Former atheist made the case for Christ

Published 7:30 am Sunday, December 5, 2021

When I get to heaven, I’m looking forward to meeting Christians whose writings have made a lasting impact on my life. My list will include Oswald Chambers, Catherine Marshall, Elizabeth Elliott, and maybe leading the list will be C.S. Lewis.

Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland on November 29, 1898. He studied at the University College in Oxford, England and later taught there for more than 25 years.

Lewis became an atheist in his teens, but at age 33 underwent a dramatic conversion to Christ. Biographers say his friend J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, had discussions with Lewis about Christianity.

One of the more than 40 books Lewis wrote, Mere Christianity, (published in 1952) is considered a classic. The book is a collection of radio broadcasts Lewis delivered during World War II. In it, Lewis presents an eloquent, undeniable case for believing in Christ.

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” And, “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.” Lewis once said, “The great thing to remember is that though our feelings come and go God’s love for us does not.”

In his writings, C.S. Lewis states, “The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become – because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be…It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.”

From 1950-1956, C.S. Lewis penned a series of children’s books called The Chronicles of Narnia. The seven book series, though written for children, present Biblical theology in an allegory form that helps adults understand. I think the seventh book, The Last Battle, is a great commentary on the book of Revelation.

One of the best-known and best-selling books of the series is The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. It tells the story of mankind’s redemption from evil through the sacrificial death of the lion, Aslan, who symbolizes Christ. Several years ago, the book was made into a movie with the same title.

C.S. Lewis died in England on November 22, 1963, the same day President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas – an interesting coincidence. Both men’s words speak to us today.

Lewis said, “When you argue against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.” He explained that a mere man who said the things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher, as some think. Either Jesus was a liar, a lunatic, or Lord and you must make your choice. “You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.”