Friday, March 14, 2014

C.S. Lewis... Remained a Protestant

I found this old post compiled by Matthew Shultz: To be Deep In Medieval History is to Remain Protestant. I was intrigued by the quotes.

"C.S. Lewis once quipped that the more medieval he became in his outlook, the farther from Roman Catholicism he seemed to grow." Douglas M. Jones III, Foreword to Keith Mathison's The Shape of Sola Scriptura (Moscow, ID: Canon Press), 11.

"What I meant was that if I replied to your original question (why I am not a member of the Roman Church) I shd. have to write a v. long letter." C.S. Lewis, Letter to Sister Mary Rose, January 1950, The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 3: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy, 1950 - 1963, Ed. Walter Hooper, (New York: HarperCollins, 2007), 8.

"The question for me (naturally) is not 'Why should I not be a Roman Catholic?' but 'Why should I?' But I don't like discussing such matters, because it emphasises differences and endangers charity. By the time I had really explained my objection to certain doctrines which differentiate you from us (and also in my opinion from the Apostolic and even the Medieval Church), you would like me less." Letter to Mrs. Halmbacher, March 1951, Ibid., 106.

"It is a little difficult to explain how I feel that tho' you have taken a way [conversion to Roman Catholicism from Anglicanism] which is not for me I nevertheless congratulate you..." Letter to Mary Willis Shelburne, November 10, 1952, Ibid., 248-249.

Michael Edwards, commenting on a reply to a letter he received from Lewis on November 2, 1959, states:

"This was in response to a request for a personal meeting to help me sort out two different problem areas, (1) which Christian denomination I should settle on...I never felt happy as an Evangelical. I was seriously considering becoming a Roman Catholic...I was vexed about the problem of papal infallibility and Lewis recommended I should read "The Infallibility of the Church" [1888] by [George] Salmon. This in fact did hep me settle the question." Ibid., 1133.

1 comment:

Bruce said...

“The real reason why I cannot be in communion with you [Catholics] is not my disagreement with this or that Roman doctrine, 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.”

“Christian Reunion”, in Christian Reunion and Other Essays, edited by Walter Hooper, London: Collins, 1990, p. 17-18.

“The Roman Church where it differs from this universal tradition and specially from apostolic Christianity I reject. Thus their theology about the Blessed Virgin Mary I reject because it seems utterly foreign to the New Testament; where indeed the words “Blessed is the womb that bore thee” receive a rejoinder pointing in exactly the opposite direction. Their papalism seems equally foreign to the attitude of St. Paul toward St. Peter in the epistles. The doctrine of Transubstantiation insists on defining in a way which the New Testament seems to me not to countenance. In a word, the whole set-up of modern Romanism seems to me to be as much a provincial or local variation from the central, ancient tradition as any particular Protestant sect is. I must therefore reject their claim: though this, of course, does not mean rejecting particular things they say.”

June 16, 1945
Letter of C. S. Lewis to H. Lyman Stebbins, “The Boldness of a Stranger”

from here: