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Allan Josephson Testimonial
"Years ago, I discovered C.S.Lewis by reading his brief, yet profound, Mere Christianity. Like so many others of its readers, I was asking questions, lots of them, about God, purpose and meaning in life. I became exposed to an intellect so cleansing, thought so clear and purposeful, that I read and re-read his compelling logic. Lewis made no pretense about his intent - it was a Christian apologetic - yet he did it so winsomely and creatively, without preaching, that it was as if I didn't know what hit me. Lewis's notion about a moral law that all men and women at once accept and, at the same time, have a hard time meeting its demands, remains compelling.
As a psychiatrist, I find that Mere Christianity offers discerning insights into human behavior. Lewis's chapter on Pride, or what he called The Great Sin - a short seven pages - remains the clearest exposition on this I have ever read. Long before psychopharmacology, Lewis describes in his chapter Morality and Psychoanalysis the basis for understanding the difference between behavioral problems stemming from moral failures and those related to definable mental disorders.
In his writing, Lewis commented that even if every molecule of the universe were ultimately ordered, the basic questions remain: Why are we here? Where are we headed? Even though no formal scientist, he understood better than many scientists and religious individuals that the scientific questions of "What?" and "How?" address a different aspect of reality than the spiritually oriented questions of "Why?" and "Who?". I, like Lewis, see no contradiction between spiritual truth and truths uncovered by science.
Ultimately, Lewis recognized the limitations of rational approaches to the Christian faith. He understood that matters of the heart and commitment to a faith would not be solved by reason. What he did for those who say they can't believe the Christian faith is to remove in great measure the supposed intellectual obstacles to that belief. The choice is left up to us - a choice which has changed my life."
This resource is part of a series on Mere Christianity. Click here to listen to the full series.
Allan Josephson, MD, Physician, is Professor and Chief, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Department of Pediatrics with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He is the lead author of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s practice parameter on The Assessment of the Family and has served as the chair of the Family Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his work in religion, spirituality and psychiatry. He recently received the Oskar Pfister Award from the American Psychiatric Association, given to an individual for significant achievement in the study of psychiatry and religion.