Saturday, October 11, 2014

C.S. Lewis's Flawed Christianity - Part V

In my previous posts on C.S. Lewis, I looked at his views of the Bible itself and Christianity in general.  I focused on his religious tolerance in Part I; his beliefs of heaven, hell, purgatory, and prayer in Part II; his views of the Lord's Supper, theistic evolution, and the immortality of animals in Part III; and his positions on Christ's Atonement and the historicity of the Bible in Part IV.

As part of my analysis, I've been using C.S. Lewis on Scripture:  His Thoughts on the Nature of Biblical Inspiration, the Role of Revelation and the Question of Inerrancy by Michael J. Christensen (copyright 1979, ISBN 0-8499-0115-4).  Mr. Christensen looks at Mr. Lewis's views on the Bible itself, the Bible as literature, and the Bible as myth to determine whether or not C.S. Lewis thought that the Bible was inerrant.

I've written four posts looking at C.S. Lewis's beliefs based on the first two chapters of Mr. Christensen's book.  I could continue this series and cover the remaining four chapters by examining his views on the Bible as literature and the Bible as myth, but the outcome would be the same; what Mr. Lewis believes does not line-up with Scripture.

So, in answer to Mr. Christensen's question of whether or not C.S. Lewis would consider the Bible to be inerrant, let's examine the author's conclusion:
"At the same time, Lewis would acknowledge that it [the Bible] is the ongoing revelation of God in Christ, not its embodiment in Scripture, which is infallible.  It is the message of the living Word of God, not the medium of its expression, which is authoritative.  Scripture, as the primary medium of divine revelation, conveys, presents, or as Lewis prefers, "carries" God's truth in finite human form," (p. 88).
The short answer is no, C.S. Lewis would not consider the Bible to be inerrant.

In his book Into the Region of Awe (copyright 2005, ISBN 0-8308-3284-X), David Downing looks at the mysticism of C.S. Lewis.  He acknowledges that "C.S. Lewis is widely regarded as the most influential voice for Christian faith in the modern era...Lewis is generally thought of as a commonsense Christian, one who offers theology that is understandable and morality that is practical."

After looking into the beliefs of C.S. Lewis, I do not consider him a brother in Christ.  We do not believe in the same Jesus.  I don't know how C.S. Lewis became such a powerful "Christian" voice in the church.  I would surmise that the growth in ecumenism along with an increasing lack of discernment have contributed to his inclusion.  I also found this statement telling from Mr. Downing's Introduction:
"Generally, Lewis did not highlight his interest in Christian mysticism.  He knew that many of his fellow believers misunderstood or mistrusted claims of personal encounters with the Divine, and he studiously tried to avoid topics that separate Christians, focusing instead on beliefs they can celebrate together.  But a survey of Lewis's letters (some unpublished), theological meditations and works of fiction show that the spiritual vitality of his books derives in no small measure from his own mystical intuitions and from his broad reading in Christian mysticism," (p. 13).
It's easy to deceive people when you are not honest and upfront about your beliefs.  Somewhere along the way, C.S. Lewis was promoted as a true Christian, and once he was let into mainstream Christianity, nothing can cast him out; not even the truth.

As a member of the Anglican Communion of the Church of England, C.S. Lewis identified himself as a Protestant; therefore, his beliefs should line up with orthodox Christianity.  Since I have shown that his beliefs are not orthodox, but actually promote Roman Catholic tradition, it is imperative that Christians mark Mr. Lewis as contrary to the Bible and avoid him just as the Apostle Paul instructs us:  "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause division and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good works and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple," (Rom. 16:17-18).

I pray that this series of posts will help you think biblically as you discern what books to read and what movies to watch.  As Christians ponder how to interact with the world, many questions will arise, including:  'Can Christians read any books written by non-Christians?'  I think the answer can be yes or no, depending on the individual Christian conscience; there is liberty in Christ.  I'm certainly not promoting a legalistic ban on anything worldly, but when the evidence is clear, Christians should not associate themselves with false teachers.  My concern with C.S. Lewis is that he is held up as a model Christian for the regular man; therefore, his books and movies are recommended and promoted because they reflect "biblical" truth and doctrine.  As I've shown, they do not and they cannot because Mr. Lewis did not recognize the Truth of the written Word of God.

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"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty," (2 Cor. 6:17-18).