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What Persuaded CS Lewis To Believe In Jesus?

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What Persuaded CS Lewis To Believe In Jesus?

Old 08-23-06, 10:44 AM
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What Persuaded CS Lewis To Believe In Jesus?

I know that CS Lewis was formerly an atheist who became a believer in God. It doesn't seem that hard to become a believer in God because almost every religion in the world has a supreme deity that they all believe in. What interests me is how he became a believer in Jesus Christ. What persuaded him to accept the argument to believe in Jesus as the savior vs. some other world religion or even Judaism?
Old 08-23-06, 10:46 AM
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wikipedia.com

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Old 08-23-06, 10:48 AM
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Read Mere Christianity and Surprised by Joy. Also note it was more of a going from Christian to atheist back to Christianity.

To directly answer the question though... from wikipedia
Influenced by arguments with his Oxford colleague and Roman Catholic friend J. R. R. Tolkien, and by G.K. Chesterton's book, The Everlasting Man, he slowly rediscovered Christianity. In 1929, he came to believe in the existence of God although he fought greatly against it. He describes his last struggle in Surprised by Joy:

"You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England."

In 1931, after a lengthy discussion with Tolkien and another close friend, Hugo Dyson, he converted to Christianity and (to the regret of Tolkien who was a devout Catholic) joined the Church of England. He noted, "I came into Christianity kicking and screaming."

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Old 08-23-06, 10:53 AM
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He meets Aslan. Before he's famous, his real name is Eustace.
Old 08-23-06, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by shifrbv
I know that CS Lewis was formerly an atheist who became a believer in God. It doesn't seem that hard to become a believer in God because almost every religion in the world has a supreme deity that they all believe in. What interests me is how he became a believer in Jesus Christ. What persuaded him to accept the argument to believe in Jesus as the savior vs. some other world religion or even Judaism?
Because Christianity is *the way*, the one true religion of course.

I suspect it had nothing to do with the fact that he was raised Christian and simply rediscovered his faith. Yes, what's more likely, that someone in the early 1900's recommits to Christianity or that they embrace Judaism despite a somewhat anti-semitic society in England coupled with the fact that Judaism makes conversion difficult?
Old 08-23-06, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by shifrbv
... believe in Jesus as the savior vs. some other world religion or even Judaism?
Just a funnily written sentence there.
Old 08-23-06, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Bushdog
Just a funnily written sentence there.
yes -- it's easy to believe in a guy who walks on water... but to believe in what that guy believed in... whoa... slow down now
Old 08-23-06, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Bushdog
I suspect it had nothing to do with the fact that he was raised Christian and simply rediscovered his faith. Yes, what's more likely, that someone in the early 1900's recommits to Christianity or that they embrace Judaism despite a somewhat anti-semitic society in England coupled with the fact that Judaism makes conversion difficult?
That seems rather dismissive of those who were raised Christian and remained Atheists and those who were raised Atheists and became Christian, doesn't it?
Old 08-23-06, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
That seems rather dismissive of those who were raised Christian and remained Atheists and those who were raised Atheists and became Christian, doesn't it?
No, you see, it isn't. This isn't asking about how he re-found his faith. This is questioning how Christianity won out of a world religion or that Judaism thing. It presupposes he found a state with religion in it, the question was about which one he chose.

