Shooting at Innocent Bystanders

Uh oh, I don’t think that Michael will take too kindly to a post such as this one regarding C.S. Lewis, Francis Collins, and Mere Christianity.

For those who might be new around these parts (or old and forgetful, as is the way of the old), my initial thoughts on the matter can be found here. Yes, I should get around to finishing them, but I was so devastated by a certain “Brewfan” in the responses that I quiver so at the very thought of touching yon subject again!

That and this whole new baby business is more time consuming than I recalled (this is how they trick you, see, you forget and thus make more babies, thinking “I’m old hat at this, no worries, mate.” So wrong, so very wrong!).

3 Responses to “Shooting at Innocent Bystanders”

  1. Michael Says:

    Jeebers, I sure do hate to agree with *hackPharyngulaspit* about anything, but he’s right. It’s pretty stupid to say that the first three pages would leave anyone’s arguments against faith “in tatters.” Lewis has hardly made a point that early in the book.

    Andy, if you are aware of any further areas of agreement between me and Farunguler, please avoid bringing them to my attention. It’s just too painful. :)

  2. Michael Says:

    I know this is a late hit on this thread, but I’m thinking my previous comment was maybe too flippant.

    I have previously suggested on this blog that Lewis’ undertaking of a rational apology (I’m using that word in the classical sense) for Christianity is not likely to work as the source of faith. At best, it may be the stimulus for further inquiry by an atheist with doubts, but the source of faith is ultimately not rational.

    Whatever Lewis intended, in my view “Mere Christianity” is mostly effective as a comfort for believers seeking to reconcile faith and reason. I don’t regard this book as being principally an evangelical tool.

  3. Michael Says:

    FWIW, the real “sources of faith” that I previously referred to are the product of what we Lutherans refer to as Word and Sacrament Ministry. For Andy’s atheist readers, these sources of faith can be summarized as follows:

    1. Absorbing ancient myths the we Christians actually regard as some kind of history (the Word — in Greek, “Logos” which is actually a much richer concept than “word” in English).

    2. A ritual cleansing ceremony that is intended to be a death, resurrection, and ongoing process (the Sacrament of Baptism).

    3. Repeated ceremonial cannibalism, intended to be the eating and physical absorption of God (the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, also referred to as the Last Supper or the Eucharist).

    4. Feeling bad about yourself and saying so and having someone tell you it’s OK (Confession and Absolution, also referred to as the Office of the Keys).

    Christians contend that all of this is a gift of the Holy Spirit. It’s nothing that you can do for yourselves. [Which leads to the Doctrine of Election, and I’m not going to touch on that here. I have enough trouble trying to straighten out Brewfan (a Calvinist) on this subject.]

    So, you get my point. You’re not going to reason your way to Christianity, despite the best efforts of C.S. Lewis.

Leave a Reply