Everyone Thinks CS Lewis is on their Team

From Jake Meador:

If you spend any length of time interacting with contemporary writing about CS Lewis, you’ll discover one thing almost instantly: Lewis has become a theological Rorshach [sic] test for his readers. This was one of the dominant themes of the many tributes published about him on the 50th anniversary of his death this past November.

A certain group of Catholic readers—let’s call them “Chesterton’s warrior children”—cannot imagine someone like Lewis writing the things he did and not converting to Catholicism at some point….

Meanwhile, American evangelical readers tend to see Lewis as a proto-evangelical, a man utterly committed to classic creedal orthodoxy and utterly uninterested in delving any deeper than that….

Both readings, of course, miss the most basic fact of all about Lewis the Christian: CS Lewis was a conservative Anglican churchman. It’s perhaps fitting that amongst all the tributes, it the was the Anglican Alan Jacobs who made this point about Lewis’s identity while also drawing attention to its neglect amongst many of his readers.

“I want to suggest that one significant reason for Lewis’s widespread positive reception in the U.S. involves simple ignorance on the part of American audiences of what it means to be a layman of the Church of England.”

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.


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