In the last chapter, we discussed the seven attributes of the Bible that define it and separate it from every other object. These seven attributes are: necessity, inspiration, authority, self-authentication, sufficiency, perspicuity, and finality. We also asked what this meant for C S Lewis, and we answered that it meant nothing good.
Remember what Lewis banked his life on. He banked his entire life and career on the notion that every story had as its ancient progenitor one story, the true account of God given to Adam in the Garden of Eden. Furthermore, he believed that this one true story given to Adam in the Garden of Eden had become corrupted by a steady increase in immorality as it found itself passed down from generation to generation in the guise of religious stories and myths. For Lewis, this meant that a germ of truth could be found in every religion, and that every story, if one looks hard enough, will point to the one true story from whence it ultimately originated.
Very well, contrast the seven attributes of Scripture with a myth like the Greek legend of Medusa, for instance. Is the legend of Medusa necessary, inspired, authoritative, self authenticating, sufficient, perspicacious, and final? Or is it simply the absurd story of an idol made in the image of a jealous female who realized her petty fantasy about getting revenge on a prettier female by turning her hair into snakes? What about the legend of Beowulf, does it fare any better?
The fact that some elements of a story coincide with certain accounts recorded in Scripture such as a virgin birth or a human sacrifice, do not imply that those other elements were inspired, are authoritative, are necessary, self authenticating, sufficient, perspicacious and final. Rather, the fact that some elements of a story coincide with certain accounts recorded in Scripture simply imply the presence of a cheap counterfeit designed to deceive.
Mark 13:21-23 And then if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!” or “Look, there He is!” do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard, I have told you all things beforehand.
When the Scriptures say false Christs will arise, and people will say, “Look, here is the Christ!”, why do some people always assume that it means these false Christs will always appear in the flesh? Sometimes, those false Christs will appear as a character in a story!
Consider the Book of Mormon, for example. There is a character named Jesus who appears in the Book of Mormon. That Jesus contradicts everything the Jesus in Scripture said and did, but there is a Jesus in the Book of Mormon. It is a false Jesus, of course, and we know for a fact the Book of Mormon is an absurdity. We know for a fact that all of Joseph Smith’s claims were lies. We know for a fact he was a con man who filled the heads of certain greedy men with promises of wealth. And we know this, because his ridiculous book denies the authority of Scripture upon which the surety of the gospel is built. The Book of Mormon rejects the Bible’s necessity, the inspiration of God’s Word, the authority of God’s Word, the self-authentication of God’s Word, the all sufficiency of God’s Word, the perspicuity of God’s Word, and the finality of God’s Word.
There is no truth whatsoever, in any way, shape or form, to be found in the Book of Mormon, in the Quran, in the Hindu Book of the Dead, in the various Buddhist, Shinto and Taoist writings, and in any other ancient or modern religious book, story, legend, myth or tale.
What about the Chronicles of Narnia though? Is the Chronicles of Narnia necessary? Is it inspired, authoritative, self authenticating, sufficient, perspicacious, and final? Or is it an attempt to point us to a false Christ by undermining Scripture’s necessity, sufficiency, perspicuity, authoritativeness, self-authentication and finality? Think about that.
If Lewis really believed that the Scriptures contain everything that is necessary to be known about salvation, and that the Scriptures make these necessary things so plainly understood that even the most unlearned people can understand them, then why did he attempt to simplify these things even more?
If Lewis really believed that the Scriptures were the final authority on
all matters pertaining to truth, spirituality and righteousness, and that everything which concerns God’s glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life is either stated in Scripture or can be deduced from Scripture without adding any new revelation or tradition of men, then why did he attempt to create another book full of fictional tradition for which he hoped people might deduce these things?
If Lewis really believed the Bible authenticates its own claims, then why did he attempt to authenticate them with the help of a fictional children’s series?
Lewis claimed to be a Protestant, but his view of Scripture could not have been more Roman Catholic. He denied the authority, perspicuity, finality, sufficiency and self authenticating nature of God’s Word. He held tradition to be fitted with these attributes instead. What is more, like Chesterton and Tolkien, he held any tradition of any religious nature no matter how vulgar or vile to be perspicacious, sufficient, final and self authenticating over and above that of Scripture. His Chronicles of Narnia series is not a blessed series that leads people to an understanding of the one true Christ. Rather, it is a blasphemous tome that points away even to another Christ.
“Look, there is the Christ, over there in Aslan.”
Do not believe it.
At this point, some incredulous person is sure to point out that the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is “just a book.” Okay, Lewis may have had problems, but come on, Dave, it’s just a book. Is there no value at all to just simply reading it as fiction?
I am not against fiction. I am not even against the idea of Christians writing fiction. Quite in fact, I love fiction. There would be no point in going to see a movie if I did not. But transposing fiction over the Word of God and painting a story in an attempt to reveal Christ is an entirely different matter. There is a world of difference between the tale of a father-son tragedy told in the story of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, and the obedient Father-Son dichotomy revealed in Scripture. The former does not claim to be a revelation of God’s glory in Christ Jesus. The latter does.
When Lewis put pen to paper, he did so with the intent to substitute Scripture. When a theologian puts pen to paper, he does so with the intent to explain the deductions he has made about the truth God has revealed to him in the pages of Scripture. There is a difference. A book designed to make its reader think about the truth Scripture reveals is one thing. But a book designed to reveal what truth is, is quite another.
Lewis hoped that his readers would deduce truth from reading his books. A theologian hopes that his readers will agree with his deductions after they too have read the Bible. Most people today who call themselves Christian follow Lewis’ line of reasoning. They waste a lifetime trying to deduce truth from a study of their behavior, their fiction, their movies, their news, their culture, their social mores, science, and a host of other things that are all in competition with Scripture. Few today who call themselves Christian obey God’s command to deduce truth strictly from a study of Scripture alone.
This is not to say knowledge is the righteousness, because it is not. Nor is it to say that Sola Scriptura is the righteousness, because it is not either. Rather, Christ and His cross work are alone the righteousness. His righteousness imputed to His people makes His people righteous. Nothing else. What they know about Christ reflects that, but the knowledge itself does not make them righteous.
In the end, what Lewis composed throughout his entire body of work was the story of a false Christ that he hoped would serve as means to bring people to believe in his false Christ. Lewis was not an authentic believer, nor was he a Protestant. He was instead a Roman Catholic mystic who served Satan and masqueraded as a Protestant. His work should not only be ignored, but detested. Sadly, however, his books usually occupy a prominent space on most every American church’s bookshelf.