I have chosen seven to summarize in this essay. You can click on the words in bold to get a further development of these ideas.
The seven I have chosen are:. Chronological Snobbery. One obstacle that C. Lewis had to overcome was what he called his "chronological snobbery. For instance, people might ask, "What does a 2,year-old faith have to do with me? Why did an idea go out of date and was it ever refuted? If so, where, by whom, and how conclusively? Lewis later argued that reading old books helped provide a corrective to the blindness induced by our own age. We ought, he maintained, to read one old book for every new one or if that's too much, then one old one for every three new ones. Otherwise, we may be easily enslaved to the ideas of the recent past.
Lewis believed that we were made for "joy.
Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. Lewis's argument for God's existence from the nature of our desires is fascinating and thought provoking.
Just as the existence of hunger points to satisfaction in the reality of food, thirst in drink, sexual desire in sex, drowsiness in sleep etc so other "natural" desires: spiritual hunger, desire for supernatural encounters, aspirations to immortality and so on act as cosmic pointers to real supernatural satisfaction.
Lewis viewed reason as the natural "organ of truth" and imagination as the "organ of meaning. He was able to work with equal facility in philosophical arguments or in writing fiction. Lewis uses images to illustrate his apologetics and communicates profound ideas in his fiction. For instance, he writes a great critique of relativism in Abolition of Man and communicates the same ideas in the novel, That Hideous Strength. Imagination acted as a cosmic pointer to Lewis.
Once, during his years of unbelief, he was going on a train ride and bought a book George MacDonald's Phantastes. While he was reading, he said that a "new quality" touched his life and his imagination was "baptized. Having had this early experience, it is not surprising that he thought that others might feel a similar thing. He felt that his Narnia series might sneak past "watchful dragons" of religiosity enabling us to see old things in new ways.
Lewis argued for objective truth and morality against the relativism of his and our day. He felt that establishing the reality of truth and goodness was an essential preparation for the Gospel. He wrote:.
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For my part, I believe we ought to work not only at spreading the gospel that certainly but also at a certain preparation for the gospel. It is necessary to recall many to the Law of Nature before we talk about God. For Christ promises forgiveness of sins: But what is that to those who since they do not know the Law of Nature, do not know that they have sinned?
Who will take the medicine unless he knows he is in the grip of disease? Moral relativity is the enemy we have to overcome before we tackle atheism. Lewis's arguments against relativism are set forth in Mere Christianity Book I , Abolition of Man , and in numerous essays. Early in C. Lewis's life he noticed the parallels between pagan myths and classic Christianity. In his education it was assumed that the pagan myths were false and Christianity true. Why was this religion--and this one alone--true?
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis Essay - Words | Bartleby
This is one factor that led to his unbelief. He resolved the problem and wrote about myth in a number of places.
A key to his resolution was the increased understanding that if God created the world in a certain way and the human mind with a definite structure, it is not surprising that patterns reoccur. The only question is, Are any of these myths truer than others or, more precisely, Are any of these myths also fact? He came to believe that Jesus was the "myth become fact. Later he defined myth as an "unfocused gleam of divine truth falling on human imagination. Deism is perhaps defensible. Christianity is absurd. Read history if you care about sounding rational.
Nov 29, AM.
Since you'd already read this book which is, admittedly, a primer on the Christian philosophy , maybe it's time that you take your love of philosophy to the next level. Allow me to explain. I'm not sure what Socrates being dead before Jesus was born has to do with anything, but there was a progression of philosophy after Socrates. Aristotle explained metaphysics in a much more complete way than Socrates he had the benefit of learning from and building upon the Socratic method. Fast forward a few thousand years. Albert the Great had a gifted student named Thomas Aquinas, who was once regarded by his classmates as "the Dumb Ox".
This was not because he was stupid - it was because he was quiet. Albert defended his student, who would then go on to explain the lost philosophy of Aristotle to the Christian world. The dominant form of philosophy in Christendom to that time had been an Augustinian form of Socrates.
