Wednesday, May 29, 2013

C.S. Lewis' challenge to Christian scientists

What kind of books should Christian intellectuals and scientists write? What will be the most effective for defending and promoting the Gospel? I find it surprising, interesting, and challenging to consider the view of C.S. Lewis.
While we are on the subject of science, let me digress or a moment. I believe that any Christian who is qualified to write a good popular book on any science may do much more by that than by any directly apologetic work. The difficulty we are up against is this. We can make people (often) attend to the Christian point of view for half an hour or so; but the moment they have gone away from our lecture or laid down our article, they are plunged back into a world where the opposite position is taken for granted. As long as that situation exists, widespread success is simply impossible. We must attack the enemy's line of communication. 
What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects, with their Christianity latent. You can see this most easily if you look at it the other way round. Our Faith is not very likely to be shaken by any book on Hinduism. But if whenever we read an elementary book on Geology, Botany, Politics, or Astronomy, we found that its implications were Hindu, that would shake us. It is not the books written in direct defence of Materialism that make the modern man a materialist; it is the materialistic assumptions in all the other books. In the same way, it is not books on Christianity that will really trouble him. But he would be troubled if, whenever he wanted a cheap popular introduction to some science, the best work on the market was always by a Christian. The first step to the re-conversion of this country is a series, produced by Christians, which can beat the Penguin and the Thinkers Library on their own ground. Its Christianity would have to be latent, not explicit: and of course its science perfectly honest. Science twisted in the interests of apologetics would be sin and folly.
C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 93.

1 comment:

  1. This relates to the idea that Christians should not compartmentalise their lives. All aspects of the life of a Christian is to serve God and love others.