Tuesday, September 06, 2005

C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Theology

Apparently some Fundamental Baptists are warning people about C. S. Lewis.



Jason Pratt said...

Notice, nothing about any _reasons_ Lewis may have had for teaching this, including evidence from scriptural authority--it isn't like Lewis was ignorant of things like the quote from Ephesians. Nor, however, was he ignorant of verses from Romans, Colossians, 1st Corinthians, and Hebrews, that would put the matter in a rather different light. As far as I can tell, like most people, he did seem to be ignorant of Mark 9:49-50, though. (He's on record as claiming St. Paul offers the only hope in the NT for the eventual salvation of everyone; although Jesus is reported to precisely be hoping for this, even in regard to those in Gehenna, in those verses. I've found some interesting testimony _to_ this effect even at the end of RevJohn, too.)

Anyway, the salvation of Emeth in the Last Battle is Lewis' direct illustration of Jesus' judgment (vouched for by Paul on his authority as an apostle) from Romans 2. It might also count as an illustration of Jesus' own testimony about His forthcoming judgment of the sheep and the goats in GosMatt; and probably also the combination of Jesus' testimony across the Synoptics regarding the difference between the sin against the Holy Spirit, and speaking a word even to blasphemy against Himself--both of which Lewis was certainly aware of (though I don't think he took these to be evidence of hope for the salvation of everyone. Only that, in his words, "there will be surprises". {g})

The little icon down in the lower part of the page, for the Fundamental 500, was a hoot--it almost looked like a parody. (Is that supposed to be a Baptist preacher throwing down on the stage?)

Anonymous said...

In a way I think fundamentalists are right in opposing Lewis. His work does tend to undermine fundamentalism. (In a similar way, study of Anselm's writings, or Aquinas, might well have the same effect.)

Mike Darus said...

I defend the right of anyone (even the dreaded fundamentalists) to criticize theological statements of anyone (even the revered CS Lewis). Lewis wrote enough that errors in theology are not only possible, they are likely. His theories of second chances, self directed punishment, and utlimate universalism are tempting but difficult to defend biblically.

The ugly tone of the Fundy Baptists implies rejecting all of Lewis in the name of doctrinal purity. They will lose so many insights and treasures that Lewis offers. Lewis is the greatest defender of the bulk of the beliefs that Baptists hold dear. I sure hope the Fundies never err, otherwise I would need to reject everything labeled as "fundamentalist" even if lots of it might be valuable - for the sake of doctrinal purity, of course.

Jason Pratt said...

{{I defend the right of anyone (even the dreaded fundamentalists) to criticize theological statements of anyone (even the revered CS Lewis).}}

Oh, sure! They _ought_ to try, according to however well they see whatever light they're seeing (as Lewis would have agreed).

They're just doing it awfully ineptly. {s}

(And yes, his work _does_ tend to undermine fundamentalism--of the sort exhibited on that site, anyway.)