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Bearing the Weight of Glory

What is it that motivated C.S. Lewis, a comfortable academic with more than enough to do, to direct so much of his time writing and speaking towards the conversion of the unbelieving of the world? What made him sacrifice not only the regard of many of his colleagues but his own academic advancement to defend the faith? The answer will no doubt appear quite obvious once it is stated. But since it says something important about Lewis and something quite profound about the human drama viewed through the lenses of the Christian faith, and because I do not recall anyone having yet called specific attention to the connection I propose (though some have hinted at it),1 it seems appropriate to present the matter here.

To state the case most plainly, the vividness by which Lewis perceived the potential eternal destinies of every man and woman compelled him to direct a great part of his energies towards the saving of souls. Lewis perceived evangelism to be his lay vocation, and the means by which he expressed this evangelistic impulse were through his writing and speaking. The particulars of his ministry are generally well known. However, a summary of them in the context of his life will be necessary in order to appreciate the significance of his motivation. . .

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Christopher Mitchell

Christopher Mitchell, Theologian, (1951 – 2014) was the third director of the Marion E. Wade Center from 1994 to 2013, and the first holder of the Marion E. Wade Chair of Christian Thought at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. Mitchell was also the Consulting Editor for VII: An Anglo-American Literary Review (now VII: Journal of the Marion E. Wade Center). Prior to coming to Wheaton College he served as a missionary and pastor. He has published several articles including “C.S. Lewis and Authentic Discipleship,” Knowing and Doing (C.S. Lewis Institute, Spring 2011 Issue.) Mitchell received his M.A. from Wheaton College, and a Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, where his concentration was Historical Theology with a focus on Jonathan Edwards.


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