3. A lot of disbelievers have a problem with a loving God sending people to an eternity of torture by way of fire. What is your take on hell? I also had a problem with that. C.S. Lewis’s “The Great Divorce” provided the imaginative framework I needed to get over the ‘hump’ on this issue. …
Tag: C. S. Lewis
The ministry hosting this website (sntjohnny.com) also puts on an online apologetics academy. The fall session is coming up. Dr. Gary Habermas will be guest lecturing on the historical Jesus and the evidence for the Resurrection. It is possible to attend these lectures without being enrolled in the academy. Those enrolled in the academy, regardless …
If you were looking for a thread that ties all five of these challenges together, it is this: the general view, even among Christians, that there is no objective reality to the areas under dispute. That is, we are all arguing about our own opinions, nothing more. It’s like sitting around having an argument about one’s favorite flavor of ice cream. As such an argument is roundly seen as absurd (and I would agree). Thus- even within the Church- the highest transgression is presenting your favorite ice cream flavor as the absolute best. Now this, paradoxically, I have said is something that apologetics can treat (after saying in 3 parts that it can’t. 😉 ), but read carefully on how precisely.
This is attitude that everything is just subjective is manifested most clearly and dramatically in regards to the marriage and the family. To help understand why, let me provide some anecdotal illustrations.
For example, no doubt many of my readers will be aware of the argument against those who oppose gay marriage that if these people really cherished marriage, they wouldn’t themselves support divorce or have the same level of divorces as those outside that community. I am not here highlighting the apparent hypocrisy involved. I’m talking about something else. Another illustration will perhaps help: “Why won’t God heal Amputees?” You see the argument now: if there is a God, surely he would want to heal people, including amputees. The same reasoning undergirds the absurd but common perception among atheists that a praying people will be healthier, or that in an experiment where one group is prayed for but the other group that isn’t, the group prayed for should show better health. (C. S. Lewis exposed this type of experiment as deeply flawed- who in good conscience, if they cared for the sick people would abstain from praying for one group just to prove a point?!?!?)
When I was in college there was this guy 2 1/2 times larger than me… a philosophy major, as I recall… appropriately named ‘Animal.’ I remember having a debate about pain with him. I argued it was all in our minds- just a brain state- and not real. Animal said, “Come here, and I’ll show you unreal pain.”
While I was of the mindset that there were just “brain states” or just “subjective opinions” or just “one’s political views”, I was a liberal. When my mindset changed, so did my ‘political’ stance. This is a realization that congealed more than ten years after the change had happened. Was it just me? Correlation does not prove causation, and yet I see the same ingredients in the conservatives and liberals I meet. What made my mindset change?
I wouldn’t say it happened over night but there was a singular ‘event’ that proved the catalyst. One should understand that at the time, I was a Christian, an apologist, a Christian religion teacher. But I still entertained many viewpoints we’d call ‘liberal.’ The catalyst arose out of my never ending quest to make sure that when I talk about something, I actually know what I’m talking about. In the general course of that, I read a great many writings of Communists, Nazis, and to a lesser extent, the ‘fascists.’ Here I discovered something frightening: these people were advocating many of the same things I was advocating, and for the same reasons.
Apologetics ministries tend to focus on issues such as God’s existence or the fact of the resurrection or the Bible’s reliability. These are all very important. Indeed, they bear directly on the issues at hand- for if there is no God, it obviously follows that we cannot be made by him in his image. Further, Jesus suffering, death, and resurrection on behalf of a fallen human race is an emphatic testament to how much God himself values each human life. Dispense with these, and there are ripples down the line.
There, however, is where I wish to make the point: there are ripples down the line.
Somewhere I read once that in the 1700s they went after God. In the 1800s, they went after Jesus. In the 1900s, they went after Man. The sequence is logical, rational, and predictable. One would like to think that they can dispense with God without there being practical effect, but the 1900s have shown otherwise.
George MacDonald was the literary and spiritual forbear of many 20th century Christians, the most prominent perhaps being C.S. Lewis who cited Phantastes as ‘baptizing his imagination.’ This Christmas, pick up the other notable work by George MacDonald, Lilith, at a huge discount- for just $5.95 plus shipping!
Buy it soon as quantities are limited.
If you did want to pick it up on Amazon.com, it is listed at $11.66 as of this writing.
To see all of ACM’s books, including a number of Christian classics go here.
This weekend I read one of the scariest things I have heard coming out of the Global Warming crowd. That is saying something. I have documented elsewhere on this blog some other things they’ve said, like comparing denying man-made Global Warming to denying the holocaust. This is so disgusting I almost sat down and wrote a book exposing the various principles at work in it but stopped when I thought of at least one that is already written: C.S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man.
In summary, the London Times article references a certain Jonathon Porritt, a Global Warming burearucrat who reportedly says,
“I am unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate,” Porritt said.
“I think we will work our way towards a position that says that having more than two children is irresponsible.
My friend Don Hank at Laigles Forum has published my article defending Lewis from the charge of paganism. Some of you might not even know the charge has been levied. Honestly, I don’t want to link to them, so you’ll have to Goodsearch your way to them. Below I have the first couple paragraphs and …
C.S. Lewis wrote, There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of heaven ridiculous by saying they do not want to spend eternity playing harps. The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them. …
Some who know me know that I spent four weeks out of this last summer out of the country.Â I spent the bulk of of that time in Strasbourg at the event listed below.Â As I understand it, there are still openings available.Â I recommend it for those seeking to expand their base of knowledge.Â …
Anthony is a member of the Lutherans for Life speakers bureau and as such is willing to speak on a variety of life issues. He also speaks on apologetics related issues and is willing to with your church or organization about any number of topics. Overview: Anthony is the executive director of Athanatos Christian Ministries, …