C.S. Lewis on Holy Scripture - page 5


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From the Spring 2014 issue of Knowing & Doing:  

C.S. Lewis on Holy Scripture

by Philip Graham Ryken, D.Phil.
Professor of Theology, President, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois

 
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   Lewis made a similar point in Letters to Malcolm by asking a rhetorical question: “By the way, did you ever meet, or hear of, anyone who was converted from skepticism to a ‘liberal’ or ‘de-mythologized’ Christianity?” Lewis never had, which led him to claim “that when unbelievers come in at all, they come in a good deal further.”31 What he meant by “a good deal further” was authentic faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
  The place where Lewis learned the difference between authentic and inauthentic faith was in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, which he believed to be the very Word of God. If we are wise, we will follow his example by reading Holy Scripture on its own terms, fully submitting to its authority, and completely surrendering to God’s will for our lives—lest, like Jill Pole and Eustace Scrubb, we miss the signs and lose our way.



Excerpted from Dr. Ryken’s chapter in the forthcoming book, The Romantic Rationalist edited by John Piper and David Mathis. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org. This book will be released in September 2014.

Notes:
1. C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair (London: Collins, 1974), 47.
2. C.S. Lewis, Silver Chair, 109.
3. C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1958), 109.
4. “Letters to Malcolm,” Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Dep. D. 808, 48.
5. See my chapter (from which the present article is excerpted) in the forthcoming book The Romantic Rationalist, edited by John Piper and David Mathis (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, in press).
6. C.S. Lewis, Christian Reflections, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1967), 27.
7. C.S. Lewis, in a 1945 letter to Lyman Stebbins, quoted by James Como, “C.S. Lewis’ Quantum Church: An Uneasy Meditation,” in C.S. Lewis and the Church: Essays in Honour of Walter Hooper, ed. Judith Wolfe and Brendan N. Wolfe (London: Bloomsbury, 2012), 98.
8. C.S. Lewis, letter to Dom Bede Griffiths, May 28, 1952, The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, ed. Walter Hooper, vol. 3, Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy, 1950–1963 (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2007), 195.
9. Lewis, letter to Emily McLay, August 3, 1953, ibid., 354.
10. Lewis, letter to McLay, ibid., 356–57.
11. C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: Macmillan, 1944), 106.
12. Lewis, letter to Genia Goelz, June 13, 1959, Collected Letters, 3:127.
13. C.S. Lewis, The Literary Impact of the Authorized Version (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1963), 32.
14. Kevin J. Vanhoozer, “On Scripture,” in The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis, ed. Robert MacSwain and Michael Ward (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 76.
15. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms, 111.
16. Ibid., 3.
17. Lewis, letter to Carnell, Collected Letters, 3:319.
18. Lewis, Authorized Version, 97.
19. C.S. Lewis, “Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism,” in Christian Reflections, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1967), 154–55.
20. Ibid., 155.
21. Ibid., 154.
22. Ibid.
23. Ibid., 157.
24. C.S. Lewis, letter to Sister Penelope, November 8, 1939, The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, ed. Walter Hooper, vol. 2, Books, Broadcasts, and the War, 1931–1949 (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2004), 285.
25. C.S. Lewis, “Horrid Red Things,” in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), 71.
26. Lewis, “Modern Theology,” 158.
27. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms, 109.
28. Lewis, “Modern Theology,” 153.
29. Ibid.
30. Ibid.
31. C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1964), 152–53.


Philip Graham Ryken, D. Phil. is President of Wheaton College, earned a master of divinity degree from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in historical theology from the University of Oxford.  Dr. Ryken returned from England to join the pastoral staff at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia in 1995, preaching there until his appointment at Wheaton. He has published more than 30 books, including The Message of Salvation, Art for God’s Sake, Loving the Way Jesus Loves, and expository commentaries on Exodus, Jeremiah, Luke, and other books of the Bible. Dr. Ryken and his wife, Lisa, live in Wheaton, IL and have five children.

 
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