by Chris Sinkinson
The impact of this Christian scholar on popular apologetics is profound. One reason why Lewis is so quotable is that he had such a broad range of literary abilities. He wrote text books, science fiction, fantasy, allegory, poetry, letters and, of course, apologetics. With remarkable turns of phrase and metaphor he makes complicated ideas seem simple, and controversial arguments persuasive.
Lewis the populariser
It is true that as a creative thinker he sometimes developed ideas that wandered into realms of speculation — though in most cases these seem to be suggestions along the way. Certainly, Lewis was no systematic theologian explaining the biblical basis for Christian doctrine. Rather, he was an academic who could popularise and defend important ideas. Many people came to enjoy the work of Lewis through The Chronicles of Narnia and they remain his best-selling work. He died in 1963 and, while some of his work will show signs of aging over time, there is something forever fresh about the stories of a lion, a witch and a wardrobe.
However, 2012 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of his most popular apologetic book, Mere Christianity. In 1941 Lewis began broadcasting a series of talks for BBC Radio which would continue until 1944. Though already published in shorter forms, his radio talks were combined into a single volume and published in 1952 as Mere Christianity. The title was borrowed from the Puritan, Richard Baxter, who described himself as ‘a Christian, a meer Christian’ (sic). Far from being a term of abuse, it describes the essential or ‘pure’ doctrines of the faith upon which, Lewis felt, our Christian witness should be focused…
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