29 November 2011

Happy Birthday C. S. Lewis

One hundred thirteen years ago today, Clive Staples Lewis entered the world in Belfast Ireland.  For much of his early life, Lewis was an atheist, so it would've appeared that his life would make little difference in church history.  Through a friendship with J. R. R. Tolkein (author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy), he converted to Christianity.

All Christians could learn something from reading C. S. Lewis.  An ignorant Christian he was not.  He served as a professor at both Oxford and Cambridge in the UK.  His writings appealed to both children and adults.  Recently, some of his series The Chronicles of Narnia appeared on the big screen and had some popularity.  His most famous work is probably Mere Christianity, which Christianity Today named the best book of the twentieth century.  Mere Christianity is an apologetic work that tries to strip Christianity to the bare essentials. 

Lewis was an orthodox Anglican, but he attempted to emphasize a bare bones Christian faith that all true Christians would agree with.  He is famous for the trilemma regarding Jesus.  Lewis argued that it is not enough to just view Jesus as a good teacher.  If he claimed to be God and he was not, that made him a horrible liar at worst, or a crazed lunatic at best, in the view of Lewis.  His conclusion was that Christ must be a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord he claimed to be.  While I would not necessarily endorse all of Lewis' views, He made a very logical argument for the Christian faith.

Today, some colleges and seminaries hold classes directly related to the writings of C. S. Lewis.  His writings cannot be ignored in the field of apologetics, and have influenced people on both sides of the Atlantic.  For that reason, I say, happy birthday, Mr. Lewis.

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