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Annie

Christians And Mythology

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I am reading through a series of interesting short articles which I just discovered on another discussion board. I am really enjoying the series and thought that perhaps some of my fellow literaure buffs who have batted around literary ideas with me in previous discussions on this board would be interested in reading it. The articles do a much better job than I ever could of articulating how I view the relationship and interaction of mythology and fairy stories with Christianity. Here is the link:

http://sharperiron.org/tags/series-mythology

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C.S. Lewis was no Christian, he was not saved the Bible's Way as far as I know. The mention of the Mars Hill church and southern baptists set off the olde radar too. I get the sense that the author there is bored with the Bible. For love of the Lord, I won't read anymore.

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I believe fairly tales have ruined many a good men & women, they lust so much for the lie of, "They lived happy ever after," the only time a human will come into that state is if they have Jesus as Savior & enter Heaven. Yet the majority of humans will never have this, they only have everlasting punishment before them because they rejected God's only begotten Son.

NO, I would not recommend fairy tales to anyone, nor any of C.S. Lewis's tales. Many because they mix fairly tale philosophy, along with mans philosophy, with the true Word of God, end up with many lies that are actually worthless in eternity.


Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Col 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

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Does anyone know with any degree of probable certainty whether or not C.S. Lewis was actually born again in Christ or not?

I've not read enough about him, or read anything more than excerpts of his writings, so I don't know. I do know that some people regard him as a real Christian and others say he wasn't. What evidence is there either way?

I do have a book of a collection of some of his writings, which I don't recall where it came from, but I've never read any of it. Perhaps I should fit that into my schedule one of these days.

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Does anyone know with any degree of probable certainty whether or not C.S. Lewis was actually born again in Christ or not?

I've not read enough about him, or read anything more than excerpts of his writings, so I don't know. I do know that some people regard him as a real Christian and others say he wasn't. What evidence is there either way?

I do have a book of a collection of some of his writings, which I don't recall where it came from, but I've never read any of it. Perhaps I should fit that into my schedule one of these days.

Yes, I think that would be the best way for you to get an idea of where Lewis is coming from.

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About six years ago I spent a couple of hours researching Lewis and came to the conclusion mentioned earlier. His god is the god of The Shack which much of professing Christianity believes in to their detriment.
Interesting that you should come to this conclusion, since Lewis's essay "God in the Dock" as well as his book 'Til We Have Faces advocates the complete opposite viewpoint of that of The Shack. (I have read all three works cover to cover...which of course takes more than two hours. ;) ) Two hours isn't enough time to arrive at an informed opinion about an author like Lewis...It isn't enough time to read even one of his major works, let alone all of them. "Research" that involves merely "reading what other people have to say about Lewis" isn't true research at all. As John mentioned, to get an idea about what Lewis himself believed, you have to read what he said. Which of Lewis's definitive works have you read in its entirety, swathdiver? Your answer will let me know how seriously to take your opinions on this subject. Edited by Annie

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He was a Bible scholar, and some of his preaching and insights show a deep understanding of certain issues, but I have never read of a salvation incident that aligns with Biblical salvation.
That by no means says he was definitely not saved, just that I have not seen an account of it, and many men have had a deep understanding of the Bible and still missed the essentials of salvation by grace through faith.

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He was a Bible scholar, and some of his preaching and insights show a deep understanding of certain issues, but I have never read of a salvation incident that aligns with Biblical salvation.
That by no means says he was definitely not saved, just that I have not seen an account of it, and many men have had a deep understanding of the Bible and still missed the essentials of salvation by grace through faith.

That's a very good point! If anyone does know where an account of his salvation testimony can be found I would love to read it.

I knew a guy in university who knew the Bible front to back yet he was an unbeliever. While this guy could make great anti-christian arguements, he could do an equally great job of making pro-christian arguments when it suited him. He loved to debate and would take whichever side in a debate was least popular or had the least supporters at the moment. Sadly, neither myself nor any of us (Christians) were ever able to get him to seriously consider Christ or the Word regarding eternity. The last I heard of him he was in a mental health unit in prison after he attacked a man with a sword.

