My Blog Defined [or, Is C. S. Lewis Really a Christian Novelist?]

Novelist

This is abundantly clear to me:

Left-brained intellectuals can school me in sophisticated arguments–whether scientific or philosophical–just about any day of the week.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m not that great at debate…

I wasn’t born to wrestle with nuances. On the fly. Neither do I care.

Why am I telling you this? I’m on a perennial search for this blog’s voice.

And I need your help.

A Brief History of Fallen and Flawed

At first I thought I would treat the blog as a platform to chase a theology M. A.

Simultaneously I decided to craft a confessional guide to living a vivid, meaningful Christian life. And gear content toward that goal.

Then I toyed with the idea that this blog could be a place where believers and non-believers could debate Christianity. Kind of like a university.

But none of these felt quite right. Something was amiss.

The M. A. angle is not a great way to build community or conversation. The confessional guide was grossly centered on me. And the university debate theme was awkward, because, well, I’m not a scholar.

I might be an intellectual snob. But I’m no meticulous brain like Roger Nicole.

However, what’s become abundantly clear to me in the last nine months–as I’ve developed content in response to comments, discrepancies in my own thinking and discussions over apologetics with friends–is that what I’m truly after is a clear, graceful articulation of the gospel.

Everything else is peripheral.

What I Don’t Care About Too Much

I wish I could care about apologetics. Inferences. Logical arguments.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve taken a stab at this a few times with posts like Do You Make These 6 Mistakes When Debating.

Furthermore, I wish I could be immediately practical. At times I managed to do so with posts like 18 Tricks to Memorize Scripture or How to Read a 291-Page Book in 2 Hours.

But for the most part, I’ve been drawn to a relentless exaltation of Christ and that clear, concise articulation of the gospel. In other words, the eternally helpful.

Thus the gospel in 10 words. Thus the Messiah series.

Where I’m Struggling

Not too long ago I mentioned a sabbatical in the month of November to write some fiction.

With an overabundance of ideas I’m confident I can write a rugged and roughshod 75,000 word first draft in 30 days.

But I’m having a hard time seeing how such an adventure equals a clear, graceful articulation of the gospel.

How it threads into Kingdom building.

I’m here to serve Christ. By word. By deed. By thought. I can not think of a greater way to spend my life.

Backward for a man who at one time was hellbent on becoming a world-class novelist. And that’s the kicker.

I can’t seem to escape this passion to write a book. Or two. What do I do?

What Do You Think?

Yes, C. S. Lewis wrote extraordinary novels. But do they promote a clear, graceful articulation of Christ? Do they have to?

I’m still on the sidelines. Mainly because I’ve NEVER read the Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve read Great DivorcePilgrim’s Regress.

Nothing else, though.

So, what do you think: C. S. Lewis a genuine Christian novelist? How Christian does a novel from a believer need to be? What’s your take on Christian novels? Any good ones you can recommend?

I’m looking for ideas. Guidelines. Prayer. And a heart enslaved to my Savior. Let me know what you think. I’m looking forward to your thoughts. Have a great weekend.

Comments

  1. JR says

    I’m not a huge fiction reader, but I consider The Great Divorce one of my favorite novels from a Christian standpoint, primarily due to the theological pictures Lewis uses. Lots of great sermon illustrations, there.

    However, for C.S. Lewis’ gem, you’ll need to look at Till We Have Faces. It is not popular in Christian circles, as it never mentions the God of Israel or his Son, yet it is infused with Christian themes. Lewis began planning this novel well before he came to Christ but wrote it afterwards, which dramatically changed his approach to the material.

    Worth a read.

  2. D says

    Look for a quote by D. M. Lloyd Jones in Christianity Today from a few years back. Essentially – Lewis’ soteriology was flawed.

    There seems to be some hints of a more critical view of Lewis’ work in at least a few of the LORD’s assemblies. Certainly has become the patron saint of Ecumenism. It is disturbing to witness the unwillingness of many “Christian leaders” to reassess and more thoroughly examine the Lewis phenomenon. Quotes should be tempered with warning regarding his theology.

    Perceptive of you to not rush in.

    5 Solas.

  3. D says

    If you want something to shake up the status quo – check out Lloyd Jones’ commentary on Romans 6 along with John Gill on 1 John 3:8-9.

    Jeff Crippen along the same lines in this sermon: “He Who Is Born Of God Does Not Sin.” (SermonAudio.com)

    Check out sermons by Paul Washer at the same website or elsewhere; and, books by Watchman Nee and/or Andrew Murray and Hoekstra’s “Day by Day by Grace.” Listen to a delightful brother, Ron Crisp. Get a free copy of e-sword software if you haven’t already.

    It really is all about absolute surrender – the ultimate commitment is total surrender. Jesus is worthy.

Trackbacks