How was I being dismissive?
Old 08-23-06, 12:03 PM
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The way I read it may not be the way it was intended. I read, "Doesn't it simply seem more likely that he found Christianity because he was raised that way?" That seems to indicate that there is not much to a person losing their faith (though I would say they probably never had it and were simply raised in a "cultural" manner) and finding it later. That would be dismissive of those who did not grow up in it and found it, and those who did grow up in it and lost it. Perhaps dismissive isn't the right word, but it seems to make it sound like one situation should be common while ignoring the others.
Old 08-23-06, 12:09 PM
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I don't think there's anything controversial here. Most often, when a person finds religion later in life it's one that culturally familiar to them. For example, somebody raised by a non-practicing Mormon family living in Utah is not likely to convert to Hinuism when they find religion as an adult. And on the flip side, somebody living in India and raised Hinu is not likely to convert to Mormonism.
Old 08-23-06, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
The way I read it may not be the way it was intended. I read, "Doesn't it simply seem more likely that he found Christianity because he was raised that way?" That seems to indicate that there is not much to a person losing their faith (though I would say they probably never had it and were simply raised in a "cultural" manner) and finding it later. That would be dismissive of those who did not grow up in it and found it, and those who did grow up in it and lost it. Perhaps dismissive isn't the right word, but it seems to make it sound like one situation should be common while ignoring the others.
Most likely atheists in Israel who change their minds become Jews later on. Atheists in India become Hindu or Muslim later on. etc, etc. He didn't find Christianity because it's more "right" but rather for cultural & societal reasons.
Old 08-23-06, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
I don't think there's anything controversial here. Most often, when a person finds religion later in life it's one that culturally familiar to them. For example, somebody raised by a non-practicing Mormon family living in Utah is not likely to convert to Hinuism when they find religion as an adult. And on the flip side, somebody living in India and raised Hinu is not likely to convert to Mormonism.
I miss non-beating-me-to-the-punch groucho
Old 08-23-06, 12:25 PM
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I miss less-concise-than-me Gallant Pig.
Old 08-23-06, 12:28 PM
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Is Hinduism called Hinuism in Utah?
Old 08-23-06, 12:35 PM
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The d was outsourced.
Old 08-23-06, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Gallant Pig
Most likely atheists in Israel who change their minds become Jews later on. Atheists in India become Hindu or Muslim later on. etc, etc. He didn't find Christianity because it's more "right" but rather for cultural & societal reasons.
Okay, but not according to him.
Old 08-23-06, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
I don't think there's anything controversial here. Most often, when a person finds religion later in life it's one that culturally familiar to them. For example, somebody raised by a non-practicing Mormon family living in Utah is not likely to convert to Hinuism when they find religion as an adult. And on the flip side, somebody living in India and raised Hinu is not likely to convert to Mormonism.
That would make an interesting study as I would have said it went the other way... those who "rediscover" religion later in life might be more likely to go in a different direction as a continuation of their original move away from their first religion.
Old 08-23-06, 01:24 PM
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That would make an interesting study as I would have said it went the other way... those who "rediscover" religion later in life might be more likely to go in a different direction as a continuation of their original move away from their first religion.

I agree with this which is why I posted the question. I also agree with kvrdave that simply chalking it up to the fact that Christianity was "what everybody else was doing" doesn't seem to answer the question for me. Christianity by peer pressure? I think CS Lewis was smarter than that and the Wikipedia quote doesn't do it for me either. What - he's saying that he just decided one night to pray and that made up his mind that Jesus is the one? It still leaves me wondering why.
Old 08-23-06, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by shifrbv
That would make an interesting study as I would have said it went the other way... those who "rediscover" religion later in life might be more likely to go in a different direction as a continuation of their original move away from their first religion.

I agree with this which is why I posted the question. I also agree with kvrdave that simply chalking it up to the fact that Christianity was "what everybody else was doing" doesn't seem to answer the question for me.
Of course not because you have drawn a conclusion already.

Christianity by peer pressure? I think CS Lewis was smarter than that
There's a difference between peer pressure and re-upping your faith in a belief system you were indoctrinated for years. And by smart, are you suggesting we should start evaluating religion through critical scientific means?

Not to mention peer pressure and intelligence have no logical reason to be related to one another. Someone of imbecillic intelligence is certainly unlikely to be able to be influenced by what others do, if they cannot comprehend what others are doing.
Old 08-23-06, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Okay, but not according to him.

I believe you mean "Him".
Old 08-23-06, 02:24 PM
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Old 08-23-06, 02:42 PM
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It can't be because he ever visited www.landoverbaptist.org.
Old 08-23-06, 02:43 PM
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I believe you mean ""
Old 08-23-06, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nemein
That would make an interesting study as I would have said it went the other way... those who "rediscover" religion later in life might be more likely to go in a different direction as a continuation of their original move away from their first religion.
Certainly in my case it did...For me, growing up basically in a christian home and well, the south, I have trended away from that (although hard to give up Christmas, not for the religious but ceremonial aspects). Now though as I discover religion more and more (basically because my home was hardly religious by any sense of the imagination) I have moved more and more towards Judiasm and attempts to convert. But as mentioned earlier, not the easiest of things to do. I do think though you are more likely going to head to where you were or what your "comfort zone" is however.

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