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Lewis’s Christian faith not based on myths

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I am writing in response to the column “A myth worth believing in” by Jerry Moore and printed in the Dec. 24 issue of the Watertown Daily Times.

Although written from a religious skeptic point of view, Mr. Moore attempted to present a positive view of how we can personally live the true meaning of Christmas in our daily lives. However, his references to C.S. Lewis viewing the biblical account of Jesus’ birth, ministry, death and resurrection as myths, in my estimation, are not quite accurate.

C.S. Lewis was a convert to the Christian faith while teaching English literature and language at Magdalen College, Oxford, England. One day as he was riding in a motorcycle sidecar, while his brother was driving the motorcycle, he underwent a unique experience that he describes in his autobiography, “Surprised by Joy.”

At the end of this motorcycle trip, he found himself believing what he thought he never could nor would, namely, that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. That experience occurred in 1931. From that moment on, Lewis’s life was characterized as one exhibiting great joy.

I heartily agree with Mr. Moore that C.S. Lewis was a great scholar, writer, theologian and philosopher. Following his conversion, he wrote several outstanding and influential works. Perhaps the most influential was “Mere Christianity,” first published in 1952.

If one takes time to read and study the content of that book, you will be utterly convinced that C.S. Lewis’s faith and beliefs were not based on myth. In fact, an illustration of how his work deeply affected and changed the lives of others is illustrated in the biography of Charles Colson titled “Born Again.” In this autobiography, Mr. Colson mentions that the reading of this work was instrumental in his own conversion to the Christian faith.

The bottom line is, C.S. Lewis could not have written his other great works such as “The Screwtape Letters” and the “Chronicles of Narnia” if he did not believe in a real and historical Jesus who was “born in a manger.”

Finally, let me share some words of C.S. Lewis from “Mere Christianity”: “[A] Christian is not a man who never goes wrong, but a man who is enabled to repent and pick himself up and begin over again after each stumble — because the Christ-life is inside him, repairing him all the time, enabling him to repeat (in some degree) the voluntary death which Christ Himself carried out. ... [T]he Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him.”

That goes beyond a myth!



The Rev. Steve Nagler

Evans Mills

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