C.S. Lewis was not an Evangelical

Bookmark and ShareCLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898-1963), distinguished professor of English literature at England’s Cambridge University, went to a priest regularly for confession (C. S. Lewis: A Biography, p. 198). The sacrament of Extreme Unction was administered to Lewis on July 16, 1964 (Ibid., p. 301). He also prayed for the dead: “Of course I pray for the dead” (Letters to Malcomb, p. 107).Lewis held strongly to an evolutionary animal ancestry of man. “For long centuries God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself” (The Problem of Pain, p. 177).

He held that the Genesis account came from pagan mythical sources. “I have therefore no difficulty accepting the view of those scholars who tell us that the account of Creation in Genesis is derived from earlier Semitic stories which were pagan and mythical” (Reflections on the Psalms, p. 110).

Dr. Lewis did not believe in a bodily resurrection (C.S. Lewis: A Biography, p. 234). He rejected the doctrine of the total depravity of man. “I disbelieve that doctrine” (The Problem of Pain, p. 66).

His view of Scripture was lamentable. He said the Book of Job is “unhistorical.” He also said the Bible contained “error,” and asserted the Neo-orthodox concept that the Bible “carries” the Word of God and is “human material” (The Problem of Pain, pp. 110,112).

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said in Christianity Today, Dec. 20, 1963, p. 27:

Because C.S. Lewis was essentially a philosopher, his view of salvation was defective in two key respects: (1) Lewis believed and taught that one could reason oneself into Christianity, and (2) he was an opponent of the substitutionary and penal theory of the Atonement.

Dr. W.W. Shrader, a liberal Baptist, stated the following in Christianity Today, Feb. 28, 1964, pp. 34,35:

C.S. Lewis would never embrace the Fundamentalist (literal-infallible) view of the Bible. He would not accept the theory of “total depravity of man.” He rejected the “substitutionary theory” of the Atonement.

In the social order he leaned a little more to the left than to the right. He believed that all economic systems, built on the foundation of interest and usury, were illogical, untenable, and corrupt. He was a heavy beer drinker, and strongly addicted to tobacco–rarely being seen without his pipe. He married a divorced Jewish woman. So if Conservatism and Fundamentalism joyously accept C. S. Lewis, perhaps some of the rest of us have a chance!

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