C.S. Lewis and the Bible- Sound or Screwy?

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C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters offers many interesting and sometimes controversial theological views on a diverse number of topics. While most all of the topics are of at least some interest, certain topics are of particularly greater interest, prompting the reader to question Lewis’s theories and consider the views offered by the world, the bible, and in some cases, science. When the inquiring mind probes these different fields, they will find that they differ almost religiously, often to the point of being complete opposites. However, the Christian reader finds truth only in one of these sources, that being the bible, the very word of God. Therefore to find whether author C.S. Lewis’s theological views are sound and to be trusted, or to scoff at, Christian readers will turn to the word of God for answers. After doing so, the reader will find that C.S. Lewis gives great insight and clarity on the theological issues of purity, love, and marriage. C.S. Lewis talks about these three closely related topics in The Screwtape Letters mainly over the span of three letters. In a way he works in a backwards fashion through these topics, starting first with marriage, then leading on to love, and ending the three linked topics with purity. The human life from teenager to adult often follows a pattern of first struggling with sexual purity, eventually falling in love, and then possibly resulting in marriage; thus this is the route this essay will follow. Unfortunately, the proof for Lewis’s soundness in his statements lies scattered across many different verses, chapters, and books of the bible. Luckily for the reader, however, these proofs have been compiled in this (hopefully) clear cut essay.

To begin with, one of the points C.S. Lewis makes about purity is in chapter 20 when talking about the ending to Worwood’s attacks on the patient’s chastity. Here Screwtape states that “…these attacks do not last forever…” (Lewis 105) This statement is proven in the bible on several occasions. For one example, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) This verse proves just what C.S. Lewis has said, as the Lord says that there will always be a way for people to escape temptation, and if they don’t have the strength to, and thus cannot bear it, he will no longer let the person be tempted.

In the same chapter, Screwtape asks if Wormwood has tried to convince the patient that chastity is unhealthy. (Lewis 105) Just as the demons here try to convince humanity that chastity is unhealthy, even the world back in the time of Paul tried to do the same. “You say, ‘Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.’ The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” (1 Corinthians 6:13) The world of Paul’s time was trying to make the argument that hunger was meant to be fed, whether hunger in the stomach, or sexually. People in that time (just as in these days) wanted an excuse to indulge in sexual pleasures. Yet again Lewis’s view is proven sound and insightful, it is good to watch out for the tricks and schemes of the enemy.

In chapter 21, Lewis goes on to say that humanity acts in impure fashions due to the fact that “Much of the modern resistance to chastity comes from men's belief that they ‘own’ their bodies-those vast and perilous estates, pulsating with the energy that made the worlds…” (Lewis 113) This is a lie, according to both the demons and to God. In first Corinthians 6:19 Paul tells Christianity, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…” Again Lewis’s view is strongly reinforced in the Word, in plain and simple words. All three of...
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