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A THUMBNAIL OF C.S. LEWIS'S TROUBLING THEOLOGY



Posted: 03/29/11

A Thumbnail of C.S. Lewis's Troubling Theology
...orthodox or heterodox?

Was Lewis an orthodox Christian? On many points of doctrine he was not and it leaves one disturbingly wondering. Lewis's theology is so strewn, it is hard to understand his biblical logic and beliefs on many issues. My personal conclusion is that Lewis was plagued, confused and haunted with his religious entanglement of Romanism, Anglicanism, Darwinism, Arminianism and his deficient view of the authority and veracity of the Scriptures.

I hope before he died he repented.

Here are his theological underpinnings that give voice to those conclusions:

The Bible
1. He espoused Darwin's theory of human biology forcing a different view of some parts of the Bible than the historic orthodox accepted evangelical viewpoint.

2. Though affirmed divine inspiration, the following statement would seem to categorize Lewis as neo-orthodox in his understanding of the Bible: "Naivete, error, contradiction, even (as in the cursing Psalms) wickedness are not removed [from the pages of the Bible]. The total result is not 'the Word of God' in the sense that every passage, in itself, gives impeccable science or history. It carries the Word of God…"

3. After researching such preceding material, Edgar Boss concluded: "Lewis does not accept the plenary verbal theory of Inspiration." Similarly, Lewis analyst Richard Cunningham deduced: "Lewis did not believe in the infallibility or the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures."

God and His Work
1. In the matter of God's creation, Lewis had no difficulty in being committed to theistic evolution. Lewis called man "the highest of the animals." He also acknowledged: "If by saying that man rose from brutality you mean simply that man is physically descended from animals, I have no objection." Elsewhere he said: "What difficulties I have about evolution are not religious…."

Christ
1. The doctrine of Christ's divinity seems to me not something stuck on…but something that peeps out at every point [of the New Testament] so that you have to unravel the whole web to get rid of it…and if you take away the Godhead of Christ, what is Christianity all about?" In Mere Christianity Lewis includes his belief in "the Virgin Birth of Christ."

2. He was emphatic about retaining the full deity and humanity of Christ as addressed in the early Christian creeds.

Humanity and Sin
1. Concerning the doctrine of "total depravity," Lewis wrote: "I disbelieve that doctrine."

2. Though Lewis believed that "men are sinners" – he didn't believe in the doctrine of original sin.

Salvation
1. Lewis said, "In the Incarnation we get…this idea of vicariousness of one person profiting by the earning of another person. In its highest form that is the very center of Christianity." Lewis's apparent devaluing of substitution led Edgar Boss to conclude that Lewis held "the Example Theory [of the Atonement] with a very important modification. Mr. Lewis is a supernaturalist, while the Example Theory is usually held by Naturalists." For Lewis this was the bottom line: "Christ's death redeemed man from sin, but I can make nothing of the theories as to how!"

2. J. I. Packer spoke of Lewis's "failure ever to mention justification by faith when speaking of the forgiveness of sins, and his apparent hospitality to baptismal regeneration…."

3. Lewis wrote: "On the Protestant view one could not, and by God's mercy, expiate one's sins. Like an accepted lover, he feels that he has done nothing, and never could have done anything to deserve such astonishing happiness. All the initiative has been on God's side, all has been free, unbounded grace. His own puny and ridiculous efforts would be as helpless to retain the joy as they would have been to achieve it in the first place. Bliss is not for sale, cannot be earned, "Works" have no "merit," though of course faith, inevitably, even unconsciously, flows out into works of love at once. He is not saved because he does works of love; he does works of love because he is saved. It is faith alone that has saved him; faith bestowed by sheer gift."

4. Lewis was an Arminian and believed you could lose your salvation just as he believed, ""All may be saved if they so choose" (which included people on the bus ride from hell). He held to the skewed doctrine of Purgatory.

5. Beyond the parameters of traditional Arminianism, however, Lewis expected that some non-Christians would be saved. This is most troubling when he said: "Though all salvation is through Jesus, we need not conclude that He cannot save those who have not explicitly accepted Him in this life." On the radio he announced: "We do know that no [one] can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him." Inclusivism is showing its ugly head here.

