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Friday, May 04, 2007

C. S. Lewis Resources… Pro And Con

  1. Christians Who Praise C. S. Lewisʼs Writings
  2. Christians (Lying To The Right of Lewisʼs Views) Who Criticize Lewisʼs Presentation of Christianity & Liberal Ideas
  3. Admiring Readers of C. S. Lewis Who Later Left Christianity
  4. Critiques of C. S. Lewisʼs Arguments
  5. C. S. Lewis: Provocative, Poignant, & Profound Words

C. S. Lewis Time Magazine
  1. Christians Who Praise C. S. Lewisʼs Writings

    (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. Wrightʼs 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 Lewisʼs argumentation, especially Lewisʼs 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.

  2. Christians (Lying To The Right of Lewisʼs Views) Who Criticize Lewisʼs Presentation of Christianity & Liberal Ideas

  3. Admiring Readers of C. S. Lewis Who Later Left Christianity

    • “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 havenʼt 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 Lewisʼ 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 ex-Christian.net. Her blog. Chapters of her book can also be found here, here, and here.

    • Edward T. Babinski — If It Wasnʼt For Agnosticism I Wouldnʼt 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 Lewisʼs writings, and how they saved him from apostatizing 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 thatʼs 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 Machineʼs Internet Archive.

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

    • Dr. Robert M. Price — Former campus minister, now a theologian with two PhDs and an author, wrote in Beyond Born Again, “…C. S. Lewisʼs 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 Pascalʼs ‘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 donʼt know donʼt care agnostic right now, who just enjoys studying religion. My religious time only lasted about 3 years.”

  4. Critiques of C. S. Lewisʼs Arguments

    • 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 Lewisʼs 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 Lewisʼs “case for Christianity,” including Lewisʼs “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 Lewisʼs life. He concludes with a discussion of Lewisʼs 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. Lewisʼs letters to John Beversluis. [at the site, located here, scroll down the page till you get to Barnhardʼs article]

    • Francis Collins, the theistic evolutionist author of books about God and science, and who heads the Human Genome project, employs C. S. Lewisʼs argument concerning the miracle of morality. Collinsʼs 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.
      Source: Philosophy Carnival #33

    • 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. Lewisʼs 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, Lewisʼs misunderstanding of Hume is mentioned in Priceʼs article, Glenn Miller on Miracles.

    • Jack D. Lenzo “The Jackal” (Murrieta, CA USA), in his review of The Born Again Skepticʼs Guide To The Bible by Ruth Hurmence Green (raised Methodist): “Iʼve read much of CS Lewis and considered him the ‘thinking manʼs’ proponent to Christianity. After reading ‘The Book of Ruth (Hurmence),’ I feel logically duped by Lewisʼ 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 Ruthʼs clear, dead on approach that he hasnʼt said about Freud? Hmmm…”

    • Edward T. Babinski on C. S. Lewisʼs views:

  5. C. S. Lewis: Provocative, Poignant, & Profound Words

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