Several months ago, I came across an essay titled “Did C. S. Lewis Go to Heaven?” by John W. Robbins. Mr. Robbins condemns Lewis for his unbiblical views, and he heaps upon the poor old Anglican don much fire and brimstone. The essay is a fascinating exposition of much that I find objectionable in certain currents of Protestantism—in tone, in method, and in belief. Were I to explain why I am not a Protestant, I might offer it as an example. Taste and see that the religion is bitter . . .
I, myself, love Lewis, but I do not consider him the magesterium of correct doctrine. Like Robbins, I think that Lewis held many erroneous beliefs—though our lists surely do not correspond very well. However, I do not consign Lewis to Gehenna because of his heresies. It is not my place to judge the everlasting destination of souls. Nevertheless, I would argue that Lewis has contributed much to English speaking Christians of the last several generations, and it saddens me that folks like Robbins cannot appreciate such. For them, every unworthy harvester in the fields only hastens the terrible day of wrath.
If you do not wish to follow the link provided to read Robbin’s views, here is the closing:
Time will not permit me to discuss many other doctrines that Lewis believed and taught that contradict the doctrine of justification by faith alone, but a brief list is in order. Lewis taught and believed in purgatory (despite the fact that Article 22 of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England describes the doctrine of purgatory as “repugnant to the Word of God”), said prayers for the dead, believed in the physical presence of Christ’s body and blood in the bread and wine, a sacrament that he came to call “Mass,” practiced and taught auricular confession, believed in baptismal salvation, and free will. As we have seen, he rejected the inerrancy of Scripture and justification by faith alone, as well as the doctrines of total depravity and the sovereignty of God.
So we ask again: Did C. S. Lewis go to Heaven? And our answer must be: Not if he believed what he wrote in his books and letters.
Sinful as I am, I must smirk at the list . . .
Next to the Lewis goes to hell essay is a short book review that I would like to post:
In 1986, Roman Catholic historian Carlos M. N. Eire published War Against the Idols: The Reformation of Worship from Erasmus to Calvin (Cambridge University Press). The book is not perfect, but it is far better than some of the books offered by apostate Protestants eager to carry us back to the Dark Ages, which they call the “Christian centuries.” Eire shows that the Reformation ended the “religion of immanence” that had characterized Western Europe for more than a millennium – the sort of religion that Lewis and his kindred spirit, Tolkien, promoted in their books.
Of course, Robbins condemns the “religion of immanence.” When I read this to Andrew, he naturally quoted the Good Book: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
The religion that Robbins holds is a perverse form of Christianity. Indeed, it is a disease of religion, whereby the natural perception and appreciation of the sacred that even the pagans enjoy has been stifled and suppressed. It is no wonder that such a malady of the soul has borne the secular atheism of modernity into our world . . . Ye shall know them by their fruits.