C. S. Lewis' "Theology"

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Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Surprised by Joy --  This book documented his supposed conversion to Christianity.

- He was an unwilling convert.  "You may picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted for even a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me.  In...1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England." (p.?) [Emphasis added.]   James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  Claiming to believe in God is not conversion.  What's more, anyone who has ever been truely born again knows that the emotions that come to mind are not dejection and reluctance at having to do so!
- His testimony?  "When we set out I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did." (p.237) (This quote is a little unclear as to whether he believed because of what he saw in the zoo or because of what he was thinking on the way.  More information needed.) At any rate it does not resemble Paul's testimony in
1Corinthians 15:10, But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
- Paganism is the origin of religion.   "Paganism had been only the childhood of religion..." (p. 235,236)  James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.  It is blaspheme to claim that God's truth originated from paganism!


Mere Christianity --

- Some pagans may belong to God without knowing it. "There are people in other religions who are being led by God's secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it.  For example a Buddhist of good will may be led to concentrate more and more on the Buddhist teaching about mercy and to leave in the background (though he might still say he believed) the Buddhist teaching on certain points.  Many of the good Pagans long before Christ's birth may have been in this position." (p.176, 177)  If the good pagans are going to heaven any way, why in the world are we spending our time and money in sending out missionaries and preaching the Gospel?!  Speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us clearly that there is only one way to be saved -- Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12
- We're saved by works.  "There are three things that spread the Christ-life to us: baptism, belief, and that mysterious action which different Christians call by different names--Holy Communion, the Mass, the Lord's Supper" (pp.62,63)   Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Added to this he says that in the next life "there will be every occasion for being the sort of people that we can become only as the result of doing such acts here" (p.63) [Emphasis added.]  So, he literally believed that this was the "only" way to be saved.  Lewis is also wiping out any difference between the Lord's supper of true Christians and the Roman Mass. Jesus told us clearly that it is to be "in remembrance of me." 1Corinthians 11:24  He lumps all beliefs about it into one and claims it is part of salvation as well as calling Roman Catholics "Christians"!
- Theistic evolution is taking place.  Nature's "pregnancy has been long and painful and anxious, but it has reached its climax" (p.172).  The scripture teaches the exact opposite saying that "...the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." (Romans 8:22)  waiting for the redemption. It has not reached a climax, it is running down!
- Man is an animal.  "When we come to man, the highest of the animals, we get the completest resemblance to God which we know of."  (p.139)   Genesis 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.  No help meet for Adam's needs could be found for him among the animals because he was not an animal!  He needed someone created in the image of God like he was himself.  God knew this and did so.   Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  Lewis casts many of the animals as being "like God" in some way since this is necessary to arrive at what the Bible says without actually taking it literally.  Thus, man is the closest.
- There may be creatures in other worlds, and they may be more like God than man.  "There may be creatures in other worlds who are more like God than man is, but we do not know about them." (p.139)  This of course lays open all kinds of possibilities of aliens, greys, Martians, etc.  "Others worlds," plural, does not mean he was talking strictly of heaven.  The only beings that the Bible allows are God Himself; people; angles; cherubim/seraphim; and devils, including Satan. Psalm 72:19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen. (Just one example that the Bible gives no indication of there being any life in "other worlds.")
- We can lose our salvation.  "... a Christian can lose the Christ-life which has been put into him, and he has to make efforts to keep it" (p.49)  "There are people (a great many of them) who are slowly ceasing to be Christians ..." (p.162) Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  We cannot lose our salvation any more than Jesus can die again now that He is risen from the dead.  Our salvation is as eternal as Jesus' life! (Also see Acts 15 where the leaders of the church determined that works are not necessary to earn nor to keep salvation.)
- The descriptions of heaven found in the Bible are all symbolism.  "All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc.) is, of course, a merely symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible. Musical instruments are mentioned because for many people (not all) music is the thing known in the present life which most strongly suggests ecstasy and infinity. Crowns are mentioned to suggest the fact that those who are united with God in eternity share His splendor and power and joy. Gold is mentioned to suggest the timelessness of heaven (gold does not rust) and the preciousness of it" (p.106) This is revolting to say the least!  Jesus is very clear on this -  John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.   Jesus would have told us if all the descriptions of heaven were not real.  We have to take it by faith or call Him a liar.  A man cannot call Jesus Christ a liar and be saved! (Lewis' problem with the descriptions of heaven being literal is that he judged the Bible by his own half-bushel. As will be seen, The Chronicles of Narnia are absolutely loaded with symbolism, so he read the Bible in light of himself, that is, he made God in his own image.)
- Worthiness of heaven is based on "the beginnings" of inner "qualities," not salvation.  "The point is not that God will refuse you admission to His eternal world if you have not certain qualities of character: the point is that if people have not got at least the beginnings of those qualities inside them, then no possible external conditions could make a 'Heaven' for them ..." (p.63)   Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.  It has nothing to do with inner qualities that would make you like whatever Heaven it is that God has made, it depends entirely on whether your name is in the Lamb's book of life or not.  Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
- Lewis did not consider himself a "new man."   2Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
- Repentance is not necessary for salvation.  "This process of surrender...this willing submission...is not something God demands of you before He will take you back...." (p. 59-60)  [Note that salvation is a process.]  Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.   There is no salvation without repentance.  If you are not sorry for your sin, you do not need a sacrifice and therefore what reason would there be to be saved?  Luke 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.   Notice that the prodigal son had already repented before he started for home!  This is probably the reason that Lewis claimed to be a reluctant convert. He believed God took him before he became willing.  Sadly, he apparently never did willingly submit to God in repentance.
- There is a purgatory after death in which we will be purified.  "...whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after death."  (p.108, 172, 174, 175, 182)  2Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.


Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer --

- To be born again is still in the future; it is a continuing process not yet completed.  "...'ye must be born again.'  till then, we have duty, morality, the Law...A schoolmaster, as St. Paul says....But the schooldays, please God are numbered." (p.115)  This is exactly what the pope believes; that we are being born again!  Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
- He was a product of theistic evolution.  "All my past; my ancestral past; perhaps my pre-human past." (p.79) (This also lends itself to the possibility of re-incarnation.)  Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
- Mysticism is a means by which one can leave "this world" before death.  "I do not at all regard mystical experience as an illusion.  I think it shows that there is a way to go, before death, out of what may be called 'this world'..."  "One thing common to all mysticisms is that temporary shattering of our ordinary spatial and temporal consciousness and of our discursive intellect."  Lewis claimed that he did not "attempt the precipices" like the "saints" and "mystics" do. (pp.63-65)  What Lewis here describes sounds like the modern day "to out-of-body experiences!"  It smacks of seducing spirits. 
1Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;  We are warned against people that teach such things. Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.  There are only two choices for the Christian today - to be on earth or with the Lord.  2Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.   Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
- He prayed for the dead.  "Of course I pray for the dead.  The action is so spontaneous, so all inevitable, that only the most compulsive theological case against it would deter me.  And I hardly know how the rest of my prayers would survive if those for the dead were forbidden..." (p.107)  See above verses and also:   1Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  What sense is there in praying for the dead?  Also note that he thinks he could not even continue praying if he was forbidden to pray for the dead!
- There is a purgatory which we must suffer after death.  "I believe in Purgatory."  While he claimed to not believe it is the extreme suffering that the Roman Church taught in earlier eras, he held that our "souls demand Purgatory..." in order to make them pure enough for heaven.  This idea is no doubt based on his heresy of salvation being a continuing and incomplete thing.  He does "assume that the process of purification will normally involve suffering."  He likens it to being given a mouth wash after having a tooth pulled. "This," he says, "will be Purgatory.  The rinsing may take longer than I can now imagine.  The taste of this may be more fiery and astringent than my present sensibility could endure." (pp.108-109)  Again, see the above scriptures.   Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  We suffer with Christ.  He did his suffering on earth, not in heaven!  Our suffering is done on earth at this present time!


Letter of C.S.Lewis -- (edited by W.H. Lewis)

- The work of redemption is continued by purgatory.  He believed that purgatory was "A process by which the work of redemption continues, and first perhaps begins to be noticeable after death."  (pp. 246-247)   Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; Redemption is through Christ's blood and His alone.  No purgatory enters into it.


Miracles --

- The earth was created by theistic evolution.  "He made an earth at first 'without form and void' and brought it by degrees to its perfection" (p.125)  Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.


The Great Divorce --

- There is no literal hell.  It is a state of mind.  "...every shutting-up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind is, in the end, Hell" (p. 65)   Luke16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  The Bible is very clear on what hell is like.  No one who takes the word of God literally need has any questions as to what it is.  Three time Jesus described it thus, "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." Mark 9:44  C.S. Lewis did not want to believe this because he knew he was going there.
- People can take their own animals to heaven as partakers of their salvation. On p.108 he portrayed animals partaking of the Christ-life through a saintly woman.  There is simply no Biblical evidence for this.  The only animals that we know of being in heaven are the white horses that the army of heaven will ride upon in Revelation 19, and these are not said anywhere to have gotten there be tagging onto some person's salvation! This doctrine sounds too close to the Mormon doctrine of animals going to heaven. (Perhaps Jack Van impe got the idea for teaching this from Lewis?)


