On C.S. Lewis, Part 4 (The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity in Light of World Religions #4)

Today’s passage of Scripture is John 6:35 which reads: “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

Today’s quote is from Lee Strobel. He said: “To continue in atheism, I would need to believe that nothing produces everything, non-life produces life, randomness produces fine-tuning, chaos produces information, unconsciousness produces consciousness, and non-reason produces reason. I simply didn’t have that much faith”

Our topic for today is titled “On C.S. Lewis, Part 4” from “The Encyclopedia of Apologetics”

–His Major Works
Mere Christianity

Lewis’s most well-known apologetic work is Mere Christianity. The contents of this book were originally from a series of radio broadcasts Lewis did for the BBC in the 1940s. As such they evoke a sense of personal warmth that has endeared Lewis to readers for decades, and they contain many examples of the clear, logical argumentation that made him so effective as a teacher and apologist.

Mere Christianity is divided into three parts. The first two follow the classical apologetic style. Lewis set out to demonstrate that belief in the existence of God is reasonable, and then he addresses the deity of Jesus Christ. His proof of God’s existence is built on the foundation of the universal moral sense that all men share. He calls this the Law of Human Nature. He does not mean that everyone practices exactly the same morals, but that there is a universal sense within people that some things are inherently right and others are wrong. Also, people everywhere fail to live up to what they know to be right. From this Lewis concludes that there is a moral law to which we are responsible, and therefore there must be a moral lawgiver. Laws do not exist apart from some authority which determines that law and has the authority to enforce it. That lawgiver, Lewis says, is God.

Lewis’s discussion of the deity of Christ comes in part two of the book. He rejects atheism and the deist idea of a “God up in Heaven” who has little to do with the world, and turns to what he calls “The Shocking Alternative” that Jesus Christ was God. His argument for this is the famous “trilemma” argument that says there are only three possible choices when we re confronted with Christ’s own claims of deity. We may assume He is lying, that He knew He was not God but made the claim anyway; we may assume that He was insane and thought He was God when He was not; or we may believe that He really is God. That He was lying or insane does not make sense, for Jesus demonstrated a lifestyle that “even His enemies” recognize as meek and humble, not egotistical. His teaching demonstrates a high level of sanity and awareness of the world around Him and a commitment to morality. Thus, the only logical option is to believe Jesus’ claims of deity.

This trilemma comes as a response to the idea that Jesus is “a great moral teacher”. Great moral teachers, Lewis says, would not make the kind of claims Jesus made. Christ did not give us even the option of treating Him as no more than a moral teacher and, as Lewis says, “He did not intend to”. The argument still surfaces today, in different and sometimes more sophisticated forms. The Jesus Seminar, for example, was founded on the idea that Jesus was a Jewish teacher/philosopher of the first century whose words were embellished by His followers. Those who have read the books and articles that flowed from that endeavor would do well to read Lewis.

Part three of Mere Christianity deals with matters of ethics, and part four with the doctrine of the Trinity and other deeper matters. The section on ethics contains much wisdom that today’s church would do well to heed. Virtue is the focus here, and sections deal with faith, charity (love), and hope. Despite its age, Mere Christianity remains one of the best basic explanations of Christianity that one might give to a nonbeliever. It answers many of the usual objections raised by unbelievers to this day.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

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