Lewis (1898-1963) was a college professor, and
author, and had his own radio broadcast for many
years. He was an atheist, who converted to theism,
and later professed Christianity. His most notable
work, for which he has won much acclaim, is Mere
Christianity. The author basically describes the
book’s intent as an effort to set forth the fundamentals
that form the basis of Christianity, excluding all
doctrines and opinions that are not integral to
Christianity (or, at least his definition of
The book identifies so adeptly with temptations and thought processes that even the most serious Christian cannot help feeling an intimate association with the thoughts expressed. However, unlike the Christian who seeks proof of what is true in the Word of God, Mr. Lewis proves everything through his own logical arguments.... Like some other apologists, he treats Christianity as a belief system, as opposed to other belief systems such as atheism or Buddhism. ...
Mere Christianity is basically a treatise on the rightness and wholesomeness of behavior of the individual as prescribed by Christian precepts. Mere Christianity continually instructs us that our thinking processes about our behavior are either becoming good or becoming evil, and that a creature with good thinking processes will go to heaven, and one with evil thinking processes will go to hell. It is stunningly logical, and keenly accurate and intuitive into proper behavior and improper behavior, man’s sinful reasons for improper behavior, and the logical reasons for proper Christian behavior. However, Christian behavior is not the point of Christianity. Absolute faith in, and a personal relationship with, Jesus Christ are the point....
His arguments are also based on another premise, or false assumption, that anyone, of any faith willing to be called Christian, is a Christian.... Any doctrine that conflicts with this doctrine of unity, he dismisses as unimportant theories of men. ...
Chapter 5 of What Christians Believe, the second book in Mere Christianity, states, “There are three things that spread the Christ life to us: baptism, belief, and that mysterious action which different Christians call by different names — Holy Communion, the Mass, the Lord’s Supper.” ...
Later, in Chapter 10 of Beyond Personality, book three of Mere Christianity, Lewis takes the “all under one roof” idea even further, as he writes,
“There are people who do not accept the full Christian doctrine about Christ but who are so strongly attracted by Him that they are His in a much deeper sense than they themselves understand. There are people in other religions who are being led by God’s secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it. For example, a Buddhist of good will may be led to concentrate more and more on the Buddhist teaching about mercy and to leave in the background (though he might still say he believed) the Buddhist teaching on certain other points.”
Scripture entertains no concept of belonging to Jesus without knowing Him or knowing of Him. This is strictly “Lewisology”.
Lewis appears to be the modern-day precursor of the
current wave of Christian philosophers and
psychologists who mention Christ but
behavior.... Such persuasions also stress the
importance of spreading Christian behavior patterns
through activism, legislation and other means,
propounding the idea that “we are all in this together
and we are all the same.” However, we are not all the
same. ... Often the idea of faith in Christ is
proclaimed. It simply loses focus behind struggles over
physical externals, and the call to unify because there
is strength in numbers. God’s strength is not in
Lewis was obviously an early initiator of what we see proliferating more widely now. Lewis’s Mere Christianity attempts to lend credulity to this process by insisting that Christianity, in its base and purest form, is simply a set of behavioral thinking patterns that excludes doctrine....
Lewis’s claim that doctrines are immaterial is an age-old ploy used to unite people under a “good, Christian” set of behaviors. The same purpose is shared by those who wish to combine all “Christian” faiths in efforts to combat sociological ills. The next step, which we already see taking place, is to unite them as one large religion or one large group that is far more controllable than many individual, dissimilar groups.
In this country, the behaviorists have combined efforts to merge everyone who uses the name “Christian” into one mass by forming popular movements which stress love, unity, and brotherhood. They also stress the world’s “desperate need” for such unity over the truth of Scripture. ... These ideas may not pose so much confusion for older Christians who have a proper foundation, as they are urged to “embrace all faiths in love.”... When their children grow up under the “we are all the same” philosophy, it will be nearly impossible for them to discern real salvation... when they have already embraced “Christian behavior patterns” as faith.
Behavioral psychology is powerful, especially when intertwined with the term “Christianity”. Lewis proved it in his day, and others are using it with tremendous success in our generation. Today, we are often given accounts of extraordinary behavior which are used continually to thrill and heighten the emotions of the hearers. Once the story heightens the emotions, the hearer’s focus becomes riveted. The final effect, though, is ... that he vicariously joins the struggle in the story, and associates himself in such a subconscious yet integral way....