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I find it amazing (once again) how people can just throw around statements "he wasn't, couldn't have been saved" with out ever having known the person. If all I had was the story of Peter's denial could I also jump to the conclusion that he wasn't saved? I think not!! I know an IFB pastor that knows the Word back to front and can convince any one concerning his viewpoint using the bible, yet he is way off track on some issues - the street goes both ways.

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Annie, I've never read more than Narnia and the Perelandria (sp?) Chronicles (and I don't want to join in the general jumping down your throat! :wink), but what do you think of the idea put forth in the Last Battle that anyone that served Tash in name but in action did good and true works qualified for Aslan's country? That doesn't seem to me to jive with 'no other name under heaven.'

I would like to read through those links as soon as I have some more time. :)

Edited by salyan

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Ma'am, perhaps you like to explain what Lewis meant in his book, "Mere Christianity" by the term "Christ-Life"?

How about Lewis' belief in evolution, that man came from animals and Genesis was a book made up of myths in "Reflections on the Psalms"?

How does Lewis's belief that man is good (The Problem of Pain) square with: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9 and "...there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Psalm 14:1, 14:3, 53:1, 53:3, Matthew 19:7, Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19 and Romans 3:12?

Satan is very clever and he almost got me with this guy but praise God, the Holy Spirit intervened and showed me the truth!

It is my hope though, that this fellow finally accepted Christ the Bible's Way later in life. These are the writings of an infidel.

Well, on his deathbed he was given last rites by the popery...

Edited by swathdiver

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Ma'am, perhaps you like to explain what Lewis meant in his book, "Mere Christianity" by the term "Christ-Life"?

How about Lewis' belief in evolution, that man came from animals and Genesis was a book made up of myths in "Reflections on the Psalms"?

How does Lewis's belief that man is good (The Problem of Pain) square with: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9 and "...there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Psalm 14:1, 14:3, 53:1, 53:3, Matthew 19:7, Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19 and Romans 3:12?

Satan is very clever and he almost got me with this guy but praise God, the Holy Spirit intervened and showed me the truth!

It is my hope though, that this fellow finally accepted Christ the Bible's Way later in life. These are the writings of an infidel.

Well, on his deathbed he was given last rites by the popery...


I'm dropping from this conservation the warming has already been given on this author. There will always be lost people along with saved people that will support people such as C. S.,. The latter will cause many to stumble, worse yet many to stay lost forever. And neither one of these will appreciate warnings about such a person but will jump on you like a rattlesnake that you stepped on walking across the desert. One person in our mist is getting so that he does this at the drop of a hat.

With that said its usually those that believes some type of works based salvation that really supports this man, for that is the only thing this man ever taught. Worse yet this man has led many into witchcraft & many other sins wit his fictional writings which in them self are sins against God.


Ga 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Ga 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

2 Ch. 33:6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

The last sentence of the above verse can be easily applied to Mr. C. S. Lewis. Yes many professing Christians will say they're wonderful literary pieces for the children of God to read, especially to their young children.

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I have never read any of C S Lewis, but I did find this on David Cloud's website. He has other articles on there which I have not read.


C.S. LEWIS AND EVANGELICALS TODAY

Updated and enlarged August 12, 2008 (first published July 1, 2000) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The late British author C.S. (Clive Staples) Lewis (1898-1963), who was known as Jack, is extremely popular with evangelicals today. Most Christian bookstores feature the writings of Lewis without a word of warning.

A Christianity Today reader’s poll in 1998 rated Lewis the most influential evangelical writer. The December 2005 edition of Christianity Today features C.S. Lewis on the cover and almost every article is devoted to the man, including the effusive cover story entitled, “C.S. Lewis Superstar.” In an article commemorating the 100th anniversary of Lewis’s birth, J.I. Packer called him “our patron saint” and said that Lewis ”has come to be the Aquinas, the Augustine, and the Aesop of contemporary Evangelicalism” (“Still Surprised by Lewis,” Christianity Today, Sept. 7, 1998).

Though Lewis died in 1963, sales of his books had risen to two million a year by 1977 and have increased 125% since 2001.

