Legitimized syncretism under the guise of Christian unity! This phrase describes what is happening today among evangelicals, and it is a key to understanding the destruction that C. S. Lewis has brought to Biblical Christianity.
The Gospel is the ONE Gospel—it’s not one of many. Under the guise of Christian unity, Lewis has brought in syncretism—many gospels.
For instance, he believed in purgatory (a Roman Catholic invention), which necessarily follows from another gospel—a form of Pelagianism. This view holds that one must be purified to come into the presence of the living God, but purgatory is not by the righteousness of Christ. That is another gospel, but Lewis doesn’t have any problem holding and promoting that view. That’s one reason why people who follow Lewis can blithely become Roman Catholics (e.g. Peter Kreeft, Sheldon Vanauken, Thomas Howard, Joseph Pearce) and can become syncretists with Eastern religions (e.g. Dom Griffiths).
Lewis also preaches that God speaks through myths and that pagan myths are actually precursors to the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ. He believes in universal revelation. And he extols George MacDonald, whom he called his “master,” who believed that eventually all will be saved—even Satan.
The gospel that C. S. Lewis preached was not the same Gospel that Paul preached. This is why I consider C. S. Lewis so dangerous for Biblical Christianity.
Comment for Jodi: "How can very reliable, strong in their faith, wise and knowledgeable people in the Lord praise him so much and not seem to see the horrible danger of his writings? As you may remember, his book and what I said about it divided me from a sister in Christ and our homeschool class.
"I have even seen Christians whom I respect very much praise The Abolition of Man, and only talk how it speaks of the errors of the education system and not even mention Lewis's praise of the Tao in that book, as if it didn't exist!
"I just don't get it. People who should be sounding an alarm about him are praising his works with little or no question of the things he said. Can you help me get a handle on this?
Response from Berit: It puzzles me, too, Jodi. Christian leader -- who expose all kinds of errors and mystical additions to Christianity -- refuse to recognize the mystical wolrdviews and pagan forces that permeated many of Lewis' books. It IS strange!
But it does tell us something about human nature -- and how (1) susceptible we are to believe popular leaders, (2) blindly we follow authors who sound "wise" and make difficult issues simple and pleasing, and (3) reluctant we are to take stands that are contrary to popular opinion.
Index to articles by Richard and Linda Nathan
Green Like Envy: An Ex-pagan Looks at Blue Like Jazz
See also Warnings - How mysticism & the occult are changing the Church
© 2008 by Richard Nathan
Richard Nathan holds a Master of Arts in Religion in Church History and has been a Bible and church history teacher for over twenty years. He wrote his thesis on the debate over the inerrancy of Scripture in a historical analysis. See Richard's blog at www.gloriousriches.blogspot.com for ongoing discussion about such trends in Christianity as Romantic Christianity and the Emergent Church movement.
Visit www.fictionplumbline.com for articles evaluating Christian fiction from a biblical perspective.
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