The Relevancy of C.S. Lewis for Today’s Transitioning Students

LewisFriday, November 22, 2013 will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis. A few years ago I had the opportunity to interview David C. Downing, a renowned Lewis scholar, about his then recent biography of Lewis The Most Reluctant Convert: C.S. Lewis’s Journey to Faith and about Lewis’s relevancy for today’s college students. Dr. Downing commented:

“I think some students feel more defensive than they need to be about a Christian worldview. I think that, by reading C.S. Lewis, they can realize that a lot of what sounds to them like new criticisms of Christianity are actually the same issues people have been arguing about for 2,000 years: the authority of scripture, the problem of evil, the nature of the incarnation, the atonement. All of those issues have been around, but sometimes students are confronted with them for the first time in college…

In his spiritual and intellectual quest, Lewis was a pilgrim but also a pathfinder. He seriously considered atheism, the occult, various forms of pantheism and New Age philosophy. I think it is very relevant for contemporary Christians to see how he weighed each of  these worldviews and found them wanting. Even though he called himself a “most reluctant convert,” Lewis looked long and hard at the alternative philosophies the world has to offer, but returned to re-embrace his  childhood faith with all his heart and mind and soul.”

You can read the full interview (.pdf) here.