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Lewis's later view on Christianity

The man. The myth.

Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby bapple03 » 22 Dec 2005, 18:14

I have read most of Lewis's fiction (multiple times), and some of his shorter thesis, but have been very lazy and not read much biogrphically.

At a recent discussion in my office a co-worker that doesn't seem to know much about Lewis other than what I will share momentarily and that they made a movie based on "The Lion the Wich and the Wardrobe" said; "Lewis turned back to the Athiestic views of his youth before he died". He heard this on Television. I haven't seen anything in these forums that supports the theory.

I would be very sad to hear that it is true, but would rather be well informed than just believe what I wish to be true.

Can anyone shed some light on this subject?

Regards,
Bryan
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re: Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby Leslie » 22 Dec 2005, 19:09

That is completely untrue. Lewis remained a committed Christian until his death.
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re: Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby bapple03 » 22 Dec 2005, 21:14

That is completely untrue. Lewis remained a committed Christian until his death.


I am extremely inclined to believe you.

Is there any credible literature out there that defends this view?
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re: Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby Leslie » 22 Dec 2005, 21:21

His letters and the biographies (at least the ones I've read) are excellent evidence.

The notion that he renounced Christianity sometimes arises out of reading the first part of "A Grief Observed" in which, mourning the death of his wife, he asks some hard questions about the character of God. But by the end of the book, it is clear that his faith is intact. Unfortunately, the film Shadowlands picks up on the hard questions without explicitly showing that he did keep his faith.
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re: Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby Adam Linton » 22 Dec 2005, 21:44

bapple03,

I'll add my own affirmation of what Leslie has already shared with you. And, in addition to the letters and biographies (and these are outstanding suggestions), I also would cite his writings, as Lewis wrote regularly up through the end of his life -- books, articles, essays, in addition to the personal letters. I'd mention, especially, Letters to Malcolm: Cheifly on Prayer, among his very last. This would utterly dispell the notion about which you wrote.

I suggest reading a good biography. The two best, in my opinion, are:

Jack: A Life of C.S. Lewis, by George Sayer [my own first pick]; and also,

C.S. Lewis: A Biography, by Roger Lancelyn Green and Walter Hooper [also very good].

For that matter, even A. N. Wilson's biography of Lewis, less sympathetic (and many of us here would say, less accurate), provides no support to the idea of a later abandonment of faith.

To be sure, as Leslie pointed out, A Grief Observed makes clear that Lewis did certainly experience very real struggle in faith, but this is another matter. (I know of no authentic faith in which there is no struggle.)

Regards,

Adam Linton
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re: Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby bapple03 » 22 Dec 2005, 21:52

I appreciate your input (Leslie & Adam Linton). I will start with A Grief Observed and then move on to C.S. Lewis: A Biography. I own them both already.. (I told you I had been lazy, and I wasn't kidding).

Losing an anchor like Lewis would deal a serious blow to my faith. I'm glad I can still hold on.
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re: Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby wood-maid » 25 Dec 2005, 00:41

I recently read "Letters to Malcolm," a book mostly written after his wife's death, and his faith is very strong and evident throughout it. And I remember a chapter in Brian Sibley's book "Through the Shadowlands" that discussed this and evidenced clearly Lewis' continued faith. Several quotes he shared were very touching and inspiring; I highly recommend that book as well.
"Jill," said Tirian, "you are the bravest and most wood-wise of all my subjects, but also the most malapert and disobedient."
"By the Mane!" he whispered to Eustace. "This girl is a wondrous wood-maid. If she had Dryad's blood in her she could scarce do it better." - The Last Battle
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re: Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby rusmeister » 28 Dec 2005, 03:51

Hi Bapple!
As an Orthodox Christian who became so because of Lewis, I share your feelings (re: "a serious blow to my faith")
However, we know very well that our faith shouldn't depend on any fallible human, whether it's the Pope, the Moscow Patriarch, Jerry Falwell or Lewis.They will all screw up somehow, because they're human.Christ said, "Follow Me", not "Follow Jack or Jerry".
I also deeply admire Lewis and it would be unpleasant to find some such lie to be true. I wonder who would benefit from spreading such stories...?
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Re: re: Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby Roonwit » 24 Jan 2006, 21:19

rusmeister wrote:Hi Bapple!
As an Orthodox Christian who became so because of Lewis, I share your feelings (re: "a serious blow to my faith")
However, we know very well that our faith shouldn't depend on any fallible human, whether it's the Pope, the Moscow Patriarch, Jerry Falwell or Lewis.They will all screw up somehow, because they're human.Christ said, "Follow Me", not "Follow Jack or Jerry".
I also deeply admire Lewis and it would be unpleasant to find some such lie to be true. I wonder who would benefit from spreading such stories...?


