C. S. Lewis Pre-Evangelism for a Post-Ch
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C. S. LEWIS PRE-EVANGELISM FOR A POST- CHRISTIAN WORLD: Why Narnia Might Be More Real Than We Think
We find ourselves living today in very much a “post-Christian” world. Not only does the culture largely reject Christianity’s claims, we find that long-held basic truths that people have embraced throughout history have been jettisoned – the belief in objective morality (right and wrong transcend each person’s opinions and feelings), spiritual reality (the world contains more than what we see via our 5 senses – that God is real), that truth is objective and knowable (if something is true, my disagreeing with it or finding it unpleasant emotionally doesn’t make it false).
This presents a great difficulty for Christians trying to communicate the Christian message to people today. We can take nothing for granted if the message is to make any sense to the hearer. We must start with the most basic concepts. The question then arises: How do we make a start when the bedrock ideas are not only disbelieved but viewed with contempt by so many today?
C. S. Lewis thought that he had found “a door” we could enter to “steal past the watchful dragons” of the modern person’s reason by way of imaginative fiction. He sought to re-introduce Christian ideas clothed in mythological garb so that in time, after their affections had been stirred, the explicit message about Christ might be given a fair hearing. He engaged both the heart and the head. In this way, he “pre-evangelized” his audience. This book examines the grounds – both philosophically and theologically – upon which he did that. It explores Lewis’s view of reality and the human imagination, surveying his Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy in particular, to demonstrate precisely how he carried out this strategy. We can learn from Lewis here, as we show both the beauty and the truthfulness of Christianity to people in a way that meets them where they are.