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Experience with Theology and Christianity

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C. S. Lewis was an incredibly famous British scholar, novelist and Christian apologist. Lewis is best known for ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ fantasy series as well as his non-fiction apologetics. He taught British literature at Oxford University and Renaissance English at the University of Cambridge. As he taught at Oxford, he connected back with his faith after living his 20s as an atheist and became a distinguished Christian apologist wri ter supporting his faith through the use of logic and philosophy.

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In “Is Theology Poetry?”, Lewis argues that theology does not consist of a poetic plot. In fact Lewis states Christian theology lacks “grandeur” and “richness” compared to other theologies. He argues that the kind of joyous pleasure we get from our beliefs is simply because we choose to believe in them, not because they are poetic. He provides counterclaim for his beliefs in that while he does believe Christian theology is not true poetry, it isn’t true poetry due to lack of aesthetic value. It isn’t true poetry because it does not hold the same poetic value as other religions have. He emphasized that you can see the great story of Gospel before you believe in God. Lewis although he highlights the elegant stories within the faith but he also says Christianity isn’t merely poetry. But Christianity uses poetic language as a tool to explain foreign concepts. Lewis explains that the poetic language is needed to help us understand, but the metaphorical language is not reality. Lewis also emphasizes the thought that even if a theology does please our imagination, that does not mean it is strictly folklore and furthermore isn’t a reason to reject it. As he compares the Pagan stories and beliefs to that of Christianity, he makes the point that no matter what similarities or differences this does not give or take away from Christianity’s truth.

Lewis concludes the article on a scientific note, he accentuates two problems with science and Christianity. The first issue is that the people who follow scientific position always believe they have adequately answered the questions posed by the Christians. Lewis states that the problem is not that they are wrong but they can not even fathom the genuine answer to a Christian question. It is not ‘how was the universe made?’ but about ‘what makes my life anymore significant than any other thing on this Earth?’ Because science can not merely answer the questions of a proper Christian mind. His second complication was science wishes for you to show your belief in “a form free from metaphor and symbol”. He maintains that science is just like our dreams and Christianity is our real world. He recalls his dreams of dragons and compares them to being science, how they both can be intricately studied for meaning and understanding. His dreams fit into the real world because the real world contains dreams. Dreams are only influenced by the real world and lack the ability to control reality. Thus in comparison, Christianity can contain science but science can not possess Christian thought. 

The dominant purpose of this article is to inform and present Christian ideas to the reader. Lewis is spreading his own beliefs and key points that moved him to adult conversion as he speaks of his own form of poetry. His Christian faith. He informs on the importance of faith and how everyone’s faith and experience isn’t the same yet should give you the same feeling. Lewis provides little evidence with only 3 literary sources listed and his footnotes are used as his note section. I believe he provides little evidence as his essay is more of an eloquent literary rant rather than a properly formulated analysis of the question at hand. Lewis offers very detailed imagery and examples, many highlighting the different metaphorical language used in the Bible. His article is a collection of Lewis’ own opinion but he uses some sentences to further push his point along.

By acknowledging his comments as personal beliefs carried with his explanations of his claims and how they prove to be relevant to the question of poetic theology, this provides the reader the opportunity to be persuaded into agreement with his claims. He uses pathos strongly throughout seen through vivid language, stories and empathetic feelings. Upon acknowledging Lewis’ reasoning for validating his overall argument, the reader might be sympathetic and side with his claim. However, his ability to not provide sufficient evidence might hurt his argument and diminish his ideas. 

In conclusion, Lewis premise is that Christian theology is attractive due to its power and satisfying our imaginations but in its own way. He touches on his own experience with being without faith to correspond the shortage of poetic appeal in the Christian faith. Lewis wants it to be known that Christianity has it’s own poetic meaning to everybody. And that science can not explain the importance of people and human nature. He presents convincing opinions on theology and the need. for Christian theology. More than seventy years has passed since Lewis. presented this article to the Socratic Club and religion has significantly evolved that affect how religion and Christian theology are viewed. Christian apologetics are important due to them proclaiming someone’s blessings yet providing a logical defense of the Christian faith and brings light to God’s word. Lewis’ apologetic is important because it gives great insight into what is Christianity. Lewis has presented a realistic analysis that factors in spiritual perspective and atheism/scientific reasoning that does adequately answer “Is Theology Poetry?”

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