Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Talking about the Christian faith in public

C.S. Lewis was President of the Oxford Socratic Club from its first meeting in 1942 until he went to Cambridge in 1954. At the “Socratic,” Christians, atheists and others from Oxford University discussed the pros and cons of Christianity. Instead of theoretical apologetics, it was real world, real time engagement, discussion and debate. Here is one interesting paragraph Lewis wrote in the Preface to the first Socratic Digest vol. 1 (1942-1943).

ROM-Crystal-opening-wide-crowd Others may have quite a different objection to our proceedings [at the Oxford Socratic Club]. They may protest that intellectual discussion can neither build Christianity nor destroy it. They may feel that religion is too sacred to be thus bandied to and fro in public debate, too sacred to be talked of — almost, perhaps, too sacred for anything to be done with it at all. Clearly, the Christian members of the Socratic think differently. They know that intellectual assent is not faith, but they do not believe that religion is only ‘what a man does with his solitude’. Or, if it is, then they care nothing for ‘religion’ and all for Christianity. Christianity is not merely what a man does with his solitude. It is not even what God does with His solitude. It tells of God descending into the coarse publicity of history and there enacting what can and must be talked about.

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