Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How Christianity Influenced CS Lewis’s work

“How could a good God allow pain to exist in the world?” C.S. Lewis asked. Lewis is well-known for the books he has published throughout the years, including the much lauded Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, among others. He was, however, also well-known as a proponent of Christianity—a theme that he often explored in many of his books.

The way he looked at the existence of Christ was a central feature of many of his works. And it was his few radio broadcasts during the war that brought him into the spotlight, precisely because he featured the subject of Christianity.

Christian Influences Present in His Works
Examining the works of CS Lewis, one can easily see influences of religion. The Chronicles of Narnia alone contain so many biblical allusions. There is the instance of Aslan the lion. At the start of the series, Aslan dies for the sake of a sinner, and rises again (although he doesn’t do so after three days). This is similar to the story of Jesus Christ’s passion and death, and in a passage in the Revelations, Jesus is referred to as a Lion.

Even the theme of creation is tackled. In one of the stories in the series, the realm starts as a black void, but as Aslan sings, the black void is no more and in the light, a new world starts to exist. We can look at the white witch Jadis as the advent of sin in the Garden of Eden, and her hundred-year reign culminating in the story of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as the period before the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ.

Evidently, it is the belief in Christ’s existence and power that he finds vital in faith. In one his books that explains Christianity in terms of sufferings and revelations, Lewis attempts to sum up his belief in Jesus in the following quote: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.'” Here we can see one of many CS Lewis Quotes that fully expresses his firm stand in faith, even though he has questions.

In his belief, throughout all our hardships, we shall be guided by the power of faith.

Legacy
It is the challenge to Christianity that he depicts Jesus as a great moralist although he wasn’t exactly God himself. “Lewis’s Trilemma” posits that one must either think that either Christ was a lunatic, one who thinks he is a son of God; or sincerely he was the son of God; or that he was a Devil of Hell.

But he does not think about, nor challenge, the greatness of Christ. In fact he states that the fact of him being a great human teacher should be dismissed. It is a widely popularized concept in which is still in question up to today.

He has also deeply influenced the way Christianity can be taught, as his books are used, side-by-side with Bible passages, to teach children and adults alike.

Conclusion
To some, his beliefs are still quite questionable. They find it irrational and lacking in logical evidence from the gospels of the Bible. It is beyond doubt, of course, that he has influenced literature and Christianity as a whole with his works. It is his belief that only by looking at Christianity from a perspective outside of Christianity can one truly understand—and make peace with his beliefs.

About the author: David is the manager of FamousQuotesIndex.com, an interactive database containing close to 30,000 quotes and citations from popular movies.