Lewis sightings - John Piper, Tim Keller, and Edith Humphrey

The Youtube algorithm has apparently picked up that I’m interested in Lewis–could be worse. Here are two that it recently gave me, both of 5-6 minutes.

The first is a portion of a discussion between John Piper and Tim Keller, both Protestant (Presbyterian, specifically) ministers, specifically on Lewis’ self-description as a romantic rationalist. The “opposites” in the title don’t refer to the two of them, but rather to them vs. Lewis.

The second is by Dr. Edith Humphrey, professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, from an Orthodox perspective. She critiques his ecclesiology, in particular his metaphor of the rooms of the great house in Mere Christianity, but in so doing she appears to misrepresent his position. She appears to believe that he believed that the differences among the different branches (or “rooms”) were of no importance, but Lewis himself repudiates this in his preface:

Oddly enough, you cannot even conclude, from my silence on disputed points, either that I think them important or that I think them unimportant. For this is itself one of the disputed points. One of the things Christians are disagreed about is the importance of their disagreements. When two Christians of different denominations start arguing, it is usually not long before one asks whether such-and-such a point ‘really matters’ and the other replies: ‘Matter? Why, it’s absolutely essential.’

By the same token, he doesn’t say or imply that what he presents are the “essentials” of Christianity, rather that they are what’s common to all Christians (though I note that he didn’t consult with any Orthodox clergy as he did with Methodist, Roman Catholic, etc.).

But with probably more time given to my objection than it’s worth, the video:

I think these two videos are good examples of the esteem in which Lewis is held among various Christian denominations – Protestant and Orthodox in this case. And maybe YouTube will soon send you a link to a Catholic video about Lewis. He certainly is also very popular among many Catholics, including Ray, our former moderator, and the Jesuit teacher in the Catholic High School I attended, who introduced me to Lewis.


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)

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Yes, I was thinking the same thing, which somewhat goes back to the previous Orthodox video I posted. And it’s interesting, in that it’s pretty rare for an individual to be so respected across denominational lines.

Not to mention Deb, our former former moderator (now some 20 years ago, on MereLewis).

I wonder if it isn’t two sides of a coin. His theology, or lack thereof, as a formal discipline, frustrates some. He was not immersed in the particular theology of any niche of Christendom. But because he was not a theologian, but a poet and a myth-maker who also happened to be a Christian, and and a deeply thoughtful one, he thought about what he, as a Christian, believed. And being immensely widely-read, and trained extremely well in logical thinking, and possessed of a vast intellect, he thought about it better than most of us.