Item description for C. S. Lewis's Case for Christ: Insights from Reason, Imagination and Faith by Art Lindsley...
Overview This volume provides a readable introduction to Lewis's reflections on various objections to belief in Jesus Christ and the compelling reasons why Lewis came to affirm the truth of Christianity.
Publishers Description There can be many obstacles to faith. As Art Lindsley says, "Lewis knew what it was like not to believe. He struggled with many doubts along the way to faith. Since he was an ardent atheist until age thirty-one, Lewis's experience and education prepared him to understand firsthand the most common arguments against Christianity." As a scholar and teacher of literature at Oxford, Lewis confronted many questions: Aren't all religions just humanly invented myths? Doesn't evil in the world indicate an absence of any personal or loving God? Why should what is true for one person be true for me, especially when it comes to religion? How can anyone claim that one religion is right? Why follow Jesus if he was just another good moral teacher? This book provides a readable introduction to Lewis's reflections on these and other objections to belief in Jesus Christ and the compelling reasons why Lewis came to affirm the truth of Christianity. Art Lindsley is a helpful and reliable guide to the voluminous and sometimes challenging writings of Lewis for both seekers and those who want to grasp their own faith more deeply.
Citations And Professional Reviews C. S. Lewis's Case for Christ: Insights from Reason, Imagination and Faith by Art Lindsley has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christianity Today - 09/01/2006 page 124
Ingram Advance - 11/01/2005 page 111
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Studio: InterVarsity Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.12" Width: 6.58" Height: 0.64" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2005
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN 0830832858 ISBN13 9780830832859
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More About Art Lindsley
Art Lindsley is senior fellow at the C. S. Lewis Institute in Springfield, Virginia. He is a conference and retreat speaker, and he has taught extensively at several theological seminaries. He is also ordained in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. His books includeTrue Truth, C. S. Lewis's Case for Christ and Classical Apologetics, which he cowrote with R. C. Sproul and John Gerstner. He and his wife, Connie, partner in a teaching and discipleship ministry, Oasis, based in the Washington, D.C., area.
Reviews - What do customers think about C. S. Lewis's Case for Christ: Insights from Reason, Imagination and Faith?
The Heart Has Its Reasons Mar 9, 2007
Art Lindsley's C.S. Lewis's CASE FOR CHRIST: Insights from Reason, Imagination and Faith came to me unbidden through the generosity of a devout, kind, proselytizing Christian. Therefore, though I am not a member of the choir, clearly the book, preaching to this group as it does, will be warmly received by its members, who would be scandalized by Richard Dawkin's THE GOD DELUSION (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), Daniel Dennett's BREAKING THE SPELL (Viking Adult, 2006) or Bertrand Russell's WHY I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN (Touchstone,1957). The unison praise of the book's other reviewers in this space attests to this. Coming from a different place, it is hoped the reader will consider my observations to be respectfully challenging about the books "arguments from reason." On the other hand, as Dr. Lindsley, a senior fellow at the C.S. Lewis Institute in Springfield, VA., also emphasizes in the subtitle reference to "Imagination and Faith", we share agreement with the 17th century philosopher Blaise Pascal who, in his classic defense of Christian religion wrote: "The heart has its reasons which reason does not know" (Pensees, Number 277).
First, some comments are, perhaps, in order about the choice of C.S. Lewis as an apologist for Christianity. Lewis is avidly cast in this role in the United States and his writings are, indeed, often apologetic. However, in his homeland on the other side of the big water he is seen by many as quirky or weird or even bullying. A.N. Wilson's biography C.S LEWIS: A BIOGRAPHY (W.W. Norton, 1990) is sometimes unflattering, sometimes unfair. Alan Jacob's biography is more admiring (THE NARNIAN, HarperSanFrancisco, 2006).
