C. S. Lewis: Criticism of Theological & Political Liberalism

C. S. Lewis: Criticism of Theological & Political Liberalism October 22, 2019

From: The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. II: Books, Broadcasts, and the War, 1931-1949, edited by Walter Hooper, HarperSanFrancisco, 2004:

Fascism and Communism, like all other evils, are potent because of the good they contain or imitate. . . . One of the things we must guard against is the penetration of both into Christianity . . . Mark my words: you will presently see both a Leftist and a Rightist pseudo-theology developing — the abomination will stand where it ought not. (1-17-40, p. 327)

I think I have mentioned before how pleasant it is to have our Leftists such a diminished element in College. (2-25-40, p. 354)

[I]t is certainly not ‘liberal-minded’ religious people who like my books in England. On the contrary it is precisely among them that I find (next to Marxists) my most hostile critics. (4-18-46, p. 707)

Your Leftists [in Italy] . . . declare their atheism. Even boast of it. Wolves they are and wolves they are seen to be. We endure a pack of wolves, dressed in sheep’s clothing. Of those who work injustice in politics many say they are building the Kingdom of God. Nor do they merely say it, they perhaps believe it. . . . To me nothing in this state of affairs seems more grievous than the struggle against hatred in which we are daily engaged — I will not say the hatred of enemies but of our own people. (Aug. 1948, pp. 868-869)

From: The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. III: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963, edited by Walter Hooper, HarperSanFrancisco, 2007:

[T]he thought of entering it [possible war] with such a government as England now has [Labour], is sheer nightmare. Have you any parallel to their imbecility? All rulers lie: but did you ever meet such bad liars? (12-6-50, p. 67)

I really think that in our days it is the ‘undogmatic’ & ‘liberal’ people who call themselves Christians that are the most arrogant & intolerant. I expect justice & even courtesy from many Atheists and, much more, from your people [Catholics]: from Modernists, I have come to take bitterness and rancour as a matter of course. (4-23-51, p. 112)

To a layman, it seems obvious that what unites the Evangelical and the Anglo-Catholic against the ‘Liberal’ or “modernist’ is something very clear and momentous, namely, the fact that both are thoroughgoing supernaturalists . . . This unites them not only with one another, but with the Christian religion as understood ubique et ab omnibus [“that which has been believed everywhere, always, by everyone”]. (2-8-52, p. 164)

I am very ill acquainted with modern theological literature, having seldom found it helpful. (10-5-55, p. 652)

Related Reading:

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Silent Night: A “Progressive” and “Enlightened” Reinterpretation [12-10-04; additionally edited for publication at National Catholic Register: 12-21-17]
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