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 C. S. Lewis’s Concept of Hell


Why does it even matter what C. S. Lewis thinks about Hell? There are mysteries of faith to be sure but, one must not play the mystery card too quickly.

Lewis wrote: "If our religion is something objective, then we must never avert our eyes from those elements in it which seem puzzling or repellent; for it is precisely the puzzling or the repellent which conceals what we do not yet know and need to know." (The Weight of Glory, p. 31.)

Similarly, Lewis writes: "Where we find a difficulty we may always expect that a discovery awaits us." (Reflections on the Psalms, p. 28).

Take note: Those who are ready to reject an idea simply because it is puzzling to them may be rash, especially when history reveals many reasonable people less quick to discard that very idea. Furthermore, an understanding of a moment, when it silences discussion and prevents further thought and contemplation may lead to a self-referential and utilitarian approach to truth.

This resource is part of a series on The Screwtape Letters. Click here to listen to the full series

Jerry Root

Jerry Root is the Christopher W. Mitchell Senior Fellow for C.S. Lewis Studies at the C.S. Lewis Institute; Emeritus Professor of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois and a visiting Professor at Biola University. He received his Ph.D. from the Open University through the Oxford Centre for Missions Studies. Jerry has nine published books, as well as numerous articles and publications about C. S. Lewis and evangelism in other books, journals, and periodicals, as well as read numerous academic papers at various academic venues. Recently, he published, Splendour in the Dark, a book about C. S. Lewis’s narrative poem Dymer (the book also includes Lewis’s 100-page poem). Jerry has lectured on Lewis topics at 79 Universities in 19 different countries.

COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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