In its April 23, 2001, issue, Christianity Today again praised C.S. Lewis in an article titled “Myth Matters.” Lewis, called “the 20th century’s greatest Christian apologist,” wrote several mythical works, such as The Chronicles of Narnia, which Christianity Today recommends in the most glowing terms, claiming that “Christ came not to put an end to myth but to take all that is most essential in the myth up into himself and make it real.” I don’t know what to say to this except that it is complete nonsense. In his Chronicles, Lewis depicts Jesus Christ as a lion named Aslan who is slain on a stone table. Christianity Today says, “In Aslan, Christ is made tangible, knowable, real.” As if we can know Jesus Christ best through a fable that is vaguely and inaccurately based on biblical themes and intermingled with paganism.

WAS C.S. LEWIS A STRONG BIBLE BELIEVER?

Was C.S. Lewis a strong Bible believer? By no means, as even Christianity Today admits. “Clive Staples Lewis was anything but a classic evangelical, socially or theologically. He smoked cigarettes and a pipe, and he regularly visited pubs to drink beer with friends. Though he shared basic Christian beliefs with evangelicals, he didn’t subscribe to biblical inerrancy or penal substitution. He believed in purgatory and baptismal regeneration” (“C.S. Lewis Superstar,” Christianity Today, Dec. 2005).

Lewis believed in prayers for the dead. In Letters to Malcolm, he wrote, “Of course I pray for the dead. The action is so spontaneous, so all but inevitable, that only the most compulsive theological case against it would deter men. And I hardly know how the rest of my prayers would survive if those for the dead were forbidden” (p. 109). He believed in purgatory. In Letters to Malcolm, he wrote” “I believe in Purgatory. ... The right view returns magnificently in Newman’s Dream. There if I remember rightly, the saved soul, at the very foot of the throne, begs to be taken away and cleansed. It cannot bear for a moment longer ‘with its darkness to affront that light’. ... Our souls demand Purgatory, don’t they?” (pp. 110-111). Lewis confessed his sins regularly to a priest and was given the Catholic sacrament of last rites on July 16, 1963 (Roger Lancelyn Green and Walter Hooper, C.S. Lewis: A Biography, 1974, pp. 198, 301). Lewis denied the total depravity of man and the substitutionary blood atonement of Christ. He believed in theistic evolution and rejected the Bible as the infallible Word of God. He taught that hell is a state of mind: “And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind--is, in the end, Hell” (Lewis, The Great Divorce, p. 65). D. Martin Lloyd-Jones warned that C.S. Lewis had a defective view of salvation and was an opponent of the substitutionary and penal view of the atonement (Christianity Today, Dec. 20, 1963). In a letter to the editor of Christianity Today, Feb. 28, 1964, Dr. W. Wesley Shrader, First Baptist Church, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, warned that “C.S. Lewis ... would never embrace the (literal-infallible) view of the Bible” (F.B.F. News Bulletin, Fundamental Baptist Fellowship, March 4, 1984).

Lewis lived for 30 years with Janie Moore, a woman 25 years his senior to whom he was not married. The relationship with the married woman began when Lewis was still a student at Oxford. Moore was separated from her husband. Lewis confessed to his brother Arthur that he was in love with Mrs. Moore, the mother of one of his friends who was killed in World War I. The relationship was definitely sexual in nature. See Alan Jacobs, The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis, pp. 82, 94. At age 58, Lewis married Joy Gresham, an American woman who pursued a relationship with Lewis even while she was still married to another man. According to two of Lewis’s friends, Gresham’s husband divorced her on the grounds of desertion (Roger Lancelyn Green & Walter Hooper, Light on C.S. Lewis), though he, in turn, married Joy’s cousin.

In the book A Severe Mercy by Sheldon VanAuken, a personal letter is reproduced on page 191 in which Lewis suggests to VanAuken that upon his next visit to England that the two of them “must have some good, long talks together and perhaps we shall both get high.” We have no way to know exactly what this means, but we do know that Lewis drank beer, wine, and whiskey on a daily basis.

