C.S. Lewis was perhaps the most influential Christian apologist of the 20th century. An Oxford don and former atheist who converted to Christianity in 1931, he gained a wide following during the 1940s as the author of a number of popular books like Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain in which he argued for the truth of Christianity. Today his reputation is greater than ever -- partly because of his books and partly because of movies like "Shadowlands" and "The Chronicles of Narnia."
In advocating Christianity, Lewis did not appeal to blind faith, but to reason. Convinced that Christianity is rationally defensible, he boldly declared: I am not asking anyone to accept Christianity if his best reasoning tells him that the weight of the evidence is against it." But do Lewis's arguments survive critical scrutiny?
In this revised and expanded version of his book, originally published in 1985, philosopher John Beversluis takes Lewis at his word, critically examines his "case for Christianity," and concludes that it fails..
Beversluis examines Lewis's Argument from Desire -- the "inconsolable longing" that he interpreted as a pointer to a higher reality; his Moral Argument for the existence of a Power behind the moral law; and his Argument from Reason -- his contention that reason cannot be adequately explained in naturalistic terms. He also examines Lewis's solution of the Problem of Evil, which many philosophers think is a decisive objection to belief in Christianity. In addition, he considers issues in the philosophy of religion that developed late in Lewis's life -- such as Antony Flew's criticisms of Christian theology. He concludes with a discussion of Lewis's crisis of faith after the death of his wife and answers the question: Did C. S. Lewis lose his faith? In the process, Beversluis replies to critics of the first edition of his book, thereby responding not only to Lewis but to the whole Lewis movement -- that cadre of expositors, popular apologists, and philosophers who continue to be inspired by him and his books. The result is not just a revised and updated second edition, but a very different book that supercedes the first edition on every point.
As the only critical study of C. S. Lewis's apologetic writings, this readable and intellectually stimulating book should be on the shelves of everyone interested in the philosophy of religion. Paperback, 363 pages. List price, $21.98; Amazon, $14.56; Laissez Faire price, no longer stocked; our price $14.50.