A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

I am writing this ongoing blog series on Reflections to encourage Christians to read more vigorously and enrich their lives with Christian classics in such fields as theology, philosophy, and apologetics. Hopefully, a brief introduction to these Christian texts will motivate today’s believers to, as St. Augustine was called in his dramatic conversion to Christianity, “take up and read” (Latin: Tolle lege) these excellent books.

blog__inline--take-up-and-read-cs-lewis-case-for-christian-faith

This week’s book is C. S. Lewis’ Case for the Christian Faith by Catholic philosopher Richard Purtill. It is one of the best books for helping people—both those who are new to Lewis and those who know his writings well—to understand Lewis’s basic case for the truth of Christianity. A reliable guide, Purtill explains Lewis’s apologetics thinking with powerful insights.

Why Is This Author Notable?

Richard Purtill (1931–2016) taught philosophy at Western Washington University for many years. A prolific author, Purtill wrote many academic works on philosophy, religion, ethics, and the study of logic. But he was also a popular author of fantasy and science fiction novels. A Roman Catholic by theological conviction and a lover of imaginative literature, Purtill wrote books on the thoughts of both J. R. R. Tolkien and Lewis.

What Is This Book About?

Using his broad knowledge of Lewis’s writings of fiction and nonfiction, Purtill presents, in 10 chapters, Lewis’s basic apologetics approach for the truth of the Christian faith. Purtill’s book introduces Lewis’s thinking on such critical topics as God’s existence, the nature and attributes of God, the person of Christ, miracles, faith and reason, rivals of Christianity, Christian living and prayer, and death and the hereafter.

Purtill systematically presents Lewis’s theological and apologetics ideas with clarity. He also organizes Lewis’s thoughts and provides a basic philosophical framework for seeing Lewis’s case in terms of a logically based worldview. Purtill’s work helps readers to think through and understand the bigger picture. It also encourages people to reread Lewis’s writings with fresh understanding and with a greater overall perspective on Lewis’s apologetics model.

Here, Purtill offers a brief explanation for Lewis’s enormous success and influence as a Christian thinker and author:

The explanation for Lewis’ success is to be found in all the aspects of Lewis as a man and a writer, in his imaginative and moral qualities as well as his intellectual capacities.1

Why Is This Book Worth Reading?

C. S. Lewis is arguably the most influential Christian apologist of the twentieth century. But his books sell better today than when he was living, more than 50 years ago. Anyone who wants to gain a greater understanding of Lewis’s thinking will benefit significantly from reading Purtill’s fine introduction. Read Purtill and then reread Lewis’s masterful apologetics works.

Resources

Endnotes
  1. Richard Purtill, S. Lewis’ Case for the Christian Faith (San Francisco: Ignatius, 2004), 14.

Check out more from Dr. Kenneth Samples @Reasons.org

 

About The Author

Kenneth R. Samples

I believe deeply that "all truth is God’s truth." That historic affirmation means that when we discover and grasp truth in the world and in life we move closer to its divine Author. This approach relies on the Christian idea of God’s two revelatory books - the metaphorical book of nature and the literal book of Scripture. As an RTB scholar I have a great passion to help people understand and see the truth and relevance of Christianity's truth-claims. My writings and lectures at RTB focus on showing how the great doctrinal truths of the faith (the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Atonement, creation ex nihilo, salvation by grace, etc.) are uniquely compatible with reason. This approach reflects the historic Christian apologetics statement - "faith seeking understanding." I work to help myself and others fulfill Peter's words in 2 Peter 3:18: "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." As an RTB scholar I have a great passion to help people understand and see the truth and relevance of Christianity's truth-claims. • Biography • Resources • Upcoming Events • Promotional Items Kenneth Richard Samples began voraciously studying Christian philosophy and theology when his thirst for purpose found relief in the Bible. He earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and social science from Concordia University and his MA in theological studies from Talbot School of Theology. For seven years, Kenneth worked as Senior Research Consultant and Correspondence Editor at the Christian Research Institute (CRI) and regularly cohosted the popular call-in radio program, The Bible Answer Man, with Dr. Walter Martin. As a youth, Kenneth wrestled with "unsettling feelings of meaninglessness and boredom," driving him to seek answers to life's big questions. An encounter with Christian philosophy in Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis led Kenneth to examine the New Testament and "finally believe that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God, the Lord and Savior of the world." From then on, he pursued an intellectually satisfying faith. Today, as senior research scholar at Reasons to Believe (RTB), Kenneth uses what he's learned to help others find the answers to life's questions. He encourages believers to develop a logically defensible faith and challenges skeptics to engage Christianity at a philosophical level. He is the author of Without a Doubt and A World of Difference, and has contributed to numerous other books, including: Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men, The Cult of the Virgin, and Prophets of the Apocalypse. He has written articles for Christianity Today and The Christian Research Journal, and regularly participates in RTB's podcasts, including Straight Thinking, a podcast dedicated to encouraging Christians to utilize sound reasoning in their apologetics. He also writes for the ministry's daily blog, Today’s New Reason to Believe. An avid speaker and debater, Kenneth has appeared on numerous radio programs such as Voice America Radio, Newsmakers, The Frank Pastore Show, Stand to Reason, White Horse Inn, Talk New York, and Issues Etc., as well as participated in debates and dialogues on topics relating to Christian doctrine and apologetics. He currently lectures for the Master of Arts program in Christian Apologetics at Biola University. Kenneth also teaches adult classes at Christ Reformed Church in Southern California. Over the years Kenneth has held memberships in the American Philosophical Association, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Evangelical Theological Society, and the Evangelical Press Association. The son of a decorated World War II veteran, Kenneth is an enthusiastic student of American history, particularly the Civil War and WWII. His favorite Christian thinkers include Athanasius, Augustine, Pascal, and C. S. Lewis. He greatly enjoys the music of the Beatles and is a die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan. Kenneth lives in Southern California with his wife, Joan, and their three children.

Email Sign-up

Sign up for the TWR360 Newsletter

Access updates, news, biblical teaching and inspirational messages from powerful Christian voices.

Thank you for signing up to receive updates from TWR360.

Required information missing