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Lewis as a Christian Apologist

Faith is a difficult matter for most people; they are usually atheists or true believers. C.S. Lewis trod a path from a mere non-believer to a reason-based Christian per aspera ad astra. Probably, God led this man to the point of his final destination exposing him to many misfortunes such as the death of his mother, further coldness of the father, or studying at a tiny English boarding school. At the establishment, Lewis was terrifyingly hazed by older boys and experienced the bouncing criticism of scientific colleagues when an inveterate atheist revered to a devoted convert. C.S. Lewis gave people who no longer blindly believed in God the reasons to believe; their faith is now reasoned due to the efforts of great apologist of our times.

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The article “C.S. Lewis the Truth-Seeker: How God Formed a Great Christian Apologist” by Joel S. Woodruff on Cslewisinstitute.org investigates the life journey of C.S. Lewis on his way to becoming a Christian. It shows the difficulties of the great man’s well-being and clearly demonstrates and exemplifies the various stages of his attitude to faith and God as the Creator of this world. I like the information from this site, because it gives the opportunity to retrace the Lewis’ biography. Thus, it tries to prove people that God really exists as such inveterate atheist as Lewis became a faithful Christian; however, he came to this through emotional appeal refering to scientific reasons. One more source states that in “Mere Christianity, Lewis writes: “I am not asking anyone to accept Christianity if his best reasoning tells him that the weight of the evidence is against it” (Atheism.about.com).

Both emotional appeal and scientific reasoning of C.S. Lewis’s life has inspired me much. It made me think about complicated paths God chooses for human creatures on the way to their final rise. Redemption is a way to survival, and God, perhaps, redeemed C.S. Lewis’ sins and finally “turned the dead ends, the twists and turns of Lewis’s search for truth into a wealth of experience and wisdom” (Cslewisinstitute.org). I sympathize with C.S. Lewis as studying at the boarding school was difficult for him because of the bullying. As soon as his father became aware of his son being hazed, he hired for C.S. a home tutor William Kilpatrick who gave a scientific reasoning in Socratic style for every action. In a while, Kilpatrick nicknamed “the Great Knock” by Lewis managed to instill the ideas of popular realism in his pupil so that rationalism became Lewis’ modus operandi for many ongoing years.

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Soon after home studying, Lewis enrolled in the Oxford University but only for a short time because of the military service in the British Army during the World War I. Having witnessing the terrors of war at those times, Lewis became even more atheistic. I understand what served as preconditions for his attitude to faith; however, in my opinion, it would be better to accuse people of the severities and hardships as they are the only ones responsible for most of the corruptions in the world. God might help them but what if people do not want to accept that Heavenly Assistance, what if their hearts are blind and callous, and their minds are “poisoned” with egoistic matters to the degree that they even cannot understand what is wrong and what is bad. God tries to open people’s minds to all the virtues, but human nature is sinful; therefore, people often reject everything that is righteous and resist accepting Christ. Emotions play an important part in human behavior and sometimes make it easier to convert a person into Christianity.

Therefore, as was mentioned before, Lewis’ path was crooked, and his Socratic rationalism transformed into philosophical idealism smoothly. Lewis’ post-military experiences at Oxford started with trying to find out the after war meaning of life; however, he “began to sense that his atheism just did not address his inner longings for something more” (Cslewisinstitute.org). In 1942-1943, one of the most vivid apologetic books titled Mere Christianity was published where the author in the form of conversation touches all the important themes of his native religion such as Jesus as the Son of God, Morality, Verity, Sexuality, Pride, and many others. According to the ChristiantyToday.com, this book took up the first place in the list of the books that greatly changed the evangelistic world since 1945. This book was written based on the series of radio broadcasts for the BBC and had great success with British audience. C.S. Lewis turns his attention to the diseases of the humankind in the field of sexuality such as prostitution, magazines with the naked women’s bodies, decay of moral code of conduct in sex life. Previously avoiding controversial issues and not focusing on any of the branches of Christianity, Lewis makes the logical coherent picture of understanding the basic world-building and merely Christian values. The book became the classics of Christian apologetics. In 1954, Lewis moves to Cambridge where he teaches the English language and literature at the college of St. Magdalene. The following year, 1955, he becomes a member of the British Academy. In 1961, after hearing the statement of Yuri Gagarin on the fact that the latter did not see God in space, Lewis said succinctly that with the same success Hamlet could look for Shakespeare in the attic of his own castle. I liked this  response as it was strong and to the point.

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Speaking of death, Cline evaluates all its horror and affectation for human nature; however, he writes that death is a salvation as bodily immortality would be terrible for a fallen man. If nothing prevented people from adding a link after link to the chains of pride and lust and putting stone to stone of our monstrous civilization, the fallen people would have become the real demons, whom, perhaps, God won’t save. Humans should be free to accept death, bow down in front of it, drink it to the bottom, and turn into a mystical dying, which is the hidden basis of life.

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