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This is something that's puzzled me since returning to the Church several years ago.  Catholics seem to adore C.S. Lewis, an Anglican.

He is often quoted by Catholic clergy and laity.  Mere Christianity was required reading for my son's RCIA class.  My pastor organized a group to attend a local theatre production of The Screwtape Letters.  I'm a big fan myself, and have read (or listened to the audiobooks) Mere Christianity and The Four Loves several times, as well as The Great Divorce.  Definitely good stuff. 

It's perfectly fine to read the works of non-Catholic authors, but more than a few Catholics looks to some of his works, especially Mere Christianity, as a form of catechesis.

A year or two ago I read the Catechism of Saint Pius X.  He doesn't seem too keen on ecumenism as taught today, especially considering he instructs Catholics to burn Protestant Bibles if given one.  Makes me wonder if I've gone off track.

Why do today's Catholics think it's OK to embrace the works of C.S. Lewis?  What about other Protestant or Orthodox books and teachings?  Do we think we're clever or wise enough to extract the kernel's of truth without being influenced by non-Catholic aspects of their works? 

I also am curious about my contradicting views on the subject.  I was unhappy with the generic Protestant Alpha program when introduced in my old parish, and let the Director of Faith Formation know about it, yet I was happy to see my son read Mere Christianity.  I kind of feel like a hypocrite.

What's your take on C.S. Lewis in the Catholic Church?
(02-06-2020, 11:28 AM)jack89 Wrote: [ -> ]This is something that's puzzled me since returning to the Church several years ago.  Catholics seem to adore C.S. Lewis, an Anglican.

He is often quoted by Catholic clergy and laity.  Mere Christianity was required reading for my son's RCIA class.  My pastor organized a group to attend a local theatre production of The Screwtape Letters.  I'm a big fan myself, and have read (or listened to the audiobooks) Mere Christianity and The Four Loves several times, as well as The Great Divorce.  Definitely good stuff. 

It's perfectly fine to read the works of non-Catholic authors, but more than a few Catholics looks to some of his works, especially Mere Christianity, as a form of catechesis.

A year or two ago I read the Catechism of Saint Pius X.  He doesn't seem too keen on ecumenism as taught today, especially considering he instructs Catholics to burn Protestant Bibles if given one.  Makes me wonder if I've gone off track.

Why do today's Catholics think it's OK to embrace the works of C.S. Lewis?  What about other Protestant or Orthodox books and teachings?  Do we think we're clever or wise enough to extract the kernel's of truth without being influenced by non-Catholic aspects of their works? 

I also am curious about my contradicting views on the subject.  I was unhappy with the generic Protestant Alpha program when introduced in my old parish, and let the Director of Faith Formation know about it, yet I was happy to see my son read Mere Christianity.  I kind of feel like a hypocrite.

What's your take on C.S. Lewis in the Catholic Church?
C.S. Lewis is the best author for getting the fullness of the Gospel in modern theology. That said, his works should be used to teach Gospel, not the entirety of Catholic doctrine. If he is used in catechetical formation, he should be supplemented with the other elements of Catholic doctrine. Otherwise, not at all.
I intend to read more of his works.  I was taught an Anglo-Catholic faith in my one on one catechesis with an Anglican minister who was influenced by C.S. Lewis as well as Eastern Orthodoxy.

He had me read Mere Christianity, and I was also assigned reading on the history of all seven sacraments, and it was quite in depth. 

C.S. Lewis in some places treats the topic of theosis.  As the minister taught me, in relation to the body and blood of Christ, "you are what you eat."  I think he meant to refer to theosis.

Interestingly, I believe my Holiness-background great grandmother adhered to theosis as well, which might be related to Wesleyan influences highly regarding sanctity of life, prayer, and becoming Christ-like.

My great grandmother was fond of the scripture, "Ye are gods."

I cannot judge how fully Catholic her understanding of theosis was, but it was close enough for me to recognize and accept the Catholic teaching when I discovered it.
(02-06-2020, 05:30 PM)everbecoming2007 Wrote: [ -> ]I intend to read more of his works.  I was taught an Anglo-Catholic faith in my one on one catechesis with an Anglican minister who was influenced by C.S. Lewis as well as Eastern Orthodoxy.

He had me read Mere Christianity, and I was also assigned reading on the history of all seven sacraments, and it was quite in depth. 

C.S. Lewis in some places treats the topic of theosis.  As the minister taught me, in relation to the body and blood of Christ, "you are what you eat."  I think he meant to refer to theosis.

Interestingly, I believe my Holiness-background great grandmother adhered to theosis as well, which might be related to Wesleyan influences highly regarding sanctity of life, prayer, and becoming Christ-like.

My great grandmother was fond of the scripture, "Ye are gods."

I cannot judge how fully Catholic her understanding of theosis was, but it was close enough for me to recognize and accept the Catholic teaching when I discovered it.
My archdeacon had me read Francis J. Hall's Dogmatic Theology. Though I was never confirmed due to our lack of a bishop...nevertheless, there are some theological gems worth the read from Protestant and Anglo-Catholic theologians. If you don't read them, you aren't missing out but if you do read them, it certainly is worth it.

