Book Review: C.S. Lewis’ Case For Christ

C.S. Lewis’ Case For Christ:  Insights From Reason, Imagination, And Faith, by Art Lindsley

When I was a teenager, one of the favorite ways that the adults in charge of our teen Bible studies had of trying to be hip and relevant with the young folks was to create imaginary dialogues that proved the point that they wanted to get across.  Even at the time, being no mean writer of dramatic material even then, I did not find this particular approach to be all that appealing.  Of course, nowadays, I am aware that books themselves are part of a great conversation already and I have a strong degree of aversion to those who seek to create fake dialogues to prove their point rather than simply using their books as a whole to prove their point.  This book has a lot going for it–any book that seeks to approach apologetics using the insights of C.S. Lewis is doing something right at least–but ultimately the author’s use of an ideologically diverse but phony-sounding apologetics group to demonstrate the appeal of C.S. Lewis’ case for Christ keeps this book from being as good as it could easily have been.  Here’s hoping that people can take what is worthwhile about this book even if they find the fake dialogue to be as off-putting as I do.

This book is about 200 pages long and is divided into fourteen chapters.  After acknowledgements, the first two chapters explore why it is worth studying Lewis’ case for Christ (I), discussing why his arguments are worth considering (1) and what some of the obstacles were to Lewis’ own belief (2) when he was a young atheist.  The next six chapters detail some of the obstacles to faith (II), such as contemporary chronological snobbery (3), the problem of evil and suffering (4), the question of Christianity being one myth among many (5), the argument from a rationalism and denial that people need faith (6), the claim that faith is imaginary (7), and skepticism about biblical miracles (8).  After that the author discusses to questions of coherence in Christianity (III), such as the matter of wish fulfillment (9), the postmodernist skepticism that what was true for C.S. Lewis is true for everyone (10), the belief that morals are relative (11), the question as to whether one religion among many can be said to be right (12), the question of death and the afterlife (13), and the argument that Christ is just another good moral teacher (14).  After that the book ends with recommended reading as well as notes and an index.

There is a lot to like about C.S. Lewis’ case for Christ, and if one has a habit of reading apologetics literature as I do [1], then there are at least a few aspects to Lewis’ case for Christ that are well worth remembering.  It is common today to hear people claim that Jesus was a good teacher as a way of denying the claims that he made about himself, but one has to remember that Jesus Christ in the Bible explicitly made statements that prevented one from merely viewing him as a good teacher.  Indeed, Christ’s own approach to evangelism, and one that has been copied since then by His followers, has always been to remove the middle ground of tepid fond feelings and to replace it with either intense hostility or intense support.  Cold water and hot water are praised, but the Bible has no fondness for that which is lukewarm.  That is something we would do well to remember, as the Bible’s approach to evangelism tears down false ideas and attempts to avoid making a decision between right and wrong even as it builds bridges between God and man and between people and each other.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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