Lewis never gave up his unholy fascination with paganism. On a visit to Greece with his wife in 1960, Lewis made the following strange, unbiblical statement:

“I had some ado to prevent Joy (and myself) from lapsing into paganism in Attica! AT DAPHNI IT WAS HARD NOT TO PRAY TO APOLLO THE HEALER. BUT SOMEHOW ONE DIDN’T FEEL IT WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY WRONG--WOULD HAVE ONLY BEEN ADDRESSING CHRIST SUB SPECIE APOLLONIUS” (C.S. Lewis to Chad Walsh, May 23, 1960, cited from George Sayer, Jack: A Life of C.S. Lewis, 1994, p. 378).

What a blasphemous statement! Christ is not worshipped under the image of pagan gods. And we must remember that this was written at the end of Lewis’ life, and long after his “conversion” to Christ.

Lewis claimed that followers of pagan religions can be saved without personal faith in Jesus Christ: “But the truth is God has not told us what His arrangements about the other people are. ... There are people who do not accept the full Christian doctrine about Christ but who are so strongly attracted by Him that they are His in a much deeper sense than they themselves understand. There are people in other religions who are being led by God’s secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it. For example a Buddhist of good will may be led to concentrate more and more on the Buddhist teaching about mercy and to leave in the background (though he might still say he believed) the Buddhist teaching on certain points. Many of the good Pagans long before Christ’s birth may have been in this position” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, HarperSanFrancisco edition, 2001, pp. 64, 208, 209).

Lewis believed that Jonah and Job were not historical books. In his article “Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism,” Lewis said: “... Jonah, a tale with as few even pretended historical attachments as Job, grotesque in incident and surely not without a distinct, though of course edifying, vein of typically Jewish humor” (“Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism,” Christian Reflections, edited by Walter Hooper, Eerdmans).

LEWIS NEVER GAVE A CLEAR BIBLICAL TESTIMONY OF THE NEW BIRTH AND SAID THAT FAITH IN THE BLOOD OF CHRIST IS UNNECESSARY

C.S. Lewis went to some length to describe his views of salvation in Mere Christianity and in his spiritual autobiography, Surprised by Joy. In neither book did he give a clear biblical testimony of the new birth.

As for faith in the blood of Christ, Lewis said that it is not an essential part of Christianity. He taught that it does not matter how one defines the atonement, and he himself did not believe in the substitutionary blood atonement. In Mere Christianity he made the following statement:

“You can say that Christ died for our sins. You may say that the Father has forgiven us because Christ has done for us what we ought to have done. You may say that we are washed in the blood of the Lamb. You may say that Christ has defeated death. They are all true. IF ANY OF THEM DO NOT APPEAL TO YOU, LEAVE IT ALONE AND GET ON WITH THE FORMULA THAT DOES. And, whatever you do, do not start quarrelling with other people because they use a different formula from years” (Mere Christianity, HarperSanFrancisco edition, 2001, p. 182).

This is rank heresy. Lewis wrongly claimed that it does not matter if a person believes that he is washed in Christ’s blood, that this is a mere “formula” that can be accepted or rejected at one’s pleasure. He said that it is just as well to believe that “the Father has forgiven us because Christ has done for us what we ought to have done.” That is a bloodless salvation through Christ’s life rather than through His Cross, which, according to the Bible is no salvation at all. The “blood” is mentioned more than 90 times in the New Testament, and that is no accident. “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb. 9:22). If Jesus had lived a perfect life in our place and died a bloodless death in our place, we would not be saved.

Lewis said, “The central Christian belief is that Christ’s death has somehow put us right with God and given us a fresh start. Theories as to how it did this are another matter. ... Any theories we build up as to how Christ’s death did all of this are, in my view, quite secondary...” (Mere Christianity, HarperSanFrancisco edition, 2001, pp. 54, 55, 56).

This is unscriptural teaching. God has revealed exactly what Christ did and what the atonement means. It is not a matter of theorizing or believing one “formula” over against another. The Bible says our salvation is a matter of a propitiation, a ransom, whereby our sins were washed away by Christ’s bloody death, which was offered as a payment to satisfy God’s holy Law.

