The Christian World of C. S. Lewis

A “Christian” Author’s “Christian” World—Wm. B. Eerdmans, publ.
Book Review by Rosalyn Tryon

Today, our world is filled with the half-reformed. Professing to be of reformed persuasion, men take the truth of God and twist it into an evil abstraction. To truly reformed, Christian young people, this is often very confusing; for in all but our grade schools, these men are labeled “Christian authors”.

C. S. Lewis is one of these “Christian authors”. All over the world he is praised as the “voice of the reformed churches”. Yet, he, as he evidences himself in his works, is definitely not reformed. For example, C. S. Lewis believes in the Sehnsucht, or the longing which haunts every man and entices him toward God. Obviously, in the light of the reformed, Christian doctrine of election and reprobation, this is wrong.

But, let us take a more specific example. The Christian World of C. S. Lewis is divided, more or less, into the various books which Lewis wrote. In other words, it is a review on The Screwtape Letters. In this book Lewis uses a satire on Hell itself as a means of presenting his warped ideas. Lewis is subtle in his denial of election and reprobation. He has one of the head devils confess that he was “tempted” into entering Heaven—almost. Of course, when one is reading the book itself, this heresy goes almost unnoticed into the reader’s mind. Unfortunately for the unwary reader, this error is one of the most glaring in the book.

In the heresy of C. S. Lewis and in the subtle presentation of this heresy lies the merit of The Christian World of C. S. Lewis. The author, Clyde S. Kilby, in his overwrought fascination with Lewis, is actually pointing out the error of his ways by stating his heresy as “the moral lesson to be learned from the books”.

However, to know C. S. Lewis, one cannot simply sit and read Mr. Kilby’s book, at least not straight through! The value of the book lies in the instruction it can give before and after reading one of C. S. Lewis’ works. This is one of the most effective ways to see a half-reformed “Christian” author in his proper light.