Saturdays with C.S. Lewis
Each Saturday as you peruse your favorite blogs and Facebook interests you can stop in here for a look at one of the most eloquent laymen ever to speak and write about Christianity. C.S. Lewis was never a preacher or a pastor. He was never employed by a church or enrolled in theological education. In fact, Lewis described himself as the “most reluctant convert” to Christianity.
C.S. Lewis was an English professor at Oxford University. After converting to Christianity as a 33 year old, he thoughtfully began to apply his faith to real life. His craft was literature, therefore he began to use his craft for the glory of God. (Just as we all should bloom where we are planted and honor God with whatever talents He has given us.)
Lewis wrote fiction and non-fiction, and is well respected for both. He knew how to connect with real life and communicate with his readers as if they were old friends.
Why do I read and respect C.S. Lewis?
Because every time I pick up one of his books 1.) he makes me think. But not just to think about the topic at hand, he trains me to think. My christian worldview is honed and sharpened whether I am traveling the battlefields of Narnia or debating the issues in Mere Christianity. Next, 2.) he makes me deal with today. Even though he wrote in a day with no blogs, Facebook or Twitter (I’d love to hear Screwtape’s take on social media) his keen eye for the heart of the issue cuts through the cultural differences and speaks to universal principles that transcend time and space. The truths of Christianity are just as true in 1941 with WWII raging as they are in 2012 with all of our current issues. Lewis reminds me to speak to our day in a way that is articulate, thoughtful, and respectful. And lastly, 3.) he is simply a joy to read. His style and flow are the work of an artist. He connects with the child as easily as the scholar. On this point I will note that while his style is intoxicating, not all is theologically correct.
I even believe he is downright wrong on some issues. This drives home the fact that we cannot be blind followers of any man. We are to follow the Lord Jesus alone. While I think Lewis has so much to offer this new generation of believers, we filter everything through the lens of scripture. When Lewis doesn’t jive with God’s Word, we see that for what it is and choose to bring every thought captive to Christ. For example, Lewis, in the final Narnia series book, The Last Battle, leaves the door open to the possibility of people entering into heaven through other faiths. I understand this to be totally wrong. Recognizing this flaw I do not discard the entire Chronicles of Narnia, but am reminded that our theology informs our fiction and not the other way around. God’s Word alone is authoritative in describing entrance into His family.
Each Saturday we will enjoy snippets from C.S. Lewis together. Through his quotes, imagery, and arguments we will see that Lewis is spiritually profitable for this generation as much as he was for his own. I look forward to hearing your comments as we open the treasure trove of the life and works of C.S. Lewis.
Your fellow worker in the field, Adam