Lewis never mentions the doctrine of propitiation, but propitiation was a necessary part of our salvation and the propitiation was made by blood. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Rom. 3:25). Propitiation means satisfaction; covering; the fulfillment of a demand. It refers to God’s estimation of Christ’s sacrifice. God is fully satisfied by what Jesus Christ did on the Cross. The penalty for His broken law by man’s sin has been fully satisfied (Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Jn. 2:2; Heb. 2:17; Isa. 5:11). The Greek word translated “propitiation” in Rom. 3:25 is also translated “mercy seat” in Heb. 9:5. The mercy seat perfectly covered the law which was contained in the Ark (Ex. 25:17, 21). This symbolizes propitiation--Christ covering the demands of God’s law. That it is the blood of Christ which satisfied this demand and put away our sins was depicted on the Day of Atonement when blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat by the high priest (Lev. 16:11-17).

Through Christ’s blood we have eternal redemption. “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:12).

Through Christ’s blood we can enter into the presence of God. “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Heb. 10:19).

This is not a theory or a formula. It is the Word of God, and if one does not like it or believe it, he cannot be saved.

In Mere Christianity, Lewis claims that the Christ-life is spread to men through baptism, belief, and the Lord’s Supper. This is a false gospel of faith plus works. He says, “There are three things that spread the Christ-life to us: baptism, belief, and that mysterious action which different Christians call by different names--Holy Communion, the Mass, the Lord’s Supper. ... I am not saying anything about which of these things is the most essential. My Methodist friend would like me to say more about belief and less (in proportion) about the other two. But I am not going into that” (Mere Christianity, p. 61). [Note that he includes the Catholic Mass in his list of the various names by which holy communion are known, failing to acknowledge to his readers that the Mass is an entirely different thing than the simple Lord’s Supper of the New Testament.]

It is not a Methodist we should listen to but the Bible itself, and the Bible says that salvation is by the grace of Christ alone through faith in Christ alone without works, that works are important but they follow after salvation and are the product of salvation rather than the means of it. The difference between saying that salvation is by faith without works and that works follow and saying that salvation is by faith with works or faith plus works is the difference between a true gospel and a false one. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:3-4). “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8-10).

I have read several of C.S. Lewis’s books and dozens of his articles and several biographies about him, and I have never seen a clear teaching on the new birth or a clear biblical testimony that he was born again. This should be cause for the deepest concern.

WHY IS LEWIS SO POPULAR WITH EVANGELICALS TODAY?

In light of his lack of clear scriptural salvation testimony, his heresies, his worldliness, and the massive pagan influences in his work, why are evangelicals today so enamored with C.S. Lewis? I believe the following are some of the chief reasons:

FIRST, NEW EVANGELICALS LOVE C.S. LEWIS BECAUSE THEY ARE CHARACTERIZED BY A PRIDE OF INTELLECT AND LEWIS WAS DEFINITELY AN INTELLECTUAL. He had almost a photographic memory and had a triple first at Oxford in Philosophy, Classics, and English. He was one of the greatest experts of that day in English literature and occupied the first Chair in Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University. Since New Evangelicals almost worship intellectualism (a spirit that the late David Otis Fuller called “scholarolatry”), it is no surprise that they would look upon the famous intellectual C.S. Lewis as a patron saint.

SECOND, NEW EVANGELICALS LOVE C.S. LEWIS BECAUSE OF HIS ECUMENICAL THINKING AND HIS REFUSAL TO PRACTICE SEPARATION. This has been admitted by Christianity Today. “Lewis’s … concentration on the main doctrines of the church coincided with evangelicals’ concern to avoid ecclesiastical separatism” (Christianity Today, Oct. 25, 1993). CT therefore admits that C.S. Lewis is popular to Evangelicals today because, like them, he despised biblical separation.

C.S. Lewis was, in fact, very ecumenical. The following is an overview of his ecumenical philosophy and his influence on present-day ecumenical movement:

“Lewis was firmly ecumenical, though he distanced himself from outright liberalism. In his preface to Mere Christianity, Lewis states that his aim is to present ‘an agreed, or common, or central or mere Christianity.’ So he aims to concentrate on the doctrines that he believes are common to all forms of Christianity--including Roman Catholicism. It is no surprise that he submitted parts of the book to four clergymen for criticism--an Anglican, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, and a Roman Catholic! He hopes that the book will make it clear why all Christians ‘ought to be reunited,’ but warns that it should not be seen as an alternative to the creeds of existing denominations. He likens the ‘mere Christianity’ that he describes in the book to a hall from which various rooms lead off. These rooms are the various Christian traditions. And just as when you enter a house you do not stay in the hall but enter a room, so when you become a Christian you should join a particular Christian tradition. Lewis believes that it is not too important which room you enter. It will be right for some to enter the door marked ‘Roman Catholicism’ as it will for others to enter other doors. Whichever room you enter, says Lewis, the important thing is that you be convinced that it is the right one for you. And, he says, ‘When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors.’

“Mention should also be made of Lewis’ views of the sacraments. The sacraments ‘spread the Christ life to us’ (Mere Christianity, book 2, chapter 5). In his Letters to Malcolm Lewis states that he does not want to ‘unsettle in the mind of any Christian, whatever his denomination, the concepts--for him traditional--by which he finds it profitable to represent to himself what is happening when he receives the bread and wine’ of the Lord’s Supper. What happens in the Lord’s Supper is a mystery, and so the Roman Catholic conception of the bread and wine becoming the actual body and blood of Christ might be just as valid as the Protestant view of the Lord’s Supper as a memorial (Letters to Malcolm, chapter 19). ...

“This enigma of C.S. Lewis was no more than a slight bemusement to me until recently three things changed my bemusement into bewilderment.

“In March 1994 the Evangelicals and Catholics Together movement produced its first document. This was a programatic document entitled Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium. It was rightly said at the time that this document represented ‘a betrayal of the Reformation.’ I saw no connection between this and C.S. Lewis until a couple of years later when the symposium Evangelicals and Catholics Together: Working Towards a Common Mission was published. In his contribution to the book, Charles Colson--the Evangelical ‘prime mover’ behind ECT--tells us that C.S. Lewis was a major influence which led him to form the movement (Billy Graham was another!). In fact Colson says that Evangelicals and Catholics Together seeks to continue the legacy of C.S. Lewis by focusing on the core beliefs of all true Christians (Common Mission, p. 36). The enigma took on a more foreboding aspect.

“The enigma darkened further when just last year (after becoming connected to the Internet at the end of 1996) I discovered, quite by accident, that C.S. Lewis is just as popular amongst Roman Catholics as he is amongst Evangelicals. Perhaps I should have known this already, but it had never struck me before.

“The third shock came last autumn when I read that Christianity Today--reputed to be the leading evangelical magazine in the USA--had conducted a poll amongst its readers to discover whom they considered the most influential theological writers of the twentieth century. You will have already guessed that C.S. Lewis came out on top!

“After these three things it came as no surprise to me this year to find that C.S. Lewis has exerted a major influence on the Alpha course, and that it quotes or refers to him almost ad nauseum. Could not the Alpha course be renamed the ‘Mere Christianity’ course? ...

“In conclusion, I offer the following reflection. If it is true to say that ‘you are what you eat,’ then it is also true to say that ‘a Christian is what he hears and reads’ since this is how he gets his spiritual food. Thus if Christians are brought up on a diet of C.S. Lewis, it should not surprise us to find they are seeking ‘to continue the legacy of C.S. Lewis.’ The apostle Paul said, ‘A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump’ (Gal. 5:9--the whole passage is relevant to the present context); thus IF EVANGELICALS READ AND APPLAUD SUCH BOOKS AS MERE CHRISTIANITY IT SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE IF WE FIND THEM ‘WORKING TOWARDS A COMMON MISSION’ WITH THE ENEMIES OF THE GOSPEL. THE YOUNG CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL WHAT HE READS, AND THOSE IN POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY (PASTORS, TEACHERS, PARENTS) SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL WHAT THEY RECOMMEND OTHERS TO READ” (Dr. Tony Baxter, “The Enigma of C.S. Lewis,” CRN Journal, Winter 1998, Christian Research Network, Colchester, United Kingdom, p. 30; Baxter works for the Protestant Truth Society as a Wycliffe Preacher).

In April 1998, Mormon professor Robert Millet spoke at Wheaton College on the topic of C.S. Lewis. In a recent issue of Christianity Today, Millet, dean of Brigham Young University, is quoted as saying that C.S. Lewis “is so well received by Latter-day Saints [Mormons] because of his broad and inclusive vision of Christianity” (John W. Kennedy, “Southern Baptists Take Up the Mormon Challenge,” Christianity Today, June 15, 1998, p. 30).

THIRD, NEW EVANGELICALS LOVE C.S. LEWIS BECAUSE OF THEIR SHARED FASCINATION FOR OR AND SYMPATHY WITH ROME. Today’s evangelicals have given us “Evangelicals and Rome Together” and even those who do not go that far usually speak of Rome’s errors in soft, congenial terms rather than labeling it the blasphemous, antichrist institution that it is and that Protestants and Baptists of old plainly called it. As we have seen, C.S. Lewis considered the Roman Catholic Church one of the acceptable “rooms” in the house of Christianity and longed for unity between Protestantism and Romanism. Lewis believed in prayers to the dead and purgatory.

Some of Lewis’s closest friends were Roman Catholics. J.R. Tolkien of Lord of the Rings fame is one example. Tolkien and Lewis were very close and spent countless hours together. Lewis credited Tolkien with having a large role in his “conversion.” Lewis was also heavily influenced by the Roman Catholic writer G.K. Chesterton. When asked what Christian writers had helped him, Lewis remarked in 1963, six months before he died, “The contemporary book that has helped me the most is Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man” (God in the Dock, edited by Walter Hooper, 1970, p. 260).

Lewis carried on a warm correspondence in Latin with Catholic priest Don Giovanni Calabria of Italy over their shared “concern for the reunification of the Christian churches” (The Narnian, Alan Jacobs, pp. 249, 250). Calabria was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988.

In 1943, Lewis gave a talk on “Christian Apologetics” for a group of priests in Wales (The Narnian, p. 229).

From the 1940s to the end of his life, Lewis’s spiritual advisor was a Catholic priest named Walter Adams (The Narnian, p. 224). It was to this priest that Lewis confessed his sins.

Roman Catholics love C.S. Lewis as much as evangelicals. His books are typically found in Catholic bookstores. Michael Coren, a Roman Catholic, wrote a biography of Lewis entitled “C.S. Lewis: The Man Who Created Narnia.” The Catholic news agency Zenit asked Coren, “What do Catholics need to know about C.S. Lewis?” He replied: “They should know he wasn’t a Catholic, but that doesn't mean he wouldn’t have become one eventually. G. K. Chesterton became a Catholic in 1922 but had really been one for 20 years. ... Lewis was born in Belfast, in sectarian Northern Ireland, so he was raised anti-Catholic like most Protestant children there. He was a man of his background but HIS VIEWS WERE VERY CATHOLIC: HE BELIEVED IN PURGATORY, BELIEVED IN THE SACRAMENTS, WENT TO CONFESSION” (“The Subtle Magic of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia: Michael Coren’s Perspective as the New Movie Looms,” Zenit, Dec. 7, 2005).

Peter Kreeft, a convert to Rome from the Dutch Reformed denomination, says C.S. Lewis was one of the “many strands of the rope that hauled me aboard the ark”:

“Even C. S. Lewis, the darling of Protestant Evangelicals, ‘smelled’ Catholic most of the time. ... Lewis is the only author I ever have read whom I thought I could completely trust and completely understand. But he believed in Purgatory, the Real Presence in the Eucharist, and not Total Depravity. He was no Calvinist. In fact, he was a medieval” (“Hauled Aboard the Ark,” http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/hauled-aboard.htm).

Kreeft is right. Evangelicalism’s love affair with C.S. Lewis is evidence of its deep spiritual compromise and lack of sound doctrinal discernment.

“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (1 Cor. 5:6)

“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” (1 Cor. 15:33)

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 12 Tim. 3:5)

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Rom. 16:17)

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Well, even without David Cloud's discussion on the issue, the Quotes from Mr Lewis' own writings show that although he wrote some good stuff on occasion, he had no understanding of salvation.

Interestingly, he absolutely denied that the Narnia series was in any way representative of Christ - in spite of the similarities, so using it as a reason to reject him is problematic.
Also unnecessary for one who so plainly in his own writing supports doctrines like purgatory.

