sage Steven Kalas on atheist C.S. Lewis’ conversion to Christianity: My understanding of the importance and the power of myth is why I offer no shrift to the modern tempest regarding evolution versus creation. I think of that debate as a conversation between two people using two different radio frequencies. Though raised in the church, Oxford professor C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) was a professed atheist by age 15. In 1926, he met and forged a close friendship with Oxford colleague J.R.R. Tolkien. This relationship became the nexus of Lewis’ conversion to Christianity. After many discussions and spirited arguments, Tolkien is said to have said to Lewis, “Clive, you know what a myth is, yes?” “Of course I do,” Clive assured him. To which Tolkien said, “Well … Christianity is a true myth.” And Lewis was converted and later baptized in the Anglican Church. A myth is in fact not a “false representation of the truth.” A myth is eternally true.

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Christian apologetic C.S. Lewis   (the power of supposition over allegory, per Lewis) 

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._S._Lewis#Christian_apologist

His most famous works, the Chronicles of Narnia, contain many strong Christian messages and are often considered allegory. Lewis, an expert on the subject of allegory, maintained that the books were not allegory, and preferred to call the Christian aspects of them “suppositional.”  As Lewis wrote:

If Aslan represented the immaterial Deity in the same way in which Giant Despair [a character in The Pilgrim’s Progress] represents despair, he would be an allegorical figure. In reality however he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, ‘What might Christ become like, if there really were a world like Narnia and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?’ This is not allegory at all.

C.S. Lewis

Monochrome head-and-left-shoulder photo portrait of 50-year-old Lewis

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/not-who-am-i-but-whose-am-i-and-this-radicalgestalt-changes-everything-from-sage-steven-kalas-born-1957/

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http://www.lvrj.com/blogs/kalas/Power_of_words_column_lands_on_meaning_of_myth.html

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But there is another use of the word “myth” not often employed by modern people.   A myth is a story, a narrative containing and transmitting a worldview, values and essential meaning.   While myths can contain history and certainly emerge from and in history, historicity is not the fundamental aim.

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When I wrote of the “Hebrew creation myth,” I meant the Hebrew story that reveals to the people Hebrew who God is, how God is related to creation, how we, therefore, as creatures, are related to God, the earth and to one another.

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For the record, Genesis is my favorite book of the Bible, precisely because I find the myths contained therein to be so powerful, useful, not to mention (in my opinion) a universally accurate depiction of the human condition.

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Now, I do confess freely that I am not a biblical literalist. What I take literally is what the Bible means. As Presbyterian author Frederick Buechner says, to take the Bible in every way literally would be like using “Moby Dick” as a whaling manual.

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It is in exactly this sense that I meant “the Hebrew creation myth.”

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._S._Lewis#The_Chronicles_of_Narnia

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The Chronicles of Narnia

The Mountains of Mourne inspired Lewis to write The Chronicles of Narnia. About them, Lewis wrote “I have seen landscapes … which, under a particular light, make me feel that at any moment a giant might raise his head over the next ridge.”

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels for children and is considered a classic of children’s literature. Written between 1949 and 1954 and illustrated by Pauline Baynes, the series is Lewis’ most popular work, having sold over 100 million copies in 41 languages (Kelly 2006) (Guthmann 2005). It has been adapted several times, complete or in part, for radio, television, stage and cinema.

The books contain Christian ideas intended to be easily accessible to young readers. In addition to Christian themes, Lewis also borrows characters from Greek and Roman mythology as well as traditional British and Irish fairy tales.

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