C.S. Lewis’ Beliefs

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Lewis believed that God created the universe; but then men evolved from animals…

“… for we have good reason to believe that animals existed long before men… For long centuries God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself … [Eventually,] God caused a new kind of consciousness to descend upon this organism” (The Problem of Pain, pp.133,77).

“…Man, the highest of the animals” (Mere Christianity, p.139)

“…but he (man) remains still a primate and an animal” (Reflections On The Psalms, pp.115,129)

“If … you mean simply that man is physically descended from animals, I have no objection” (The Problem of Pain, p.72)

“He made an earth at first ‘without form and void’ and brought it by degrees to its perfection” (Miracles, p.125)

Nature’s “pregnancy has been long and painful and anxious, but it has reached its climax” (Mere Christianity, p.172)

C.S. Lewis held that the Biblical Genesis account came from pagan and mythical sources…

“I have therefore no difficulty accepting, say, the view of those scholars who tell us that the account of Creation in Genesis is derived from earlier Semitic stories which were Pagan and mythical.” (Reflections On The Psalms, p.110).

“I have the deepest respect for Pagan myths, still more for myths in the Holy Scriptures” (The Problem of Pain, p.71)

“The Book of Job appears to me unhistorical because it begins about a man quite unconnected with all history or even legend, with no genealogy, living in a country of which the Bible elsewhere has hardly anything to say…” (Reflections on the Psalms, pp. 110)

“No one ever attempted to show in what sense Christianity fulfilled Paganism or Paganism prefigured Christianity…..” [page 62]
Christian Mythmakers by Rolland Hein (Chicago: Cornerstone, 1998).

“If by saying that man rose from brutality you mean simply that man is physically descended from animals, I have no objection. But it does not follow that the further back you go the more brutal—in the sense of wicked or wretched—you will find man to be.”

“For long centuries God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself. He gave it hands whose thumb could be applied to each of the fingers, and jaws and teeth and throat capable of articulation, and a brain sufficiently complex to execute all the material motions whereby rational thought is incarnated. The creature may have existed for ages in this state before it became man: it may even have been clever enough to make things which a modern archaeologist would accept as proof of its humanity. But it was only an animal because all its physical and psychical processes were directed to purely material and natural ends. Then, in the fullness of time, God caused to descend upon this organism, both on its psychology and physiology, a new kind of consciousness which could say ‘I’ and ‘me,’ which could look upon itself as an object, which knew God, which could make judgments of truth, beauty, and goodness, and which was so far above time that it could perceive time flowing past.”

“I do not doubt that if the Paradisal man could now appear among us, we should regard him as an utter savage, a creature to be exploited or, at best, patronised. Only one or two, and those the holiest among us, would glance a second time at the naked, shaggy-bearded, slow spoken creature: but they, after a few minutes, would fall at his feet.”
— C.S. Lewis, “The Problem of Pain”

“Century by century God has guided nature up to the point of producing creatures [humans] which can (if they will) be taken right out of nature, turned into ‘gods.’”

“At the earlier stages living organisms have had either no choice or very little choice about taking the new step [of development]. Progress was, in the main, something that happened to them, not something that they did.”
— C.S. Lewis, “Mere Christianity”

If you die first, and if “prison visiting” is allowed, come down and look me up in Purgatory.
(W. H. Lewis, editor, Letters of C. S. Lewis, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1966 [revised and enlarged Harvest edition edited by Walter Hooper, 1993], 509)

Of course I pray for the dead. The action is so spontaneous, so all but inevitable, that only the most compulsive theological case against it would deter me. And I hardly know how the rest of my prayers would survive if those for the dead were forbidden. At our age, the majority of those we love best are dead. What sort of intercourse with God could I have if what I love best were unmentionable to him? (Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, 107)

“On my view one must apply something of the same sort of explanation to, say, the atrocities (and treacheries) of Joshua. I see the grave danger we run by doing so; but the dangers of believing in a God whom we cannot but regard as evil, and then, in mere terrified flattery calling Him ‘good’ and worshiping Him, is still greater danger. The ultimate question is whether the doctrine of the goodness of God or that of the inerrancy of Scriptures is to prevail when they conflict. I think the doctrine of the goodness of God is the more certain of the two. Indeed, only that doctrine renders this worship of Him obligatory or even permissible. To this some will reply ‘ah, but we are fallen and don’t recognize good when we see it.’ But God Himself does not say that we are as fallen at all that” (Lewis, Letter to Beversluis, 27)

Jesus believed in Hell, did Lewis? Consider the following:
“And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind–is, in the end, Hell”
C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce, (New York, Macmillian Publishing Company, 1960), p. 65.

“There are three things that spread the Christ-life to us: baptism, belief, and…the Lord’s supper…. And perhaps that explains one or two things. It explains why this new life is spread not only by purely mental acts like belief, but by bodily acts like baptism and Holy Communion…. God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us.”
Lewis, Mere Christianity, pp. 62, 65.

“Either this [John’s Gospel] is reportage, though it may no doubt contain errors, pretty close up to the facts; nearly as close as Boswell. Or else, some unknown writer in the second century, without known predecessors or successors, suddenly anticipated the whole technique of modern, novelistic, realistic, narrative.”
C. S. Lewis, Christian Reflections, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, 1967), pp. 154-155.

“C. S. Lewis was essentially a philosopher, his view of salvation was defective… Lewis was an opponent of the substitutionary and penal theory of the Atonement”
J.D. Douglas, writing in (Christianity Today, December 20, 1963), p. 27.

“as I believe, Christ, fulfills both Paganism and Judaism.”
SOURCE: C.S. Lewis, Reflections On The Psalms, (New York, Mariner Books 1964), p. 129.

“ You and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness . “ ( The Weight of Glory)

“I think that every prayer which is sincerely made even to a false god or to a very imperfectly conceived true God, is accepted by the true God and that Christ saves many who do not think they know Him.”

SOURCE: C.S. Lewis, Letters of C. S. Lewis, (New York, Harper and Row, 2001), p. 428.

“all Holy Scripture is in some sense – though not all parts of it in the same sense – the word of God.”
Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms, p. 19.

“There are people in other religions who are being led by God’s secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it..
For example a Buddhist of good will may be led to concentrate more and more on the Buddhist teaching about mercy and to leave in the background (though he might still say he believed) the Buddhist teaching on certain points. Many of the good Pagans long before Christ’s birth may have been in this position” (Mere Christianity, pg. 176-177).

“killing the old natural self in you and replacing it with the kind of self He has. At first, only for moments. Then for longer periods. Finally, if all goes well, turning you permanently into a different sort of thing; into a new little Christ, a being which, in its own small way, has the same kind of life as God; which shares in His power, joy, knowledge and eternity.” (p.191-192)

Lest there be any doubt that he does actually mean we are turning into little gods and goddesses, he says:“He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness.” (p.206) Mere Christianity

Note: I found the posted meme elsewhere and I wasn’t able to confirm every the alleged belief Lewis held.

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