Monday, June 14, 2010

Clive and Me

C.S. Lewis smoked a pipe. That isn't why I smoke a pipe, but it makes me happy to know Lewis and I have that in common. One thingwe don't have in common, but I wish we did have in common is Holy Orthodoxy. (Well, I mean, as far as I know. After all, if he is in heaven he is, obviously, more Orthodox than I.) His books, especially the Chronicles of Narnia are, I think, a major reason why when I encountered the Orthodox Christian faith I knew it was true. Lewis had laid the foundation for Orthodoxy.

I suppose there are reasons he chose the Anglican Church over Orthodoxy but I don't know what they were. I suppose there might not have been much of an Orthodox community for him to join in Britain in those days. Perhaps, if there was one, it existed in something of an ethnic ghetto. I don't know. But from Christus Victor soteriology (There was substitutionary atonement in the book, too. I'm not denying it.) in in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe to baptismal regeneration and Icons in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, to the power of asceticism in The Silver Chair, to a patristic uderstanding of Heven and Hell in The Last Battle I see the Orthodox Faith.

I know people have commented and made jokes about Wheaton College hosting the C.S. Lewis Center, since Lewis smoked and drank, but I am more surprised that they house the collection in light of his Orthodox-ish theology, which can not be squared with Wheaton's Zwinglian official beliefs. Who knows? Maybe, it is God's will that Lewis introduce Wheaton to Orthodoxy.

No comments: