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Was C.S. Lewis, Author of Mere Christianity, an Intellectual?

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The religious right likes to claim the reasonableness of Christianity. One of their biggest weapons in promoting this misconception is the British "intellectual" and author of Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis. Lewis' Mere Christianity is held up by Christians as a book which finally clearly demonstrates Christianity's bond with reason. In fact, the influential Christian magazine Christianity Today voted (much as the early leaders of Christianity voted which books would be in the Bible and thus be considered "the word of God" and which books would not) Mere Christianity to be the best book of the twentieth century and claims Mere Christianity is "the best case for the essentials of orthodox Christianity in print." Mere Christianity is seen by many Christians as a guide which they sincerely believe helps them align their Christian faith with their God-given reason. For what good is a belief in God if it violates your God-given reason?

I recently completed writing a book, An Answer to C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, which thoroughly debunks Mere Christianity. As I was reading Lewis' Mere Christianity while doing research for my book, it became difficult to understand how he could be looked at as an intellectual. An intellectual is a person with great mental capacity. One definition from Webster's Desk Dictionary is "guided or developed by or relying on the intellect." Lewis throws this definition of intellectual out the window on many occasions throughout his book.

One glaring example among many of Lewis' lack of intellect is his ludicrous claim that the Bible is the "word of God" but then admits that witches are not real which is in conflict with the Bible at Exodus 22:18 which instructs, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." This fear and ignorance based Bible superstition has caused the excruciating pain and death of thousands of innocent women ever since Christianity was taken seriously. Lewis does not even address the obvious contradiction of how the Bible can be the word of God while making the factual error of claiming witches are real.

As we make more and more holes in the Bible and Christianity more widely known, we will awaken sincere Christians to the truth that their religion is in direct and strong violation of their God-given reason and they must make a choice between their God-given reason and man-made "revealed" religions. It is important to do this to weaken the power of the religious right and to free sincere individuals within Christianity, and in the other "revealed" religions, from the dark fear based chains of superstition which the "revealed" religions shackle them with. And, most importantly, by doing so we are following the principle put forward by the Deist Thomas Paine who wrote, "It is an affront to truth to treat falsehood with complaisance."

 

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Bob Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web (more...)
 

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