In perhaps his most influential work, "Mere Christianity," Lewis addresses people who call Jesus of Nazareth something He never called Himself: "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
It was this passage and Lewis' chapter on pride that brought Richard Nixon's "hatchet man," the late Charles Colson, among many others with hard hearts, to faith.
On Sept. 8, 1947, Time magazine featured Lewis on its cover. It rightly called him "the most popular lecturer in the University," which was Magdelen College, Oxford. Like many great writers, most of Lewis' honors have come posthumously, including this November 22 when a memorial stone to Lewis will be added to Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey, alongside others commemorating the accomplishments of Charles Dickens, John Milton, Jane Austen and Geoffrey Chaucer.
Some people long for another C.S. Lewis, but the original should suffice for at least another 50 years.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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