Guest / Limited Access /
How Lewis Lit the Way to Better Apologetics

In the south transept of London's Westminster Abbey—where for a thousand years the kings and queens of England have been enthroned—sits a crowded collection of statues, plaques, and engraved flagstones. Geoffrey Chaucer, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Charles Dickens are buried there; dozens more are commemorated there. On November 22, 2013, 50 years to the day after his death, C. S. Lewis will join them.

Poets' Corner may seem like an odd place for a writer whose poetry is largely overlooked (though his first two publications were volumes of verse, and Lewis's poetry is far better than many remember or realize). But you needn't be a poet to join Poets' Corner. Musicians like George Frideric Handel and actors like Laurence Olivier mingle with Tennyson and Chaucer. The Corner is devoted to poets in the older, deeper sense of the word. They are "makers" who assemble words (or musical notes or dramatic performances) for artistic ends.

In this older, deeper sense, there is no place Lewis more rightly belongs. Indeed, perhaps we should think of the celebrated Oxford novelist, literary critic, and apologist above all as a poet. For Lewis believed that knowledge itself was fundamentally poetic—that is to say, shaped by the imagination. And his poetic approach to commending and defending the Christian faith still lights the way for us today.

Of course, everyone recognizes Lewis's great imaginative gifts. Often people will say that his great strength was his ability to present Christianity both rationally and imaginatively.

His rational approach is seen in The Abolition of Man,Miracles, and, at a more popular level, Mere Christianity. These works show Lewis's ability to ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedOs Guinness: Welcome to the 'Grand Age of Apologetics'
Os Guinness: Welcome to the 'Grand Age of Apologetics'
With the era of 'Christian consensus' coming to a close, we have a fresh opportunity to make the gospel appealing.
TrendingMelinda Gates: ‘I’m Living Out My Faith in Action’
Melinda Gates: ‘I’m Living Out My Faith in Action’
One of the wealthiest and most controversial women in the world believes that all lives have equal value. She’s willing to spend $3.6 billion a year to prove her point.
Editor's PickMeet the Filmmaker Exposing Planned Parenthood
Meet the Filmmaker Exposing Planned Parenthood
How a 26-year-old founded the undercover operation to take down the abortion giant.
Comments
Christianity Today
How Lewis Lit the Way to Better Apologetics
hide thisNovember November

In the Magazine

November 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.