The Problem of Pain --

- Man evolved from animals.  Theistic evolution.  "For long centuries God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself" (p.177).  This is gross blaspheme!   Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.   Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. This man obviously considered God a liar!
-  If man is totally depraved, then Christianity is a form of devil worship.  "... when the consequence is drawn that, since we are totally depraved, our idea of good is worth simply nothing--may thus turn Christianity into a form of devil worship" (pp.37-38)   Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.  (On page 66, Lewis claims that man cannot be totally depraved because if we were, we would not know we are, and because experience shows that there is much good in human nature. His logic is circular.)
- Our goodness is not that different from God's.  The divine goodness differs "from ours not as white and black but as a perfect circle from a child's first attempt to draw a wheel" (p.39)  Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  See verse above also.  If there isn't a black and white difference between our good and God's, then what on earth did we need a Saviour for?  Also, notice that he uses the circle to represent goodness.  If it were not for his fantasy books that open up his occultic and pagan thinking so clearly for us to observe, this would not mean much probably.  However, in light of other things, the use of this symbolism is highly suspicious.  According to J. E. Cirlot's A Dictionary of Symbolism (p. 46-47) the circle frequently represents the sun and also can "stand for heaven and perfection..." Thus, Lewis uses it to represent divine goodness.
- The Bible contains myths.  "I have the deepest respect for Pagan myths, still more for myths in the Holy Scriptures" (p.71).  Lewis believed that all myths point toward God and therefore pagan myths could be "respected."  He believed that the some of the "myths" in the Bible were true, such as Jesus' life, while others were not, such as creation.  Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.  By taking away from God's words like this, he openly showed himself to be an unbeliever.   John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.  No man that loves Jesus Christ talks this way about His revelation!


Reflections on the Psalms --

- The Genesis account comes from pagan myth.  "I have therefore no difficulty accepting, say, the view of those scholars who tell us that the account of Creation in Genesis is derived from earlier Semitic stories which were Pagan and mythical." (p.110)  Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.   Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
- Man is an animal.  "...but he (man) remains still a primate and an animal." (p. 115, 129)   Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
- Job is "unhistorical."  (p. 110)   Psalm 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
- There is error in the Bible.  (pp.110 and 112)   Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
- The Bible "carries" the word of God but is "human material..."  (pp.110,112)   2Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God...   2Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
- Christ fulfilled paganism.  "...as I believe, Christ,...fulfills both Paganism and Judaism..." (p. 129)   Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.   Lewis' belief regarding this is complete and total blaspheme!  He could not have been saved!
- Plato was a theological genius.  He says that Plato was "an overwhelming theological genius."  (p.80)  This fits with his perverted ideas of paganism being the "childhood" of religion and Christ fulfilling paganism.  He obviously could not tell God's truth from Satan's lies if his soul depended on it, and it did.   Proverbs 15:2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.


The Screwtape Letters --

- God rewards people for doing evil because they were doing the best they knew.  God "often makes prizes of humans who have given their lives for causes He thinks bad on the monstrously sophistical ground that the humans thought them good and were following the best they knew" (p.26)  Lewis needed this devilish doctrine to excuse himself.   Ecclesiastes 2:26 For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.  Adolf Hitler, Lenin and Mao Tse Dong certainly thought what they were doing was good.  They even had those that thought so with them, especially Hitler.  Does this mean that God made prizes of them!?


The Abolition of Man --

- To be truly human you must participate in the Tao.  He said of the Tao, which is from Chinese mysticism, that it is "the concrete reality in which to participate is to be truly human."   Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  (You can't get any more human than that!) Lewis believed that we were evolving upward, so it would "make sense" to him that one could become more fully human!


Other heresies that he held:

- Christ's death was not a substitution for us, but rather something like the Roman Catholic idea of the storing-up of grace. 1Corinthians 5:7 ...For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

- Apollo is probably a lower species of Christ, and could probably be prayed to as such. Prehaps the most spiritually damning and revealing statement that Lewis ever made is quoted in C.S. Lewis: A Biography, by Roger Lancelyn Green.  On page 276, Green gives us the quote.  Lewis and his ill wife were on a trip when Lewis stated, "I had some ado to prevent Joy and myself from relapsing into Paganism in Attica!  At Daphni it was hard not to pray to Apollo the Healer.  But somehow one didn't feel it would have been very wrong - would have only been addressing Christ sub specie Apollinis."  Dear reader, this man could not possibly be saved!!!  Anyone that could even entertain the idea that Apollos, the pagan sun deity,  was a lower form of Christ, and could be prayed to as such, could not possibly know the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour!  No doubt Lewis could explain this all away by references to the Sun of righteousness with healing in his wings in Malachi 4:2 , but the fact that Apollos bears a similar description does not prove that he was something akin to the only begotten Son of God.  Rather, it proves that Apollos is an anti-Christ! The Christ that C.S. Lewis worshipped was not the Christ of the holy scriptures, but some pagan deity that he conjured up out of his myth laden imagination. Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:   Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

2Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. Amen and Amen!

by Mary Van Nattan

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Information for this article has been gleaned from the Biblical Discernment Ministry's web page on this subject and from articles in our possession by un-known authors.