C.S. Lewis: Christian Apologist
Included in the 10 most influential Christians of the 20th century alongside Karl Barth, Pope John XXIII, Martin Luther King Jr, and Billy Graham, the Christian History magazine named him "the atheist scholar who became an Anglican, an apologist, and a ‘patron saint’ of Christians everywhere." He was also dubbed as an “apostle to the skeptics” because he resolutely answered frequent objections individuals had when it came to accepting Christ as their Savior (christianodyssey.com). Born into a Protestant family in Ireland on November 29, 1898, C.S. Lewis was the son of A.J. Lewis, a solicitor, and Flora Augusta, a promising mathematician. He bore a lonely and unhappy childhood. Especially crushed by the death of his mother due to cancer when he was nine years old, Lewis was left disheartened with God (christianodyssey.com). Lewis came to reject Christianity at an early age, becoming an affirmed atheist. He reasoned that Christian myths were mediocre and that the Christian god must be a sadist (about.com). Whilst being inquired about his religious view, C.S. Lewis labeled the worship of Christ and the Christian faith as "one mythology among many." (christianodyssey.com). Lewis was married to Helen Joy Davidman. She was a Jewish American with two children of her own. Davidman was good-natured and shared her husband’s joy in argument. Sadly, she died of cancer in 1960 (kirjasto.htm). After a prolonged period poor health and sporadic recovery, Lewis himself died on November 22, 1963 (christianodyssey.com). Fondly called "Jack" by his loved ones, Lewis was a well-known professor at both Oxford and Cambridge. Lewis’ 25 books on Christian topics include Mere Christianity (1952), The Problem of Pain (1940), Miracles (1947), The Screwtape Letters (1942), Surprised by Joy (1955) and The Great Divorce (1945). The Pilgrim’s Regress (1933) was about his own experience while on his way to conversion (christianodyssey.com). In The Problem of Pain (1940), it is asked, "If God is good and all-powerful, why does he allow his creatures to suffer pain?" Here, Lewis reasoned that the wrong choices people tend to make usually account for the suffering they are eventually faced (kirjasto.htm). Here we see that Lewis is trying to give rational answers to queries people have without completely basing it on blind faith. Critics usually look for an understanding based on the cause-and-effect principle. The Chronicles of Narnia has turned out to be the most lasting of Lewis's novels. It retells the story of the Creation, the fall and redemption of humanity and also includes other Christian themes in allegorical form. The portal to Narnia, a version of Paradise, is a wardrobe through which four sibling children enter this secondary world. In the first story the bad Witch is destroyed in a battle. The final books deal with Narnia's beginning and end. In the last Armageddon story, with its death-and-resurrection theme, the struggle was between a king and the forces of evil (kirjasto.htm). We need to understand here that if readers can understand the mechanics of Narnia and how the plot of this story works with the inclusion of certain Christian themes, they can better understand Christian beliefs from a more objective point of view and accept it. The same point of view they read and understood The Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis presented the basic teachings of orthodox Christianity — teachings he labeled “mere Christianity” (inplainsite.org). Lewis went on British radio between 1942 and 1944. His discussions during those years were on what he called "mere Christianity," that is, the universal and most doctrinal beliefs of the faith. This very collection of radio talks were later tied together in one of Lewis’ most influential books, Mere Christianity (christianodyssey.com). Lewis’s project in this book was to defend “mere Christianity,” or the most essential basics of the Christian faith, against unbelievers....
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