Rusmeister,

Out of curiousity, how is it that you became an Orthodox Christian because of Lewis? I am also Orhtodox (Greek) and was interested.
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Re: re: Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby rusmeister » 26 Jan 2006, 03:51

[/quote]Rusmeister,

Out of curiousity, how is it that you became an Orthodox Christian because of Lewis? I am also Orthodox (Greek) and was interested.[/quote]

Well, on reading Lewis :read: , I realized I needed to stop playing around with agnosticism (which is simply laziness and "what I want" spelled backwards) :shocked: and return to Christianity. I had been raised (fund.) Baptist and had already seen fallacies in that. My wife was already Russian Orthodox and it was eminently logical, the more so because I had, in a secular men's group, learned the value of ceremony and tradition, something that we had mostly sneered at (Baptist attitudes towards Catholic ceremony, for example). I worked out what my objections were, examined them, went to speak to a priest about the ones I couldn't resolve (especially confession before a priest), and realized that I had been creating my own barriers :idea: , and subsequently became Orthodox! :pleased:
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re: Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby bapple03 » 26 Jan 2006, 22:45

Thanks for all the replies.

I was raised in fundamental Christian denominations (Baptist, Nazarene, etc) as well. I spent all of my twenties running from those traditions. There were many logical gaps in their dogmas I could never rectify. I read all of Lewis's fiction during my teens. Many of the questions/answers that were cleverly posed in his books planted seeds that have continued to grow.

I have not started back to Church (yet?), but have been rekindling my relationship with God.

I hope that sheds light on why the answer to this question was so important to me.

Thanks again for you input.

BTW - I haven't read all of the material suggested earlier, but I have done enough research to confirm the assertions made in these posts. I WILL eventually read them, but for now I have made it back through the first 4 Chronicles.
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Re: re: Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby Roonwit » 31 Jan 2006, 20:11

rusmeister wrote:
Rusmeister,

Out of curiousity, how is it that you became an Orthodox Christian because of Lewis? I am also Orthodox (Greek) and was interested.[/quote]

Well, on reading Lewis :read: , I realized I needed to stop playing around with agnosticism (which is simply laziness and "what I want" spelled backwards) :shocked: and return to Christianity. I had been raised (fund.) Baptist and had already seen fallacies in that. My wife was already Russian Orthodox and it was eminently logical, the more so because I had, in a secular men's group, learned the value of ceremony and tradition, something that we had mostly sneered at (Baptist attitudes towards Catholic ceremony, for example). I worked out what my objections were, examined them, went to speak to a priest about the ones I couldn't resolve (especially confession before a priest), and realized that I had been creating my own barriers :idea: , and subsequently became Orthodox! :pleased:[/quote]

Interesting! Glad to find another Ortho. on the forum!!!
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re: Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby Edisonbaggins » 01 Feb 2006, 23:59

The reading of Lewis (and a friend who was very in to Lewis, who I miss very much) was (were) largely responsible for preserving my faith through college!!! I know it was really the Holy Spirit using these as tools, but they were ready and effective tools.
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Re: re: Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby Ste-vo » 02 Feb 2006, 10:55

rusmeister wrote:However, we know very well that our faith shouldn't depend on any fallible human, whether it's the Pope, the Moscow Patriarch, Jerry Falwell or Lewis.They will all screw up somehow, because they're human.Christ said, "Follow Me", not "Follow Jack or Jerry".


I totally agree but hearing that someone who went through emotional and intellectual hardship and still held onto his faith is enourmously encouraging for me.
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re: Lewis's later view on Christianity

Postby Caesario » 06 Feb 2006, 00:19

I've heard the same thing on EWTN, does anyone know where they get this idea? Everything I've read has pointed to Lewis keeping his faith until the end.
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