A more poetic Bultmann?

Have evangelicals been justified in claiming C. S. Lewis as one of themselves? Or is an emerging group of literary and theological scholars on the right track in thinking him a kind of poetic Bultmann who is much more the friend of the theologically unorthodox than the orthodox?

Before this group began to write, the experience of discovering Lewis had formed an almost archetypal pattern in the lives of countless evangelical students of the past three decades, so the dissenting view would call for a new and violent step. First in the traditional pattern of appreciating Lewis came a period of gnawing doubt about the whole Christian faith. Could such a doctrinal system be true when its adherents were so defensive about questions and so indifferent about aesthetics? The teaching of the church seemed in impossible conflict with its practice.

Into this dark night of the soul swept whatever happened to be the student’s first Lewis book. That led inexorably to the others. And what he or she found there was not so much answers—though they were wonderful beyond all hope—but more, an irrefutable demonstration that at least one Christian mind actually existed. The apologetics were bracing, the essays mind-expanding; the fiction put flesh on the bones of doctrine, and made them live.

And more impressive still was the wholeness and sanity of that mind, the very unflinching orthodoxy and uncompromising morals that had seemed so barren only months before. Here was a mind that simply refused to tolerate the wedges modern man has driven between Faith and Reason, and between both and Imagination. In Lewis’s works those fair sisters walked hand in hand once more.

From Lewis’s own work the typical student went on another step ...

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