I don't like the idea of making Christian formation a series of required readings though. It should be preparing one to receive a grace. One should know what commitment they are making but Christian formation should never be a test to see if you "passed". Confirmation is a sacrament, a grace, not a work. Christian formation certainly should continue afterwards though.
The Screwtape Letters is one of my all to me favorite books on spiritual warfare
(02-06-2020, 11:28 AM)jack89 Wrote: [ -> ]This is something that's puzzled me since returning to the Church several years ago.  Catholics seem to adore C.S. Lewis, an Anglican.

I have the book and I like it and think it's good.

(02-06-2020, 11:28 AM)jack89 Wrote: [ -> ]Mere Christianity was required reading for my son's RCIA class. 

If stand alone that's very troubling, since you will not get the Holy Eucharist (Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity) Confession and many of the other sacraments from C.S. Lewis.

(02-06-2020, 11:28 AM)jack89 Wrote: [ -> ]It's perfectly fine to read the works of non-Catholic authors, but more than a few Catholics looks to some of his works, especially Mere Christianity, as a form of catechesis.

I think it's good for non believers and Christians in general. As for Catechesis it's very basic, certainly not enough for Catholicism to take root.

(02-06-2020, 11:28 AM)jack89 Wrote: [ -> ]Why do today's Catholics think it's OK to embrace the works of C.S. Lewis?  What about other Protestant or Orthodox books and teachings?  Do we think we're clever or wise enough to extract the kernel's of truth without being influenced by non-Catholic aspects of their works?

Yes, I've read some good things from other Christians, in fact I read a really good homily from a Russian Orthodox Priest not too long ago, was very good, nevertheless, I do agree we must tread carefully, since we are fallible humans, but at the same time, I do believe provided we stay close to the Saints of the Catholic Church and the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, Christ will guide us and keep us safe and on course.

(02-06-2020, 11:28 AM)jack89 Wrote: [ -> ]What's your take on C.S. Lewis in the Catholic Church?

It's an okay book, certainly worth the read IMO, but it's absolutely not a stand alone, it will not get anyone to Catholicism on it's own.

God Bless You
(02-07-2020, 09:12 AM)josh987654321 Wrote: [ -> ]
(02-06-2020, 11:28 AM)jack89 Wrote: [ -> ]Why do today's Catholics think it's OK to embrace the works of C.S. Lewis?  What about other Protestant or Orthodox books and teachings?  Do we think we're clever or wise enough to extract the kernel's of truth without being influenced by non-Catholic aspects of their works?

Yes, I've read some good things from other Christians, in fact I read a really good homily from a Russian Orthodox Priest not too long ago, was very good, nevertheless, I do agree we must tread carefully, since we are fallible humans, but at the same time, I do believe provided we stay close to the Saints of the Catholic Church and the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, Christ will guide us and keep us safe and on course.
I wonder if we really can completely differentiate and keep non-Catholic ideas from taking hold.  Looking at the state of the Church nowadays leads me to believe that we can't.  Unless you really know your stuff, as you've mentioned, it would be easy to adopt Protestant teachings.

I think that's what's been happening for quite a while now, and not just with Lewis.  His stuff is pretty solid, but just the fact that he's an Anglican might lead the average lay person to think that Anglicanism is pretty much the same as Catholicism.  Better catechesis would help prevent this, but we're not doing to good in that arena.
"Mere Christianity was required reading for my son's RCIA class."

They're playing with fire. Nowhere have I seen it expressed in his works, but Lewis was a typical Orangeman/Anglican of his time. He was not 'Catholic' and had no desire to be. 


His writings are extremely useful however, in that they illustrate what Protestants used to believe, and this is astonishingly close to Catholicism. (Even the most liberal Protestant will praise Lewis, quite oblivious to the fact that they share so little in common.)

If you know the Faith, I think you can profit by Lewis. If not, I'm definitely in the "otherwise not at all" camp.
(02-07-2020, 11:47 AM)jack89 Wrote: [ -> ]I wonder if we really can completely differentiate and keep non-Catholic ideas from taking hold.  Looking at the state of the Church nowadays leads me to believe that we can't.  Unless you really know your stuff, as you've mentioned, it would be easy to adopt Protestant teachings.

Sticking to purely Catholic authors it's the same thing, even Encyclicals from the so called Pope lead Catholics directly into error and heresy, so even from within it's the same thing and in some cases much worse, especially today. So we must tread carefully from without and from within and rely very much on God when discerning writings both from without and from within. Can't go wrong with the Gospels and Saints however.

"For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

God Bless You
(02-06-2020, 11:28 AM)jack89 Wrote: [ -> ]This is something that's puzzled me since returning to the Church several years ago.  Catholics seem to adore C.S. Lewis, an Anglican.
My impression has been it's more a neo-Catholic conservative admiration club, like the Ignatius Press/First Things cadre. Raised post-V2 in Catholic schools, we never had him assigned or heard his religious writings praised. My sense is that the lovefest started as the evangelical crowd and mainstream Protestants who found their way "to Rome" as the Jesus People aged into the Reagan era brought their devotion for him to Catholics? Not sure how the Narnia angle fits, but maybe too the cottage industry in the Inklings among many Christian academics jumpstarted his inclusion on syllabi, reading groups, pastoral workshops, and then "good press"?