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Friday, May 04, 2007

C. S. Lewis Resources . . . Pro And Con





5. C. S. LEWIS: PROVOCATIVE, POIGNANT & PROFOUND WORDS [click here to go immediately to 5.]



(Forgive the shortness of part 1., there are nearly 1 & 1/2 million hits for "C. S. Lewis" on the web, and the vast majority of them are from people who praise his writings. So, I shall name a few fairly prominent representatives who have praised Lewis recently.)

Josh McDowell -- Author of Evidence That Demands a Verdict, apologist/evangelist for Campus Crusade

Rev. N.T. Wright -- Anglican Bishop of Durham, England, and author of scholarly and popular books, most recently, Simply Christian. Wright's address, Simply Lewis, was delivered at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in mid-­November, 2006, and besides praise, it contains a few paragraphs critical of some aspects of Lewis's argumentation, especially Lewis's Lord, Lunatic or Liar argument.

Dr. Francis Collins -- Head of The Human Genome Project, and author of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. See his debt to Lewis here and here.

Tom Tarrants -- Raised Southern Baptist, became KKK terrorist, read the Bible in prison and converted to Christianity, now head of the C. S. Lewis Institute in Washington, D.C.



Biblical Discernment Ministry critique of C. S. Lewis's teachings and beliefs

C. S. Lewis-Who He Was & What He Wrote by Good Things For Your Family, including links to Questions and Answers From Readers: Lewis Bashing? C.S. Lewis Errata?

The Heterodoxy of C. S. Lewis

Did C. S. Lewis Go to Heaven? by John W. Robbins

C.S. Lewis Discussion Board: Lewis didn't go to heaven

Beware of C. S. Lewis by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service

C. S. Lewis: The Devil's Wisest Fool by Blessed Quietness Journal

C. S. Lewis: An Author to Avoid
by "Take Heed" Ministries



"J Milton" [a pseudonym], and his brief testimony, Paradise Lost -- posted Thursday, October 26, 2006 -- "I... came to the christian faith via more of an intellectual, mystical path... through the writings of John Milton, Edmund Spenser, C.S. Lewis, and the spiritualist and mystic Renaissance man known as William Blake... If you haven't read Paradise Lost, I highly encourage you to do so. It truly is wonderful... as is the Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser as well as Lewis' Narnia series... they all create mythological worlds on top of the bible, and in my mind, make it all come to life... I still believe in the ethereal plane, sans any man-applied dogma. John Milton will always mean something to me and Paradise Lost will always have a place in my heart... [But I am a] freethinker... exchristian."

Valerie Tarico -- Psychologist, author, graduate of Wheaton College, her favorite Christian author during her Evangelical years was C. S. Lewis (Wheaton College features one of the most impressive collections of "Lewisiana" in the world). Chapters of her book about leaving the fold were published on
Her blog
Chapters of her book can also be found here, here, and here.

Edward T. Babinski -- If It Wasn't For Agnosticism I Wouldn't Know What to Believe, a chapter in Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists

Ken Daniels -- From Missionary Bible Translator to Agnostic (2003)
Mentions his earnest love of Lewis's writings, and how they saved him from apostacizing even earlier than he eventually did. He also mentions having read my own book, Leaving the Fold, mentioned directly above. Later, Ken expanded his testimony into a full length book that's available free online, Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary.

John Stephen Ku -- Philosophy PhD student, Started Fall 2002, U of Mich. -- C. S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion: A Memoir -- a memoir that is no longer on web, but which might still be on the Way Back Machine's Internet Archive if you plug in

Kendall Hobbs -- Why I Am No Longer a Christian (2003)

Dr. Robert M. Price -- Former campus minister, now a theologian with two Ph.Ds. and an author, wrote in Beyond Born Again, "...C. S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters considerably advanced my progress in piety," though later Price would leave the fold.

A cold and broken alleluia: How did a former minister become an atheist?

Chris Hallquist -- College student. Read The Screwtape Letters a month before becoming an atheist, see his blog entry, How I Became an Atheist [Oddly enough, Chris seems to have read the same passage in The Screwtape Letters that the ex-minister did in the testimony directly above this one, and that passage influenced both of them to become atheists.]

Posted by Hawk on August 17, 1999 at 18:23:55:
"I [was raised Christian, but] shrugged off Christianity around age 16 after a teacher told me that Moses created monotheism. David Koresh was running around claiming to be divine about the same time, so I figured Jesus was some nut like Koresh. I got real into philosophy in general, and I am an engineering student, so I have taken plenty of science classes, but I never got into creationism or philosophy of religion. I was never a serious christian as a kid, so when I read Pascal's "Thoughts," I decided to give church a try. Well I was 19 1/2, and the places here on campus were nothing like any church I had ever been to. I read C.S. Lewis, William Lane Craig, Schaeffer, Geisler, Moreland and all those guys. I became converted. Unfortunately, I read up on atheistic arguments and evolution, for the purpose of crushing the atheists on this board with my arguments. I lost faith finally a few months ago. I guess I am sort of a don't know don't care agnostic right now, who just enjoys studying religion. My religious time only lasted about 3 years."



Philosopher John Beversluis composed in 1985 what has become the leading (and perhaps only) book-length critique of the apologetics arguments of C. S. Lewis, a book that also includes Lewis's replies to letters Beversluis wrote him. The book is titled, C. S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion, and a revised and updated edition appeared in 2007 -- In it Beversluis critically yet sympathetically examines Lewis's "case for Christianity," including Lewis's "argument from desire" -- the "inconsolable longing" that he interpreted as a pointer to a higher reality; his moral argument for the existence of a Power behind the moral law; his contention that reason cannot be adequately explained in naturalistic terms; and his solution to the Problem of Evil. In addition, Beversluis considers issues in the philosophy of religion that developed late in Lewis's life. He concludes with a discussion of Lewis's crisis of faith after the death of his wife. Finally, in this second edition, Beversluis replies to critics of the first edition. {250pp, July 2007; Prometheus Books }

Joe Edward Barnhard (philosophy professor, author and a former Christian whose testimony appears in Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists), has an article online titled, "The Relativity of Biblical Ethics" that includes quotations from a few of C. S. Lewis's letters to John Beversluis.
[at the site, located here, scroll down the page till you get to Barnhard's article]

Francis Collins, the theistic evolutionist author of books about God and science, and who heads the Human Genome project, employs C. S. Lewis's argument concerning the miracle of morality. Collins's Lewisian argument is critiqued here.

C.S. Lewis, Instinct, and the Moral Law -- Discusses an argument by C.S. Lewis that aimed to show that we must believe in God because nothing else could explain the high levels of intersubjective agreement on moral issues we(apparently) observe.

N. F. Gier -- author of God, Reason, and the Evangelicals (University Press of America, 1987), chapter 10, Theological Ethics

Dr. Robert M. Price on C. S. Lewis's arguments -- Google Robert Price (or Robert M. Price) and C. S. Lewis together to find where Price mentions and critiques statements by C. S. Lewis for instance, Lewis's misunderstanding of Hume is mentioned in Price's article, Glenn Miller on Miracles.

Jack D. Lenzo "The Jackal" (Murrieta, CA USA), in his review of The Born Again Skeptic's Guide To The Bible by Ruth Hurmence Green (raised Methodist): "I've read much of CS Lewis and considered him the 'thinking man's' proponent to Christianity. After reading 'The Book of Ruth (Hurmence),' I feel logically duped by Lewis' Mere Christianity. Ruth sets it straight using the Bible itself. A divinely inspired book should not have to use subtle logic employed by Lewis. I wonder what he would say to Ruth's clear, dead on approach that he hasn't said about Freud? Hmmm..."

Edward T. Babinski on C. S. Lewis's views:

The Uniqueness of the Christian Experience -- A lengthy article that mentions C. S. Lewis numerous times (do a page search for his name). Besides a separate section devoted solely to discussing Lewis, other parts of this article compare C. S. Lewis's tolerant attitude and beliefs with those of the Christian apologist, Josh McDowell.

C. S. Lewis’ “Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism”

C. S. Lewis, Jesus, Boswell's Johnson, and the Usefulness/Uselessness of Literary Criticism to Nail Down Historical Truth

C. S. Lewis's "Man or Rabbit?" and Eric Hoffer's "The True Believer"

C. S. Lewis and the Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism

The "Born Again" Dialogue In the Gospel of John

The Golden Rule and Christian Apologetics


5. C. S. LEWIS: PROVOCATIVE, POIGNANT & PROFOUND WORDS [click here to go immediately to 5.]
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