Read My Review of John Beversluis's Book, C.S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion, in Philosophy Now.

As you can see I highly recommend his book.

4 comments:

eheffa said...

I agree John,

This book is a must read for any present or former fans of CS Lewis. His analysis & clear-headed deconstruction of Lewis' arguments is quite startling when you see (possibly for the first time) the fatal flaws he points out. He is not hostile in his tone & does not engage in any ad hominem arguments. In fact, he seems quite sympathetic to Lewis' humanity & Lewis' struggle to reconcile the Calvinistic dictator against the incompatible god of all goodness.

This is an excellent book & your review is (IMHO) spot on.

-evan

Kyle P. said...

I would even go further - I think all apologists and atheists should read this book. Lewis' arguments have become old hat for most lay people, and when you challenge them, they rely on his rhetoric to rationalize away the problems, even if they don't realize it! This book was like a light in the darkness. And that light showed a train coming down the tunnel, ready to plow ridiculous, rhetorical arguments down, leaving only the barest hint of philosophical understanding and logic in its wake. Then, it's easy for any person to look at what's left and call it illogical.

Incidentally, there's often a poster (or more) in the train stations where I live that has a quote (or quotes) from Lewis. Some of them can be interpreted very, very negatively. I was always surprised that anyone would be impressed even by Lewis' rhetoric.

TKD said...

I think that John's review of Beversluis' book is a very good. The book is very accessible, in my opinion, and it walks you through the distinctions the author makes in order to illustrate how and why Lewis' arguments don't hold water. The author does this without demeaning Lewis, nor Lewis' supporters. I would certainly recommend, along with John and the others here, that this book be on apologists' and counter-apologists' bookshelves.

Jeff Carter said...

Lewis chief mistake, of course, is to base his faith on the tool that is ill-equipped for spiritual matters, a.k.a reason. As I have explained in my series "The Limits of Reason," western philosophy has demonstrated reason's inadequacy in dealing with the non-physical (the only exception being mathematics).

I would revise Lewis' statement to read, "I am not asking anyone to accept Christ if the Holy Spirit has not called them to Him." This obviously involves an experiential encounter. I might agree that reason can possibly point a person to theism (witness Flew) but not to Christ. In the end, I have to agree with Loftus that "any hope of a rational defense of the Christian God goes by the boards." But not for the reason that Loftus states (quoting Reppert), but rather that rationality is an inadequate tool.