The Euphemist

Reflections on Jewish Studies and many other subjects big and little, by a perpetual student who sometimes searches a little too long for just the right word ...

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Christian, truth seeker, husband, son, brother & uncle, Lutheran pastor, musician (cello, etc.), Jewish Studies grad student, intellectual historian, aquarium enthusiast & pet owner, philologist, astronomer, Norwegian-American, Ford pickup driver, buffoon.

Friday, December 02, 2005

More about Lewis

A recent post at Brandywine Books reminded me of an anecdote I learned about someone I knew during college, who had met C.S. Lewis. A lady called Mrs. King, a professor of music, for many years was principal viola in the local symphony, in which I played cello. She was originally from Belfast, and a very colorful lady. As a young woman she had met C.S. Lewis personally (I don't know if it happened in England or Northern Ireland) when he knocked on her door. For a period of time the young Lewis was fascinated with the pseudoscience of phrenology, and was going door-to-door asking people if they wanted him to read the bumps on their head. She politely refused, but I get the feeling she may have been candid about her low opinion of phrenology (or it may simply have not been a very good pick-up line ...). Somewhere in his writings Lewis mentions that such-and such a thing is as ridiculous as trying to read people's personalities by the bumps on their heads! Mrs. King liked to think that he was thinking of her when he wrote that!

C.S. Lewis is the kind of person that lots of people want a piece of. I have read a piece by an Orthodox writer who argues that he adopted the Eastern Orthodox view of salvation as theosis or "deification". I have read another piece by a Lutheran writer who argues that Lewis had a Lutheran view of salvation. Both articles had evidences to cite in their favor. Conservatives like him, though some of his theological views wouldn't hold up to conservative critique. Many liberals like him, though he doesn't exactly fit that camp either. Lots of different people see themselves in him. He was a flawed human being, who lived through a lot and whose lifestyle didn't always reflect the Christian ideal. Yet I believe he was a man "after God's own heart." He said something to the effect of this (I'll have to track down the exact quote): People in various churches ultimately are brought the closest together as they draw close to Christ. I think this is why so many different people relate to C.S. Lewis - because he himself sought to draw near to Christ. It's as simple as that.


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