Knowing something about Lewis's personality through these and other authors, he seems an odd choice to adopt as a defender of the faith. Beyond his inventive mind and the glisten of his prose, he was so tractable (even late in life he came close to renouncing his god), and so persistently troubled. He grew up in a Protestant Belfast family and at four, when his dog died, insisted that he thereafter be called by his dog's name Jacksie, later shortened to Jack. At thirteen he became an atheist because he couldn't imagine a god who would design a world "so frail and faulty" - thus joining, at an early age, others who have complained the creator should not have rested on the seventh day. He was wounded in WW I and moved in with Jane Moore, the mother of an Army buddy who had been killed in battle. They lived together for many years until she became senile and died. Both of the biographers mentioned above and her daughter believe they were lovers though Mrs. Moore never divorced her husband from whom she was separated. As an Oxford Don, Lewis became a close friend of J.R.R. Tolkien and through Tolkien, on a lengthy perambulating conversation that lasted from dusk to dawn, accepted Christianity and its coalescence with myth and mysticism. His favorite argument for the belief in Jesus was that Christ didn't seem to be either a liar or crazy so he must be a god just as he said he was.
In CASE FOR CHRIST, Lindsley appears to set up a number of straw men who are unconvinced by Christian beliefs. For examples: "What does a two thousand year old religion have to do with me?"; "Isn't belief in God just a crutch for needy people?"; "Is what was true for C.S. Lewis necessarily true for me?"; "Aren't morals relative?" Perhaps some who are questing for faith might slightly stumble over these questions but it is hard to imagine them as hurdles.
At the same time, Lindsley's chapters about more fundamental questions, for examples, "The problem of Evil" and "Other Religions" did not seem penetrating and were sometimes illogical. For instance, his recourse to the "burden of proof" (p. 85), the "appeal to popularity" (p. 120) and the "appeal to consequences of belief" (p. 178) are well known logical fallacies.
The problem of evil was, of course, what turned thirteen year old Lewis from faith to atheism. Then, later, as a Christian apologist, his answer was that evil showed that "the world had gone wrong" and that pain can direct people to the right path. When Lewis's wife Joy, who he married years after Jane died, succumbed to cancer, he came for a time to believe in a malevolent god. Some of his diary thoughts remind one of Jung's ANSWER TO JOB (Princeton Univ. Press, 1958) and had he died in the midst of this anger at god his place as an apologist would have died with him. As for other religions, Lewis argues, these do not include incarnation, which he considers an essential qualifier for the true religion. And, as indicated above, since Christ said he was God, it must be true.
Dr. Lindsley's knowledge of C.S. Lewis, integration of the literature and clear style will be appreciated by his readers but, as he says"...most of the [religious] doubts we battle are not intellectual but of emotional or spiritual origin." This echoes Pascal, the eminent philosopher, physicist, inventor and mathematician who obviously had extraordinary intellectual tools. Yet, in the face of a challenge to theistic belief that John Stuart Mill or Bertrand Russell might raise, such as "Who made God?" he would remind us "The last proceeding of reason is to recognize that there is an infinity of things that are beyond it." Finally, there is Faith.
By the end of the book, Lewis will be a dear and trusted friend Feb 13, 2006
C.S. Lewis's Case for Christ is a concise and contemporary retelling of the famous author's beliefs. There is something in these pages for everyone. Those who are already familiar with Lewis will have a resource that highlights his key thoughts, while those new to him will follow his journey from atheism to a vibrant faith in Christ.
The book was creatively written within the framework of a bookstore discussion. A group of fictional people meets each week to talk about the author. This setting allows the reader a chance to pull up a chair and join them. The characters that participate in this forum are diverse, and probably reflect an accurate sampling of the book's audience.
Author Art Lindsley's knowledge of Lewis is beautifully complemented by his admiration of the author. He reveals interesting facts about Lewis's personal life and then provides a spiritually sensitive look at the obstacles that held him back from a belief in Christ. The pages offer a penetrating mix of Scripture and logic.
The author writes as if Lewis was a dear and trusted friend, and by the end of book, he will be to every reader. Most impressive are the clear explanations of the reflections of Lewis. Although some of these ideas have baffled brilliant minds throughout history, these pages offer an understandable summary. Lewis was one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century, and now all readers can be acquainted with his profound insights.
Yet, the most wonderful thing about this book is that it has the potential to lead people to a saving knowledge of the truth. The obstacles that hindered Lewis' faith in God are still present today. These pages offer a unique resource for opening discussions along those lines. -- Joyce Handzo, Christian Book Previews.com
Case Closed Jan 18, 2006
On New Year's Day, I had a 2-hour discussion with a friend who believes in God but does not believe that Jesus was His Son. She said she believed that Jesus was a great prophet but nothing more. (No, she is not Jewish.) Because I am both a Christian and a great respecter of my friend's intellect, our talk disturbed me.
