All Things to All People:
C. S. Lewis' Case for Christ
How does a Christian talk about faith with a seeker? Sometimes
it's hard to know where to start. So much depends on the seeker:
what he or she already knows, their questions and objections—and
these days there is an overwhelming number of questions.
That's why a wonderful new book written by my friend Art Lindsley,
C. S. Lewis' Case for Christ, is so valuable. In it Art
shows how one of the greatest Christian thinkers of the twentieth
century managed, in his life and in his work, to be nearly all
things to all people.
Art adopts a fresh approach to the material by framing it with
a story about a discussion group gathering in a bookstore to talk
about the works of Lewis. Each chapter opens and closes with a
vignette about this fictional group, which is made up of very
different people who are there for very different reasons. There's
a mother interested in children's literature; an atheist who wants
to know how Lewis "was duped into believing in a God";
a woman on a "spiritual quest" who thinks that all religions
are equally true; a nominal Christian; and a man who's "just
here for the coffee." The group's only committed believer
is its leader, John, who does his best to answer the group's questions
about Lewis, literature, and God.
Despite their major differences, these people keep coming back
for more, because Lewis has something to offer each one of them.
In fact, one of the most remarkable things about Lewis has always
been the breadth of his appeal. Lovers of fantasy are drawn by
his magnificent imagination; logical thinkers are attracted by
his careful, methodical, and brilliant reasoning. Even atheists
like Art's fictional character Simon find Lewis appealing—after
all, Lewis was once one of them. On his long, difficult path to
the Christian faith, he experienced the same struggles, doubts,
and questions that other atheists face. Seekers of all kinds have
found in Lewis something to which they can relate. And as the
book demonstrates, even people who have never thought that deeply
about faith often find themselves doing so when they encounter
his arguments. I know, because it was Lewis' book Mere Christianity
that God used so powerfully in my conversion thirty-two years
The book takes on some of the most difficult arguments of our
day—arguments and questions that Lewis also dealt with in
his era, like "How can a good God allow evil?" and "Don't
all religions teach the same thing?"
It's crucial to remember, of course, that the main focus of our
attention should not be on Lewis. Art points this out through
one of his characters in the final chapter of his book: "C.
S. Lewis would not want people to focus on his personality or
even his books. He wanted to point beyond that," Art writes,
"to Jesus." And that's exactly what this book does,
focusing not on Lewis but, as the title says, on Lewis' case for
Christ. But it's worth learning how Lewis, through his wide range
of interests and experiences, was able to be so many things to
so many people, and answer so many questions, then pointing them
to the God who could meet every one of their needs. And Art Lindsley's
C. S. Lewis' Case for Christ is a great compilation of
the most important thoughts and arguments used over the years
in Lewis' voluminous writings: arguments we need to understand
today as we introduce seekers to Christ.
From BreakPoint, Copyright 2005 Prison Fellowship
with Chuck Colson" is a radio ministry
of Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with permission of
Prison Fellowship, P.O. Box 17500, Washington, DC, 20041-0500."
Heard on more than 1000 radio stations nationwide. For more information
on the ministry of Chuck Colson and Prison Fellowship visit their
web site at http://www.breakpoint.org.
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