Thanks for the link/quote.

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He is a man who does a lot of research before he published anything.
I personally don't agree with him (or any commentator) 100%.
See the thread I posted up about commentators.
However, even you must agree that the quotes from Mr Lewis' own pen are revealing in this instance, even without the commentary from the author of the article.

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Annie, I've never read more than Narnia and the Perelandria (sp?) Chronicles (and I don't want to join in the general jumping down your throat! :wink), but what do you think of the idea put forth in the Last Battle that anyone that served Tash in name but in action did good and true works qualified for Aslan's country? That doesn't seem to me to jive with 'no other name under heaven.'

I would like to read through those links as soon as I have some more time. :)

Hi, salyan. I admit I was thinking of you when I posted the link to the articles, mainly because you seem to be somewhat of a kindred spirit in that you enjoy thinking about and evaluating literature. If you ever do get around reading the articles, I would love to get your take on them. No pressure, though. The articles aren't really just about C.S. Lewis, but about mythological concepts in general.

Yes, The Last Battle does seem to have at least one theological problem. I won't try to explain it away, but I do think a person can gain a more rounded perspective on what Lewis thought about that particular issue by reading his more definitive works. Having read most, if not all, of those works, I can say that Lewis was definitely not a Universalist. His ideas about what happens to those who have not had a chance to hear the gospel during their earthly life are fairly complex. He did believe, though, according to his own writings, that it is only through redemption in Christ that a person can be saved from eternal damnation. How that all plays out is somewhat of a mystery even among fundamentalist and evangelical Christians...Some believe that those who have never heard the gospel will be given a second chance after the Rapture...and there are other views about how Christ's mercy deals with the ignorant as well as babies, mentally handicapped people, etc. Lewis had some interesting ideas on this subject, but you don't get a full picture of them from reading only The
Last Battle.

BTW, my all-time favorite chapters of The Chronicles of Narnia are the final chapters of The Last Battle..."The term is over; the holidays have begun," etc.

Since four months ago when I was diagnosed with a potentially terminal disease, I have so much enjoyed reading Lewis's books The Great Divorce and The Problem of Pain. Very uplifting and encouraging...along with Til We Have Faces, and Reflections on the Psalms, and, and, and...:-) Of course, nothing in this world beats the Scriptures for comfort and nourishment and instruction.

Regarding the whole "was C.S. Lewis a Christian" issue, there's really no substitute for reading what Lewis himself had to say...within the context of the whole work(s). Quotations can be taken out of context so easily to "prove" just about anything, as I believe at least one poster on this thread has rightly observed. It is impossible to take seriously the comments of anyone who hasn't really done the homework, but is merely parroting the opinion of someone else. Edited by Annie

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Amazing, I suppose all of us that disagree on the writings of C. S. Lewis, that we just have no kindness in us at all. That we are nothing but mean spirited hateful people.

I & others are only parroting what's in the Bible & what it say to leave alone. Yet I refuse to compromise on such issue so that I can be called kind by those that recommend writing of people such as C.S Lewis for Christian reading,

Your more than welcome to take anything I post & throw it out, completely disregarding it, but when you keep saying we are unkind, that does not show any respect at all for any that post on this forum.

And let it be known, I have no hard feelings at all, not any!

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Amazing, I suppose all of us that disagree on the writings of C. S. Lewis, that we just have no kindness in us at all. That we are nothing but mean spirited hateful people.

I & others are only parroting what's in the Bible & what it say to leave alone. Yet I refuse to compromise on such issue so that I can be called kind by those that recommend writing of people such as C.S Lewis for Christian reading,

Your more than welcome to take anything I post & throw it out, completely disregarding it, but when you keep saying we are unkind, that does not show any respect at all for any that post on this forum.

And let it be known, I have no hard feelings at all, not any!

I'm confused...Who has said you are unkind?

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Swath, I may not agree with Annie on all our reading choices, but they are areas of Christian liberty and are no reason to consider her unsaved.


I don't consider it liberty Ma'am, it's error, against the scriptures, something to separate from and avoid. After reading this and other posts in the past, I wonder what kind of gospel they subscribe to?

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