6. Lewis said: "I couldn't believe that 999 religions were completely false and the remaining one true." Similarly he stated: "We are not pronouncing all other religions to be totally false, but rather saying that in Christ whatever is true in all religions is consummated and perfected."

7. Lewis believed in baptismal regeneration and The Eucharistic Presence (transubstantiation).

8. As a member in good standing of the Anglican Church, Lewis accepted an Anglican position on purgatory and prayers for the dead, as well as practicing auricular confession of sins. He believed in a substantive reality to heaven and hell but was agnostic about matters such as the precise dimension and duration of hell.

Distributed by www.worldviewweekend.com

By Steve Camp

Click here for bio and archived articles

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READER FEEDBACK


"Judge NOT" people often IGNORE the word "then" in Matthew 7:5, KJV
Posted On: 06/16/11 06:09:18 PM Age 0, IA
Jesus called those who followed Him, "Sheep", (John 10:27) -- not dogs or swine like he did the pretending people in Matthew 7:6. So early in Jesus’ ministry,(Matt.7) it was to the Pharisees -- the unsaved, RELIGIOUS,PRETENDING people -- that Jesus said, "Judge not, that ye be not judged," Matthew 7:1. Those are the people who were always following Jesus to find fault with Him. He called them dogs and swine, verse 6. Then in Matt. 7:7, He told them how to come to know Him personally so that they could "then" make righteous judgments. They had to seek and FIND the Righteous Judge so that they would get the beam out of their own eye. Jesus never said they could NEVER JUDGE, because he used the word “THEN.” “…then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye”, Matt. 7:5. Because true believers FOLLOW Jesus, they are the only ones who can make righteous judgment as Jesus Christ said in 1 Corinthians 2:14) "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15) But he that is spiritual judgeth ALL things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16) …But we have the mind of Christ." Notice that Jesus warns us in the same chapter, Matthew 7:15) “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16) Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Facts are fruits. To DENY BAD FRUIT – is to ACCEPT a FALSE PROPHET.



Maturity Often Brings Disillusionment
Posted On: 04/02/11 12:17:14 PM Age 0, NJ
When I became a born again believer 52 years ago, I thought that everyone who was already a Christian believed the same thing and were all smarter and more spiritual than I was. So I read what they suggested I read and pretty much believed what they told me was the right thing to believe. The church I went to at first was a member of the IFCA and supposed to be fundamental. Looking back on it, it was anything but fundamental. Over the years, studying the Word and researching and checking everything against the scriptures, I was forced to change my loyalties many times in order to stay loyal to the only One Who counts, the Lord Jesus Christ. Many of my discoveries shocked and dismayed me when I was finally faced with the truth about some of my "idols". One of them was Billy Graham and another was C. S. Lewis and still another Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I had never become fond of the Monks like Bro. Lawrence and Thomas a Kempis and I am thankful for that. Defend them all you want but the facts are the facts.

C.S. Lewis's orthodoxy
Posted On: 04/01/11 08:14:17 AM Age 0, OH
Steve, I applaud your labor of love in seeking to protect God’s sheep from wolves. Allow me to respond. First, Lewis was not a wolf. He was a literary scholar and novelist who became an apologist without being formally trained to do this. Red flag his errors please, but don’t presume to say that you ‘hope before he died he repented.’ And please carefully document those errors, within the chronology of his life (as another reader responded to you) and the context of the work in which they appeared. Also, since this subject is of such importance to you, you should work more carefully. For example, in the same numbered list, you mix in things he got right and things he got wrong. Also, since he was primarily a man of letters, not a theologian, you should add a disclaimer about this, that literature was his primary work in which he had his formal training. Because of this, I read his novels but not his popular theological works. Additionally, consider that in dividing the Word of Truth we can’t develop doctrine through historical narratives. Neither should we attempt to develop a scheme of Lewis’s beliefs through his fictional narratives. And, remember that the apostle Paul said, “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:4)



C S Lewis - AVOID
Posted On: 04/01/11 03:10:18 AM Age 0, NORTHERN IRELAND
A few years ago I wrote an article advising people to avoid my fellow-countryman C S Lewis. The article can be accessed on http://www.takeheed.net/Assorted_Articles/Contemporary/Lewis_avoid.htm

