Wednesday, May 12, 2010

UK factory workers ask C.S. Lewis questions (Part 13)

Does Christianity retard scientific advancement? Or does it approve of those who help spiritually others who are on the road to perdition, by scientifically removing the environmental causes of the trouble?dorothyday1

Yes. In the abstract it is certainly so.  At a particular moment, if most human beings are concentrating only on material improvements in the environment, it may be the duty of Christians to point out (and pretty loudly) that this isn’t the only thing that matters. But as a general rule it is in favour of all knowledge and all that will help the human race in any way.

"Answers to Questions on Christianity," God in the Dock (Eerdmans: 1970) 57.


  1. If I say I'm a Christian. How would you describe me. What can you confidently deduce from my statement.
    I would suggest, very little.
    If there is a basic core of belief and practice I have not seen it demonstrated. Most Christians I know are gullible and lack the ability to think for themselves. CS Lewis recognized this, and made a second career out of mesmerizing his Christian audience. We need to move on, CS and his archaic thoughts are ancient history. Chad

  2. Well, Chad, it seems your mind is made up. You haven't said what you want to move on to or what you find to be so archaic in the writings of Lewis.

    I would like to say that Lewis did affirm what he called "mere Christianity" -- what you defined as a basic core of belief and practice. While this blog in quoting Lewis will have much to say about this "mere Christianity," the presentation is not systematic nor organized. Here my aim is to present bits of Lewis each day to make us think. I'm not trying to outline his thought in a systematic way.

    So on your point that Lewis recognized that most Christians "are gullible and lack the ability to think for themselves," so he made a career out of mesmerizing them -- well, Chad, I would say quite the contrary! Lewis encouraged his readers to think through their beliefs. He challenged ideas both inside and outside the church which he felt could be damaging to "mere Christianity." I have not sensed in his books that he was attempting to mesmerize me, but instead I find my mind engaged. If he saw naivete and gullibility in the church, then my sense is that he tried to address that, encouraging Christians to use their minds.

    I have not found his writings to be archaic or ancient history. Sure every now and then I've read a passage that seems a little dated (or just a little too English), but I've been more surprised at the times that he sounds so totally relevant to our current situation.

    Not everything that's "new" is really all that novel. There is something to be gained in reading that which is older. If nothing else, I would remind you not to throw out the baby with the bath water ;)

  3. Oh... by the way, I'm curious to know... Among those of you reading this blog daily, did you recognize the woman pictured with the May 13 reading? I felt that she was pretty well connected to what Lewis was saying about "the duty of Christians to point out (and pretty loudly) that this [material improvement] isn’t the only thing that matters."

    So who's the lady?

  4. I am sorry that our friend Chaddy feels that way. The church must have really hurt him at some point and he has been unable to get over it and move on. History changes, our faith does not. Read Jude, our faith is the same as the faith of the saints 2000 years ago. As I see it the world is very gullible and falling into Satan's trap as predicted. So now Chad as you get down on your mat 5 times a day to pray do you think this makes you a better non-gullible person??