by Sandra Coleman
Most Americans are familiar with the Oxford scholar, C.S. Lewis, (1898-1963) author of The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, and Screwtape Letters. His ability to explain the Christian faith in simple language was a gift to the world. Recently Joel Heck has written a biography, From Atheism to Christianity: The Story of C.S. Lewis.
In it he traces Lewis’s journey from a superficial childhood Christianity to his deliberate devout atheism for fifteen years, and then his return to Christianity.
Lewis had fought and been injured in WWI. The senseless suffering he witnessed led him to a materialist worldview of atoms, evolution, and military service. A great intellect and President of Oxford University, he mingled with the great atheist thinkers of his time. When he taught German Idealism, he became fascinated with the concept of the Absolute, an impersonal force that governed the universe. Through logic he began to suspect that the Absolute was simply another name for God. A pivotal moment occurred late one night in one of his cherished conversations with the prominent atheist of his day, Harry Weldon, a man whom Lewis considered the premier expert on atheism. When the man conceded that there probably was historical evidence for the Resurrection, that most likely a dying God had happened once, Lewis was shattered. If atheism admitted such a gaping hole in its theory, perhaps it lacked any real substance at all.
At one point when Lewis was asked by a pastor about the moment when he had actually made a decision for Christ, he replied, “I didn’t; I was decided upon.” Lewis believed that all his life God had been pursuing him—until he could no longer ignore God’s presence.
“A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.”
― C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy
photo provided by: sfjalar