John Todd, Ex-Druid High Priest Witch -- TELLS ALL
Posted On: 03/31/11 08:58:52 AM Age 0, IA
John Todd was a High Priest Druid Witch who was on the Council of 13 of the Illuminati. He got saved in 1972 and told what he knew. This is what he said in 1978 and can be heard on tape 2A at http://www.kt70.com/~jamesjpn/articles/john_todd_and_the_illuminati.htm. John Todd said, "One thing I've got to add to you. It comes up too much. We are bringing it out in the new book, ("Angel of Light." @ www.chick.com.) How many of you read C.S. Lewis? How many of you read J.R.R. Tolkien? Burn um. I'm going to repeat this. Burn um. Burn them. Burn them. Lewis was suppose to have been won to the Lord by Tolkien. Tolkien was suppose to be a Christian. The witches call all those books their bible. They have to read them before they can be initiated, and it is well known in England and published in witchcraft books that they both belonged to Rothchild's private coven. Tolkien's son is up for vote in 3 months to become the leader of the Illuminati. They are NOT Christian books. We have found books that are outside of the spirit? type letters that are on the gods where Tolkien talks on the gods Diana and Curinose? and others as being the real gods. NOT Tolkien -- Lewis, C.S. Lewis. He is suppose to be a Christian and those books are sold in Christian stores. Burn um. They're witchcraft books.



Caution
Posted On: 03/31/11 08:01:32 AM Age 0, IN
I have always enjoyed Mr. Camps articles. However, I feel that on this summary of Lewis he needs to exercise much greater caution in his allegations. First of all Lewis was an icredibly prolific writer. And throughout his life he grew in his walk. I have read almost all of Lewis' Christian writings and recognize many of the themes or actuall statements Mr. Camp refers to. I feel he has taken much of Lewis' points out of context, just as many take a passage or sentence of the Bible out of context. If time and space allowed, I could refute many of Mr. Camp's points. While Lewis was not perfect, he was completely honest in puting his thoughts out there for others to consider. If any of us had written as much as Lewis, I am sure parts and pieces of what we have said could be used to make a case against us as well.

Interestingly Irrelevant
Posted On: 03/31/11 05:06:54 AM Age 0, TX
Baptimsal regeneration may have been in the early writings; and original sin, eternal salvation, and total depravity may have been absent, but our faith and belief is NOT based on the early christians and their writings - nor do we need them to understand the scriptures. Not only that, but there is evidence that many of the so-called "early" writings are forgeries, or have at least been tampered with. Orthodoxy is determined by the Scriptures, not the writings of the "Early Christians". And Lewis was worse than this article points out. He denied Hell, and explicitly taught that people who faithfully worshipped the devil or false gods would go to heaven if they were basically good. See this article for more: http://www.wayoflife.org/database/cslewis.html



Is the Bible the infallible words of God?
Posted On: 03/31/11 03:23:12 AM Age 0, CO
3. After researching such preceding material, Edgar Boss concluded: "Lewis does not accept the plenary verbal theory of Inspiration." Similarly, Lewis analyst Richard Cunningham deduced: "Lewis did not believe in the infallibility or the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures." Well, most Christians today do not believe that any Bible in any language is the infallible words of God either. Only the King James Bible believers do. All others are "originals only", thus No infallible Bible today.

Citations
Posted On: 03/30/11 08:53:04 PM Age 0, VI
Interesting article. However, I would appreciate it if you would include the sources from which you draw your facts. Without them, I cannot test your findings to truly agree or disagree with your statements. I believe that intellectual honesty demands that you cite your sources so the rest of us have the opportunity to come to the same (or different) conclusions based on the same documents you used.



Lewis wasn't always saved....
Posted On: 03/30/11 08:12:00 PM Age 0, IL
Lewis became a Christian midway through his life. Therefore, it is very easy to pick up his statements, like those above, that sound heretical. They were heretical! Except that he was not a Christian when he said most of them. He changed, he did repent before he died. While we may disagree with Lewis on some things, he was also from a different culture. He was very counter-cultural for his time, and so we should praise him for the things he got right, though we may not agree with him on everything.

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