicion that’s sometimes unhealthy. The following incident illustrates how easily an unintentional mistake can happen in the process of writing a book—and that sometimes, what on the surface appears to be plagiarism might not always be so.
In my book Money, Possessions, and Eternity, I start out a paragraph with this bolded statement, and then at the end of the paragraph I go on to quote C. S. Lewis:
In the truest sense, Christian pilgrims have the best of both worlds. We have joy whenever this world reminds us of the next. And we have comfort whenever it does not. We have the promise of a new heaven and new earth, where the worst elements of this world—sorrow, pain, death, and the tears they produce—will be gone forever (Revelation 21:4). Yet we also know that the best elements of this world—love, joy, wonder, worship, and beauty—will not be gone but intensified and perfected in the remade world. “Aim at heaven,” C. S. Lewis says, “and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you will get neither.”