Saturday, April 03, 2021

The least needed Lewis book?

 For Easter.

Christopher Derrick wrote: "Of all C. S. Lewis's books, I suggest the one the world needed least is Miracles." I find this statement strange. Miracles seems to be aimed not at the philosophical community, but at lay people trying to deal with modern biblical scholarship. There you find people committed to evaluating miracle claims with an explicit (in the case of Rudolf Bultmann), or an implicit methodological naturalism, and given the fact that Christianity is founded at its core on certain miracle claims being the case, Lewis, responding to a suggestion by Dorothy Sayers, was making a case against evaluating biblical accounts with a bias against the supernatural. The argument against naturalism fits in in that he is arguing that even the reasoning processes we use to reason about matters such as the miracle claims in Scripture presuppose the falsity of what would eventually be known as the causal closure of the physical, so why assume closure in biblical studies? This is an ongoing issue in biblical studies, and is has come up in Derrick’s Catholic Church, so I find Derrick’s remarks puzzling. However, the argument is also of considerable interest from the standpoint of philosophy, given the widespread presumption of materialism or naturalism in the philosophy of mind.

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