Saturday, 7 February 2015

God In the Dock

There are times C.S. Lewis is not an easy read.

Lewis, an Oxford Don, was one of the last centuries towering intellects and while he was extraordinarily adept at making himself clear to the ordinary man some of his writings are directed a little higher and require some time to get through.

God In the Dock is a collection of forty- eight speeches and essays written by Lewis over a period of 23 years and at 416 pages it is not a two night read. Its title implies "God on Trial" and is based on an analogy made by Lewis suggesting that modern human beings, rather than seeing themselves as standing before God in judgement, prefer to place God on trial while acting as his judge.

One of the points that Lewis made writing in that age was that every generation of unbelievers trot out the same objections to God, Jesus, and the Gospel that the previous generation had trotted out and present them as new and untried while in fact the objections have been answered over and over again ad nausea throughout history. 

This is even more relevant today when atheist arguments against Christianity presented by drug store atheists on the Internet are nothing more than a rehash of every past argument that didn't hold water then and don't now. The atheist well has been emptied for want of an argument lacking holes.

Even the weak arguments presented by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor Dr. Bart Ehrman are nothing more than the rejected Bauer hypothesis of the last century dressed up in a cheap suit. This, doubtless, why Ehrman speaks with forked tongue presenting one thing to scholars and its opposite in his books for a public audience.

None the less Lewis hits many of these arguments head on and shows their shallowness once again to another generation. Now, seventy years later, apologists are repeating the same answers to a new generation running their tired old flag up the pole again.

While not for everyone and most certainly beyond the ken of the garden variety atheist writing here, Lewis is still relevant and well worth reading.

Amazon says:
"C. S. Lewis struck me as the most thoroughly converted man I ever met," observes Walter Hooper in this book's preface. "His whole vision of life was such that the natural and the supernatural seemed inseparably combined."
God in the Dock contains forty-eight essays and twelve letters written by Lewis between 1940 and 1963. Ranging from popular newspaper articles to learned defenses of the faith, these pieces cover topics as varied as the logic of theism, good and evil, miracles, the role of women in the church, and ethics and politics. Many represent Lewis's first ventures into themes he would later treat in full-length books.

5 out of 5 Stars

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