I just picked up the new issue of Christianity Today Magazine, which is not online yet. The new issue has C.S. Lewis on the cover and is full of articles about him, his writings, etc. He is also on the cover of the new Christian History & Biography Magazine, which is also full of articles.
I found this paragraph in the opening story in the Christianity Today magazine interesting:
Clive Staples Lewis was anything but a classic evangelical, socially or theologically. He smoked cigarettes and a pipe, and he regularly visited pubs to drink beer with friends. Though he shared basic Christian beliefs with evangelicals he didn’t subscribe to biblical innerancy or penal substitution. He believed in purgatory and baptismal regeneration. How did someone with such a checkered pedigree come to be a theological Elvis Presley, adored by evangelicals?
That is a very interesting question indeed. I love Lewis. Mere Christianity changed my life when I was in college, and helped me begin a theological curiousity in me that I still have today. A Grief Observed comforted me in college as well, 11 years after my mother’s death. The Chronicles of Narnia I have read three times, and they have brought me much joy, and have helped me understand the importance of story and narrative in theology. And The Space Trilogy taught me that evil is pervasive, and that we cannot be silent. And on, and on.
I am indebted to Lewis, and it is not only his writings that I admire, but his personality and character as well.
But I wonder what most evangelicals would think of him, or his writings, if they were really aware of some of Lewis’s theological positions, which are quite different I would say from the average evangelical? Would they be concerned about some of his literary criticisms in regards to the Bible? Or what would most evangelicals think about his cigarette and pipe smoking? Or his drinking in the pubs?
I would just be curious if people’s views would change of him, or his work, if they found out, or knew that his theological beliefs, or lifestyle were incongruent with their own?