Lewis cites many behavioral truths, but they do not equate to being redeemed.... [H]e certainly has deftly used this approach in switching the foundation of Christianity itself to that of a behaviorist doctrine.....
So, here we have a man who argues the existence of God, is involved in the occult, and writes occult books for children. Should we be surprised? “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19.
His insightful discussions of the Christian walk makes a Christian want to exclaim, “He is one of us!” Yet, he admits he is not. In Chapter 11 of Beyond Personality, describing truly regenerated Christians, he says, “And I strongly suspect (but how should I know?) that they recognize one another immediately and infallibly, across every barrier of colour, sex, class, age, and even of creeds.”....
This quote in Chapter 11 comes right on the heels of the following quote. “Everyone knows about Evolution (though, of course, some educated people disbelieve it): everyone has been told that man has evolved from lower types of life.” ...
In Chapter 9 of Beyond Personality, we find purgatory, the old Catholic escape clause, where man works off his sin debt after death. The author writes as if Jesus were speaking, “Whatever suffering it may cost you in your earthly life, whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after death, whatever it costs Me, I will never rest, nor let you rest, until you are literally perfect...”
In Chapter 1 of
Beyond Personality we find, “Everyone reads,
everyone hears things discussed. Consequently, if you
do not listen to Theology, that will not mean that you
have no ideas about God. It will mean that you have a
lot of wrong ones — bad, muddled, out-of-date ideas.” There is no mention in the book of
getting ideas about God through reading His Word, or through
praying for such wisdom.....
Lewis was a member of a literary group called The Inklings. The following quote is from The Inklings Handbook, a historical/biographical work by a couple of fellows enchanted by the Inklings. “CSL [Lewis], however, argued strongly that the Chronicles of Narnia should not be viewed as an allegory like Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, though he acknowledged the intentional parallels between the main features of Christian teaching and the Chronicles...."
Again from The Inklings Handbook—“The earliest hints of Narnia come very early in CSL’s life, long before he became a Christian; the common assumption that he wrote the whole series as an extended allegory of the Christian faith, with a strong evangelistic motive, is one that CSL always denied....”
Lewis knew that the work was no where near parallel to sound theology, and he knew that in that day people were not so willing to accept such surreal imaginations as “Christian.” He knew that it was much too early to present his New Age, miracle-working animals as actual doctrine, such as they are being hailed today. Aslan and Tash are obvious New Age manifestations, even without being placed within any context of religion.
....here is what Screwtape says. “Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours—and the more ‘religious’ (on those terms) the more securely ours....” And again, “On the other hand, we do want, and want very much, to make men treat Christianity as a means; preferably, of course, as a means to their own advancement, but, failing that, as a means to anything—even social justice. ...
But maybe we should evaluate what we view and what we read when we think about our righteousness. Psalms 101:3 says, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes....” ...
Lewis did not consider all of the Bible the inerrant Word of God (Reflections on the Psalms). He did not believe that faith in Jesus Christ was all that was necessary for salvation (Screwtape Letters). He believed that one could lose one’s faith in a moment through commission of a mortal sin (Screwtape Letters). He believed in Limbo as a place (neither heaven nor hell) of temporary punishment (Screwtape Letters). He believed that church sacraments are part of salvation (Mere Christianity, Screwtape Letters). He believed that pagans may belong to Christ without knowing it (Mere Christianity). He had a participating interest in the occult (The Inklings Handbook)....
from C. S. Lewis, A Biography: “Like many (most?) religious
people, Lewis was profoundly afraid of death. His dread of it,
when in the midst of life, had been almost pathological and
obsessive. Physical extinction was a perpetual nightmare to him....”...
So, now that we know what The Chronicles of Narnia is not (a Christian allegory), what is it? The concept of God’s enemies going to heaven is not theologically sound, and is by no means Christian. It is theosophical. Theology is the study of relating to God. Theosophy is the study of relating to God’s opposite or archenemy. ...
Most theosophy is thrust upon the world today as its opposite—theology. The reason is obvious. Most people would not accept it for what is at face value, but disguised as religion, church, faith, etc, it is readily acceptable to those who have less care for being discerning. The American Theosophical Society met in 1901 to discuss how to plan and implement the goal of propagating theosophy throughout this nation and the world. The conclusion drafted at that convention stated that such propagation was only possible through the churches—that theosophical values must be disguised as Christian or religious to be accepted popularly...."
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