What Accounts for the Powerful Spiritual Impact of C.S. Lewis? - page 4




What Accounts for the
Powerful Spiritual Impact of C.S. Lewis?

by Lyle Dorsett,
Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism at Beeson Divinity School

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Those things explain his impact but not finally. They’re all factors, but what explains his profound impact, I’m convinced, can be seen in – listen to these words: F.B. Meyer, a Baptist preacher, one time said this (dwell on this for a moment), if he were here, for example, he’d say, “In every born again Christian that’s in this room tonight, the Spirit of Christ is present. In some of the people here tonight, the Spirit of Christ is prominent.” Present in all born again, prominent in some. And then he said, “And in a few, and alas only a few, the Spirit of Christ is preeminent.” And he said, “That’s not because God chooses to dole it out that way; it’s because some people are more in love with Jesus, and they really take seriously John 17:3 [paraphrased]: ‘Eternal life is to know the Father and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.’“ And that intimacy, that knowledge can come only by spending time together sitting at Jesus’s feet, listening to Him and learning from Him. And I’m going to try to show you, in the sessions we have, some of the disciplines Lewis had, some of the things he did that explain the Spirit of Christ was preeminent in Him, preeminent because he’d cooperate when Jesus said, “Come unto Me, Jack Lewis, come unto Me.” He came. And I believe these things. The reason I wrote a book [Seeking the Secret Place] was not only to learn about Lewis but also to help others. We all can grow in these ways, every one of us. And let’s learn from C.S. Lewis.

I have several areas I’m going to go into. I’ll lay them out in five areas. First of all, and I’m taking a quotation from Dorothy L. Sayers, who was a dear friend of C.S. Lewis. She referred to C.S. Lewis as “God’s terrier.” I like to think of that as an Airedale terrier, because I’ve had four Airedales. But whatever terrier it is, it doesn’t make any difference. She said Lewis was God’s terrier. What she’s really saying is he was a purposive man with an evangelistic zeal, and nothing was going to stop him. That’s where we begin.

But along with that is prayer. We’re going to talk about his prayer life, some of the things I’ve learned and been able to take into my own life. His commitment to prayer. He told one person, “Your prayer life needs to be a sustained and regular habit.”

Not only this purposiveness, this evangelistic zeal, and this prayer life, a robust prayer life, Lewis imbibed enormous quantities of Scripture. He trusted the Scriptures. I don’t agree with everything Lewis interpreted by Scripture, some of the positions he took, but who am I? He led more people to Jesus than I ever thought about. He’s mentored more people. But he loved the Scriptures; he trusted them. He said this with regard to Scripture: “Our Lord’s teaching allows no quarter for setting it aside.” So the purposive position, the prayer, the Scripture, and then we’re going to look at the church.


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