The Case For Christianity, The World\'s Last Night

I. Introduction


II. Brief Biographical Information


III. The Case for Christianity

- Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe

IV. The Problem with Pain

- Divine Omnipotence

V. The World\'s Last Night

- The Efficacy of Prayer

VI. Conclusion

A Critique of C. S. Lewis

"A Relativist said, \'The world does not exist, England does
not exist, Oxford does not exist and I am confident that
I do not Exist!\' When Lewis was asked to reply, he stood
up and said, \'How am I to talk to a man who\'s not there?\'"
- C. S. Lewis: A Biography

Clive Staples Lewis was born, in 1898, in Belfast. C. S. Lewis
was educated at various schools in England. In 1914, Lewis began
studying Latin, Greek, French, German and Italian under the private
tuition of W. T. Kirkpatrick. He then moved to Oxford where his studies
were interrupted by World War I (1917). Two years later he was back in
Oxford resuming his studies. In 1924, Lewis was "elected" to teach
Literature and Language at Magdalen College, Oxford and remained there
till 1954. During this time period in his life, Lewis wrote the
majority of his work. Lewis moved to Cambridge for the remainder of his
life teaching Medieval and Renaissance Literature.1
C. S. Lewis was a man dedicated to the pursuit of truth who"
believed in argument, in disputation, and in the dialectic of Reason. .
."2 He began his pursuit of truth as an atheist and ended up as a
Christian. His works the Problem of Pain and Mere Christianity dealt
with issues he struggled with. Mere Christianity consists of three
separate radio broadcasts. One of the broadcasts was titled The Case For
Christianity.
In The Case For Christianity, Lewis discussed two crucial topics
in his apologetic defense of Christianity. They were the "Right and
Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe" and "What Christians
Believe". This critique will address the first chapter. "Right and
Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe", can be broken into
three parts. The first deals with moral law and its existence. The
second addresses the idea of a power or mind behind the universe, who,
is intensely interested in right conduct. Also that this power or God
is good. Good as in the area of truth, not soft and sympathetic. The
third point moves to Christianity, its attributes and why it was
necessary for the long" round-about" approach .
The law of nature binds humans as would the laws of gravity
apply to a falling stone. It is called the law of nature because it
does not need to be taught. Lewis points out that an odd individual
may exist "here and there who didn\'t know it, just as you find s few
people who are colour-blind or have no ear for tune. But taking the race
as a whole, they thought that the human idea of Decent Behavior was
obvious to every one."3
Lewis brilliantly defended his statement of natural law\'s
existence. Two arguments, which argue for relativity, posted against
him are the "herd" instincts or genetic inborn in us ( i.e. motherly
love, survival or sexual impulses) and that which is taught socially or
learned. Historically, these to interpretations of human behavior have
clashed, however, he suggest that "reason" is above both. He clarifies
his position by classifying impulses as separate from the decision to
follow the impulse itself. The "learned" argument is refuted by his
analogy of a boy on the island who is unaware of the existence of the
process of multiplication. He never attended school and learned them.
The education would be classified as "human convention". This human
convention, consequently, did not invent multiplication just as it did
not invent the law of nature.
However, this comparison is based on a false assumption. The
law of nature, as Lewis argued, is not taught but some how exists as an
inherent part of the human psyche. This law also presents itself in the
form of decisions and actions in line with what ought to be done. There
is no school-room which imparts this law and the practice of it.
Consequently, mathematics needs to be taught and learned. The attempts
to equate the