Later that same day, I stopped by a bookstore to get some calendars - you know, 50% off and all that. Anyway, I got the calendars and wandered around a bit, looking for a couple of specific books. On my way to these other books, I noticed a display of C.S. Lewis books at the end of an aisle. And at the top of the display was a book I had not until that moment knew existed: C.S. LEWIS'S CASE FOR CHRIST by Art Lindsley. Hmm. I felt like looking heavenward and going, "Hit me over the head with a two-by-four, why don't You?"
The book is not, as I thought it would be, a parable by parable, story by story examination of Jesus' life with all the evidence neatly trotted out as to why we should believe he was who he said he was. Rather, the book gives Lewis' reasons for choosing Christianity - which by its name indicates a belief in Jesus as the Christ - over other world religions.
One chapter titled "Myth: Isn't Christianity just one myth among many?" was especially helpful to me. I recently returned from a trip to the Vatican; while there, the gargantuan size of St. Peter's, the statues, the sight of Pope Benedict on the balcony, stirred feelings of unease in me. There were moments when it was too Hollywood, too much like hero worship. I began to look about and wonder what separated this elaborate and amazing story from other stories like, for example, The Lord of The Rings? I read the "Myth" chapter, and it went a long way towards calming my fears and dispelling my doubts; it helped me to see that the story of Christ has things about it that lift it above mere mythology. It was a relief!
For a person who has never read any of C.S. Lewis' works, this book, with Lindsley as your guide, would be a good place to start. Art Lindsley, a senior fellow at the C.S. Lewis Institute, has put together from Lewis' writings a convincing argument for the choice of Christianity over other faiths. I will definitely be sharing it with my friend.
For those of you who may have the same faith in Lewis as I do and go to him regularly to be "talked" through doubt and confusion, you will enjoy this book and will also understand the need for the words that Lindsley gives his character John at the end of the book. John, the leader of a discussion group about C.S. Lewis tells a participant the following: "I can give you a good reading list, but remember faith in Christ is more than just satisfying your intellect. C.S. Lewis would not want people to focus on his personality or even his books. He wanted to point beyond that to Jesus."
A Must Read for CS Lewis fans! A Superb Defense of Faith Sep 29, 2005
I am a huge fan of CS Lewis and of Dr. Lindsley's clear reasoning and eloquent argumentation; so, naturally when I saw this book, I immediately picked it up and read it with great enthusiasm. Admittedly, I went through the book rather quickly and will revisit it often for its clarity and to use as an aide in forming well-framed intellectual, imaginative and caring arguments in defense of faith in Christ.
Dr. Lindsley's treatment of Lewis's work provides the reader with a digestible overview of CS Lewis's intellectual and spiritual odyssey into the fullness of Christ that is remarkably clear. This book provides the reader with a wealth of resources, excerpts and personal stories. Dr. Lindsley weaves together many of the questions that people have when they come to the works of CS Lewis and to the very questions of Christianity. Dr. Lindsley documents the rigor of CS Lewis's intellect opening (or re-opening) thoughtful readers to the wonders and skill of Lewis's work.
The book is laid out in 14 chapters and contains a bit of "dialogue" between a set of individuals who are meeting together to discuss Lewis's work in a modern bookstore setting. The reader is drawn into the conversation and through it can see what types of questions people often have when they come to Lewis's body of work. You may even be able to identify some of your own questions. If you come to this book already holding a belief in Jesus Christ as Savior, Dr. Lindsley's treatment will help you to formulate your own defense and responses to the questions that appeal to our time through the lenses of CS Lewis. If I had to pick the best chapter out of this book, it'd have to be the one in regard to relativism since Dr. Lindsley goes into a bit more depth on one of my favorite works by Lewis, "The Abolition of Man." The chapter on Postmodernism is great also. I am amazed at how well Dr. Lindsley can articulate and refute many of the claims of full-fledged Postmodernism in so few pages! I find myself agreeing with his assessment of how CS Lewis would respond to Postmodernity; the good and the bad alike.
This book will be a valuable tool in my library as well as one that many of my friends will indeed receive as a gift!