Friday, November 30, 2012

Surprised By C.S. Lewis... ?

"To be frank, American Evangelicalism’s infatuation with Lewis is in many respects somewhat odd. For here is a pathologically populist movement with a penchant for Big Tent Revivalism, an obsession with liturgical innovation, a deep-seated suspicion of ecclesiastical tradition, and a raw nerve about the doctrine of justification, falling head-over-heels for a tweed-jacketed, Anglo-Catholic Oxford don—a curmudgeonly liturgical traditionalist who was fuzzy on the atonement, a believer in purgatory, and, as we shall see, whose views on Scripture, Genesis, and evolution position him well outside of American Evangelicalism’s standard theological paradigms. All of that is to say that Lewis was not “just like us”—any of us—and if we would do him justice, we must be prepared to be surprised by Jack."


Ken said...

I thought Piper's lecture on C. S. Lewis was very good - he points out the negative things; but also shows all the positive things that C. S. Lewis brought.

And even though at times Lewis seemed too friendly with the Roman Catholic Church and he seemed to entertain some kind of purgatory - these 2 statements are very good from him on the bottom line about Rome:

PeaceByJesus said...

For some, perhaps it is because he said many insightful things, including,

The real reason why I cannot be in communion with you [Catholics] is not my disagreement with this or that Roman doctrine [but see his quote at link below on disagreements with some Roman Catholic doctrines], but that to accept your Church means, not to accept a given body of doctrine, but to accept in advance any doctrine your Church hereafter produces. It is like being asked to agree not only to what a man has said but also to what he is going to say.”- C. S. Lewis, “Christian Reunion”, in Christian Reunion and Other Essays, edited by Walter Hooper, London: Collins, 1990, p. 17-18;

Mark Henderson said...

Lewis may have held some odd theological views also shared by some Anglo-Catholics but asaik he always identified himself as a "middle of the road Anglican" who eschewed party spirit and thus could not fairly be lumped in with the Anglo-Catholics, the most party spirited of all Anglicans. He also, in his letters, admitted to a leaning towards a strong leaning towards a literal interpretation of Genesis 1, although he declined to publicly defend this position lest it detract from his broader apologetic efforts. Surprised by CS Lewis? Indeed!

John Lollard said...

I know for sure that the first book he wrote after his conversion, Lewis includes a character by the name of Mr. Neo-Angular who is intended to represent Anglo-Catholicism and who is shown in a very negative light.