Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What people believe (God on trial, Part 1)

RAF pilots The first thing I learned from addressing the [Royal Air Force] R.A.F. was that I had been mistaken in thinking materialism to be our only considerable adversary. Among the English “Intelligentsia of the Proletariat”, materialism is only one among many non-Christian creeds—Theosophy, Spiritualism, British Israelitism, etc. England has, of course, always been the home of “cranks”; I see no sign that they are diminishing. Consistent Marxism I very seldom met. Whether this is because it is very rare, or because men speaking in the presence of their officers concealed it, or because Marxists did not attend the meetings at which I spoke, I have no means of knowing. Even where Christianity was professed, it was often much tainted with Pantheistic elements. Strict and well-informed Christian statements, when they occurred at all, usually came from Roman Catholics or from members of extreme Protestant sects (e.g., Baptists). My student audiences shared, in a less degree, the theological vagueness I found in the R.A.F., but among them strict and well-informed statements came from Anglo-Catholics and Roman Catholics; seldom, if ever from Dissenters. The various non-Christian religions mentioned above hardly appeared.

C.S. Lewis, "God in the Dock" (1948) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 240-241.

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