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Searching for quotation source

PostPosted: 04 Dec 2007, 03:24
by DouglasJacoby
Does anyone know the source for the following? I read it first in Yancey's What's So Amazing about Grace?, though I know it was also featured in Christianity Today. But what conference, when, and who noted this? I have been stumped for years.

Thanks for any help

Dr Douglas Jacoby

During a British conference on comparative religions, experts from around the world were discussing whether any one belief was unique to the Christian faith. They began eliminating possibilities. Incarnation? Other religions had different versions of gods appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of return from death. The debate went on for some time until C. S. Lewis wandered into the room. "What's the rumpus about?" he asked, and heard in reply that his colleagues were discussing Christianity's unique contribution among world religions. In his forthright manner Lewis responded, "Oh, that's easy. It's grace." --from Phil Yancey

PostPosted: 04 Dec 2007, 21:55
by Sven
Welcome, Douglas!

Yancey says he got the story from Scott Hoezee's book The Riddle of Grace. I don't own that particular book, so I don't know if Hoezee provides a source for it. If you can find a copy of it you may find out something.

I don't recall anything in Lewis' letters about him attending a conference on comparative religions. It's not the sort of thing he was apt to go out of his way for. He might have 'wandered in' if it was in Oxford, I suppose.

PostPosted: 04 Dec 2007, 22:12
by Karen
It certainly sounds apocryphal.

PostPosted: 18 Dec 2007, 22:04
by Sven
Just in case this question ever comes up again, and we remember to use the forum's search function to look for it:

I found a copy of the book The Riddle of Grace. The author has a footnote to the story that Yancey retold.

Scott Hoezee wrote:I heard this anecdote told in a speech on Lewis given at Calvin College by Lewis scholar Peter Kreeft.


So, that just pushes the question another layer back. Where did Kreeft get it? I would email him, but the FAQ on his website tells me that

4. My question is very important—can you pass it along?

I'd love to, but it's just not feasible for him—otherwise there'd be no future Kreeft books! Besides, almost all of the questions received from this site are already addressed in the Books, Featured Writings, or Featured Audio. The best I can do is to try to point you to a specific source. If your issue goes beyond that, it's pretty easy to catch Kreeft at a live lecture on the road.


Considering he charges folks $1500 to talk at them, I think I'll have to let this one remain a mystery.