Elton Trueblood’s contributions intersect life at many different levels.

Philosopher, author, theologian, teacher: D. Elton Trueblood (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins) is all these and more. Now in his eightieth year, this eighth-generation Quaker from Iowa has perhaps had his greatest impact on local church renewal, especially in relation to training laymen. As part of this issue about adult continuing education, his experiences and observations merit the attention of all who value education’s role in reshaping the life and ministry of the churches. Dr. Trueblood also practices the discipline so well espoused in his noteworthy book, The Company of the Committed—one of 31 published works. And he encourages others to do so as well, through the ministry of Yokefellows International. Honored with doctorates from 12 institutions, Dr. Trueblood has held professorships at Guilford, Haverford, Harvard, Stanford, and, most recently, Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, from which he has retired with the title professor at large. This interview for CHRISTIANITY TODAY was conducted by Richard J. Foster, special lecturer and writer in residence at Friends University, Wichita, Kansas.

I understand C.S. Lewis had an important influence on you.

Yes, Lewis made me a conscious evangelical, and by “evangelical” I mean “Christ-centered.” I was attracted by Lewis’s careful logic. I already understood it as a friend. In his Screwtape Letters, Screwtape advises his nephew Wormwood that, above all, he dare not let his “patient” think. That was the first sentence by Lewis that struck me, and I immediately sensed a kindred spirit. He had turned the intellectual tables on the critics of Christianity.

For me, Lewis’s central impact came in his Case for Christianity, ...

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