- Paperback: 308 pages
- Publisher: Christian Publishing House (January 23, 2021)
- Language: English
- ISBN-13: 978-1949586152
- ISBN-10: 1949586154
- Product Dimensions: 6" x 9"
Also in eBook Format
We find ourselves living today in very much a "post-Christian" world. Not only does the culture largely reject Christianity's claims, we find that long-held basic truths that people have embraced throughout history have been jettisoned—the belief in objective morality (right and wrong transcend each person's opinions and feelings), spiritual reality (the world contains more than what we see via our 5 senses – that God is real), that truth is objective and knowable (if something is true, my disagreeing with it or finding it unpleasant emotionally doesn't make it false).This presents a great difficulty for Christians trying to communicate the Christian message to people today. We can take nothing for granted if the message is to make any sense to the hearer. We must start with the most basic concepts. The question then arises—How do we make a start when the bedrock ideas are not only disbelieved but viewed with contempt by so many today?C. S. Lewis thought that he had found "a door" we could enter to "steal past the watchful dragons" of the modern person's reason by way of imaginative fiction. He sought to re-introduce Christian ideas clothed in mythological garb so that in time, after their affections had been stirred, the explicit message about Christ might be given a fair hearing. He engaged both the heart and the head. In this way, he "pre-evangelized" his audience. This book examines the grounds—both philosophically and theologically—upon which he did that. It explores Lewis's view of reality and the human imagination, surveying his Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy in particular, to demonstrate precisely how he carried out this strategy. We can learn from Lewis here, as we show both the beauty and the truthfulness of Christianity to people in a way that meets them where they are.
In this well-researched study of Lewis the apologist-fiction writer, Williams demonstrates how Lewis's sacramental view of creation and romantic view of the imagination equipped him to smuggle a kind of pre-evangelistic Christian theology into his fiction that has the power to open the minds and hearts of modern and postmodern readers to the universal nature of goodness, truth, and beauty and to the fullness of God's presence in the world. It is well worth the read!- LOUIS MARKOS , Professor in English and Scholar in Residence, Houston Baptist University; author of Restoring Beauty and On the Shoulders of Hobbits
Far more than just another introduction on the Oxford don, C. S. Lewis: Pre-Evangelism for a Post-Christian World explains why Lewis is an indispensable resource for a post-Christian culture. Boring deeply into Lewis's metaphysics, Brian Williams lifts up the key notion of desire. He rightly contends that by turning to the sacramentality of nature and the imaginative power of fiction, we can stir the "immortal longings" of our contemporaries as Lewis did his. - HANS BOERSMA , Saint Benedict Servants of Christ Professor in Ascetical Theology, Nashotah House Theological Seminary
Brian Williams' C. S. Lewis: Pre-Evangelism for a Post-Christian World: Why Narnia Might Be More Real than We Think is a thoughtful and well-written exploration how Lewis employed fiction in the service of the Gospel. Williams begins by discussing Lewis's sacramental view of reality and then deftly moves to an exploration of Lewis romantic view of the human imagination. He then examines these notions as evidenced in Lewis's Ransom Space trilogy and the Chronicles of Narnia, arguing effectively that Lewis's fiction is a powerful tool of pre-evangelism in an increasing post-Christian world. - DON KING , Professor of English at Montreat College
People know C. S. Lewis as a great writer of Christian fiction (the Narnia books, the Space Trilogy, 'Til We Have Faces) and a great popular apologist. Not so well known is his role as a careful philosopher of reality and imagination. In C. S. Lewis: Pre-Evangelism for a Post-Christian World, Brian Williams explores the ways in which Lewis's fiction flows from his philosophy. That is, he explores the ways in which Lewis's views of reality and of the human imagination undergird a well-thought-out strategy for evangelism that can help us be effective in meeting the challenges of our own day. Not a mere rehashing of Lewis, this book offers insight that can help us follow in Lewis's footsteps. And that is a great gift indeed.- DONALD T. WILLIAMS , Professor Emeritus at Toccoa Falls College; author of twelve books, including Deeper Magic: The Theology Behind the Writings of C.S. Lewis
This is a lively treatment of Lewis' vision of reality and of the human imagination. It is also bold - arguing that Lewis' implicit 'pre-evangelistic' strategy is worth reviving in the current cultural climate. A stimulating read. - JEREMY BEGBIE , Thomas A. Langford Distinguished Research Professor of Theology, Duke University
Dr. Brian Williams reminds us that the Platonic tradition is not one of many philosophical traditions throughout Western society. Rather, it is the central and perennial tradition of Western society. Christians such as Augustine, Aquinas, and the late C. S. Lewis each embraced philosophical realism as a means to ground their theology. Williams presents Lewis's view of reality and the role metaphysical realism has upon our views of both the imagination and pre-evangelism. Lewis's approach provides a robust alternative to both the secular understanding of philosophical naturalism and the prevalent embrace of Analytic philosophy by many Christians. This book offers a classical solution to our confused philosophical climate, while providing a method to evangelize our post-Christian world. - WILLIAM C.ROACH , President, International Society of Christian Apologetics
Brian M. Williams (PhD) has taught courses in the History of Ideas and Philosophy as an adjunct professor at the College at Southeastern in Wake Forest, NC. He is the author of Putting Together the Pieces: How to Make Sense of the Old Testament (CRU) and is published in The Journal of Inklings Studies, the top academic journal on the Oxford literary circle, the Inklings. He teaches the Bible weekly and frequently mentors men to think and to live Christianly in all of life. Brian lives with his wife, Jennifer and their two children, Pierce and Claire, in Wake Forest, NC.
You can contact Brian at [email protected]