Aristotle had been "kept" by the Muslims until the Crusades. If you truly understand philosophy, then I would suggest the following books to you: - "The Dumb Ox" by G. Chesterton an excellent introduction to Aquinas - "A Summa of the Summa" by Peter Kreeft a bit more in-depth than Chesterton - can be used as a "Cliff's Notes" of the next book - "Summa Theologica" by Thomas Aquinas his masterpiece I know that you will likely not want to "waste your time" reading these, but I posted these suggestions anyway, just in case you truly have an open mind and want to read the history of Christian philosophy.
Even if it doesn't convince you of a personal God that gets involved in our lives, it will at least give you better arguments against Christianity than "it was institutionalized by the Emperor Constantine". Dec 18, PM. A few things: Lewis wasn't just expressing what Christianity meant to him—he was building a case for what Christianity is at its very core to all believers. What he meant by "Mere Christianity" was the things that we all accept as a fundamental basis for our faith, underneath all of the denominational differences and our varied illustrations and practices.
He was actually very clear about "mere" Christianity not being able to be compromised or tailored to fit an individual's private motivations while remaining Christianity. However, he also warned us not to mistake his illustrations for the real thing, but to use them if they brought a better understanding. It's important here, to be able to distinguish between a basic principle of a faith and a picture of how that principle might be carried out.
A Literary Analysis of Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
He always marked it clearly when he was using an illustration, and when he was making sure no one had a watered-down idea of the main point. Lewis did also cover the differences between societal differences and what makes an issue a moral dilemma or simply a case of bad manners when the setting changes. He also covered the difference between basic instinct and prompting by something else God put into us, and he also made a case for the part of us which distinguishes between our primal wants and the thing we think we should do to be at peace with our conscience, and explains that the thing choosing for us cannot itself be either of the choices, but a third thing which is the standard by which we choose.
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Lastly, and this is just a personal note, many people in the scientific community, including notable Nobel Prize-winning physicists, no longer accept evolution as valid. In fact, it looks highly improbable even to those who have been studying it for their entire careers. Rather than change the textbooks, they're still basing new theories on evolution in hopes that these new theories will prove evolution for them.
It hasn't yet happened, and I wouldn't hold my breath. They're looking for an answer that can let them rest easy, and they're not willing to accept a Power higher than human science.
As a result, teachers and laymen are running around saying evolution is fact and proven, and much more nonsense, when in actuality most of the scientific minds who work in the labs and perform the experiments, and who've proposed these ideas no longer believe them. They're just not willing to come out and say that they've misled the public for all these years, and that much of the science that is based on it is now outdated. It's like when the church in Italy persecuted Galileo. Never knew it could work both ways, huh?
Yes, I do study this subject and make it a point to educate myself in the defense of Creationism. Mere Christianity is easy to obtain and an easy read, if one's willing to be involved with it and not just skim the pages looking for things to which they can object. Most of the questions and objections in this thread were covered in the book. I highly suggest you read it. I have an extra copy I'd be willing to send out to anyone who really wants it, but be forewarned it's full of highlighter marks.
Dec 19, AM. Yes, Lewis did lots of things like decided arbitrarily when some internal motivation to do something moral was "good taste" or the magical hand of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, yes.
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
In addition, I call your anti-evolution ramble poppycock and challenge you to produce reputable sources for your criticism. Your understanding of the term "theory" and scientists' understanding are very different. A "theory" is a very useful idea with which to test and examine things, but the jury's out on whether it's FACT.
The inclusion of a Higher Power doesn't necessarily affect the theory of evolution. Lots of religious people think evolution would be a perfectly nifty way for God to develop living things. If, however, certain believers think God made all the animals at once and that everything here now has always been here, well, umm, yeah. About that Incidentally, I think it's wonderful that some scientists are searching for answers other than evolution for things--even trying to prove that dinosaurs and man existed together!
That's what science is all about! Alternative views fighting for respectability. But not based on the Bible. And not to be taken seriously by the rest of us as evidence of anything other than people's wishful, fantastic thinking. Dec 19, PM.