C. S. Lewis is rightly revered by multitudes of modern Christians as an apologist for the Christian faith of the first rank. I myself believe him to have been one of the finest minds to have been applied to the task of explaining Christianity in modern times. However, I believe that we do both Lewis and ourselves a grave error by accepting all that he has said and written without considering his thoughts critically. There is much of his work that is without peer and worthy of praise, but there is also some of what he has said that is best evaluated more carefully both to prevent us from inheriting his error and to allow us to see its impact on his teaching.


Without question Lewis' work Mere Christianity is an excellent introduction to the Christian faith and is a worthwhile book to read. You will find that he occasionally seems to step out in favour of evolutionary thought, at one time going so far as to state that the resurrection of the Christian is the next stage of man's evolution.


Elsewhere, predominately within The Last Battle, the final story of The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis introduces the idea that good deeds done in the name of an evil god obtain credit with God and that evil deeds done in the name of God obtain credit with the evil god. This has the appearance of not only opposing the apostle Paul's teaching of the holiness of God being evident in all creation and becoming a form of the law:


Romans 2:11-16 - For there is no partiality with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.


but also of introducing a form of dualism where God and Satan appear to be equal in power yet opposite in holiness. I think that what C. S. Lewis was actually trying to do here was to indicate that God has a plan for those who have never heard of Him personally, just as Paul was doing in the quotation above. Lewis was not condoning righteous acts done in the name of an evil god but was rather justifying that those who did not know directly of God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit and who yet lived as though they did were living according to the law even though they did not know of it. I do not believe that Lewis was condoning dualism of any kind but he certainly leaned heavily toward mythological characterizations. (This is in part due to his training as he was expert in mythological literature, but his belief that God set mythology in place to prepare man for the Gospel of Jesus is, I think, a little too accepting of mythology, which may also be perceived as gross corruptions of a perfect truth.)


With all this being said I am not attempting to revile a man who was an excellent teacher but to warn those who learn from him that not all that he says is Biblical and that his teaching should be evaluated as should any teacher's teaching to confirm that it is of God and worthy of adoption. Just as Paul's teaching was evaluated.


Acts 17:10-12 - Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.


We must not blindly accept the thought of a reputable teacher, no matter how well adored, but must hold the teacher accountable to the Bible, accepting what is true and rejecting what is false.


In holding Lewis accountable to the Bible you will see that he did well far more often than poorly. The greatest perhaps being his ability to describe the joy found in a proper relationship with God. Although it is not so evident in the movies, in the books it is clear that while Aslan is not a tame lion he is certainly good, a lion to be loved and enjoyed for who he is. As an allegory of our own relationship with God I think that C. S. Lewis described the believer's relationship with God perfectly. God is truly a God of whom to be afraid. But, because He sent His own Son to be our Saviour, we see that God is truly a God who loves us and whom we can love. Even in our fallen state. Few other writers have achieved this as well as Lewis has. Even fewer have captured as well the idea that heaven will be a place of utter joy. The final paragraphs of "The Last Battle" are perhaps the best description of heaven outside of the Bible and appear to tell as well as possible on this side of the grave the joy we will have just being with God for eternity.