August 26, 2003

C.S Lewis: Force For Evil?

There's a neat group blog called The Thinklings which concerns itself mostly with Christian theology. And just today I found there a post defending C.S. Lewis against charges of being a Force For Evil (the Thinklings acquit Lewis of all charges, by the way, most usually in his own words).

Now, long-time readers of my site might think that this is yet another attack on Lewis by the likes of author Phillip Pullman, angry because Lewis' books are chock full of--wait for it--Christianity. But no! Apparently certain extreme Christian fundamentalists have decided that Lewis has been leading Christians astray for over half-a-century: that he is, in fact, a Servant of Satan.

I won't detail the charges they bring against Lewis; if you're interested, you can go look at the Thinklings post I link to above, and then on to the page making the charges. And I won't repeat the defense, either; the Thinklings demolish each accusation quite handily.

What really annoys me is the principle of the thing. Lewis' accusers are taking the position that anyone who diverges in the slightest jot from their brand of theology is a heretic, not to be trusted in any way. Such a person is a Tool of Satan. (Actually, yes, they do use those words.) And it is this that I really want to speak to.

I am an orthodox Christian. By that I mean that I hold fast to the traditional teachings of the Church from ages past, as expressed in the Nicene Creed. That is, the Triune God, the Son of God's birth, death, and resurrection, and all the rest of it. I believe these things to be absolutely true. I believe that because of Christ's sacrifice that my sins are forgiven, and that because of his resurrection I shall join him in Heaven when I die. I believe quite a few other things as well that I won't go into now.

But please note--my salvation is not dependent on being 100% correct about these things. My salvation is the gift of a person--Christ my savior--not the result of being really, really sharp about theology. And this is a good thing, because it's not possible for me to be 100% correct--"now we see through a glass, darkly." If theological exactitude were the requirement, none of us would make it.

And this is the mistake that Lewis' accusers are making. They are judging Lewis not by the fruit of his life and work, but by a standard which they can never themselves meet. That they are doing so on the shoddiest of evidence is the least of it.

Posted by Will Duquette at August 26, 2003 06:44 PM

Deb said:

Yikes, Will. The links arent working. Is it www.thinklings.org? I want to read it if only to find out just how C.S. Lewis, one of the most lucid Christian writers I've ever read, is a Tool for Satan.

Will Duquette said:

Deb, yes, it's www.thinklings.org; I know that's right, because I went there to get the link for the post. However, the site isn't loading for me at the moment either. Try again later.