About the C.S. Lewis Society of California

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Mission:

    "A dogmatic belief in objective value is necessary to the very idea of a rule which is not tyranny or an obedience which is not slavery."
    C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

    “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

    "There are no ordinary people. You have never met a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations, these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat."

    “To be ignorant and simple now—not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground—would be to throw down our weapons. . . . Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.”
    C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses

    “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.”
    C. S. Lewis

    "Where no attention is given to teaching, and to constant, lifelong Christian learning, people quickly revert to the worldview or mindset of the surrounding culture, and end up with their minds shaped by whichever social pressures are most persuasive, with Jesus somewhere around as a pale influence or memory."
    N. T. Wright, Acts for Everyone, Part One

    “The difficulty we are up against is this. We can make people (often) attend to the Christian point of view for half an hour or so; but the moment they have gone away from our lecture or laid down our article, they are plunged back into a world where the opposite position is taken for granted. Every newspaper, film, novel and textbook undermines our work. As long as that situation exists, widespread success is simply impossible. We must attack the enemy's line of communication. What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects—with their Christianity latent. . . . It is not the books written in direct defense of Materialism that make the modern man a materialist; it is the materialistic assumptions in all the other books. In the same way, it is not books on Christianity that will really trouble him. But he would be troubled if, whenever he wanted a cheap popular introduction to some science, the best work on the market was always by a Christian.”
    C. S. Lewis, “Christian Apologetics,” God in the Dock

    “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.”
    C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

    "You cannot go on seeing through things for ever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it. . . . If you see through everything, then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To see through all things is the same as not to see.”
    C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

    “False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel. We may preach with all the fervor of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there, if we permit the whole collective thought of the nation or of the world to be controlled by ideas which, by the resistless force of logic, prevent Christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion. Under such circumstances, what God desires us to do is to destroy the obstacle at its root. . . . What is today a matter of academic speculation begins tomorrow to move armies and pull down empires. In that second stage, it has gone too far to be combated; the time to stop it was when it was still a matter of impassionate debate. So as Christians we should try to mold the thought of the world in such a way as to make the acceptance of Christianity something more than a logical absurdity.”
    J. Gresham Machen, “Christianity and Culture,” Princeton Theological Review

    “Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, is of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

    “If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. . . . In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They 'cash in.' It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. . . . Let us not be deceived by phrases about 'Man taking charge of his own destiny.' All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of others. . . . The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be.”

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be 'cured' against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”
    C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock

    "The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral law which overarches rulers and ruled alike. Subjectivism about values is eternally incompatible with democracy. We and our rulers are of one kind only so long as we are subject to one law. But if there is no Law of Nature, the ethos of any society is the creation of its rulers, educators and conditioners; and every creator stands above and outside his own creation."
    C. S. Lewis, Christian Reflections

    "[W]here the Materialist would simply ask about a proposed action 'Will it increase the happiness of the majority?', the Christian might have to say, 'Even if it does increase the happiness of the majority, we can’t do it. It is unjust.' And all the time, one great difference would run through their whole policy. To the Materialist things like nations, classes, civilizations must be more important than individuals, because the individuals live only seventy odd years each and the group may last for centuries. But to the Christian, individuals are more important, for they live eternally; and races, civilizations and the like, are in comparison the creatures of a day."
    C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock

    “I must be frank with you: the greatest danger confronting American evangelical Christianity is the danger of anti-intellectualism. The mind in its greatest and deepest reaches is not cared for enough. . . . The result is that the arena of creative thinking is vacated and abdicated to the enemy. Who among evangelicals can stand up to the great secular or naturalistic or atheistic scholars on their own terms of scholarship? Who among evangelical scholars is quoted as a normative source by the greatest secular authorities on history or philosophy or psychology or sociology or politics? Does the evangelical mode of thinking have the slightest chance of becoming the dominant mode in the great universities of Europe and America that stamp our entire civilization with their spirit and ideas? . . . It will take a different spirit altogether to overcome this great danger of anti-intellectualism. . . . For the sake of greater effectiveness in witnessing to Jesus Christ himself, as well as for their own sakes, evangelicals cannot afford to keep on living on the periphery of responsible existence.”
    Charles Malik, former U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon

    “It is in Man’s power to treat himself as a mere ‘natural object’ and his judgments of value as raw material for scientific manipulation to alter at will. . . . The real objection is that if man chooses to treat himself as raw material, raw material he will be: not raw material to be manipulated, as he fondly imagined, by himself, but by mere appetite, that is, mere Nature, in the person of his de-humanized Conditioners. . . . Either we are rational spirit obliged for ever to obey the absolute values of the Tao [natural law], or else we are mere nature to be kneaded and cut into new shapes for the pleasures of masters who must, by hypothesis, have no motive but their own 'natural' impulses. Only the Tao provides a common human law of action which can over-arch rulers and ruled alike. A dogmatic belief in objective value is necessary to the very idea of a rule which is not tyranny or an obedience which is not slavery. . . . The process which, if not checked, will abolish Man goes on apace among Communists and Democrats no less than among Fascists. The methods may (at first) differ in brutality. But many a mild-eyed scientist in pince-nez, many a popular dramatist, many an amateur philosopher in our midst, means in the long run just the same as the Nazi rulers of Germany.”
    C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

The C.S. Lewis Society of California is an independent, non-profit, Christian, educational and cultural organization interested in events, publications, and other developments that advance deeper understanding of the enduring philosophical, cultural, historical, literary, spiritual, social, and economic issues of mankind.

  • Stimulate and advance public interest in the life, works, and ideas of C. S. Lewis
  • Encourage deeper understanding of Lewis as a man, author and thinker, as well as others’ work that pertains to such topics
  • Foster understanding of and serve as a clearinghouse of information on the issues Lewis addressed
  • Promote both popular and scholarly study and writing
  • Sponsor and organize speaking, theatrical, film and other events
  • Network with and assist other organizations that share an active interest in such topics

Please join with us on Facebook or contact us at:

C.S. Lewis Society of California
100 Swan Way, Suite 200
Oakland, CA 94621-1428
510-635-9872 Phone
510-568-6040 Fax
info@lewissociety.org

Officers:

Board of Directors:

Board of Advisors:

    Michael D. Aeschliman
    Professor of Education, Boston University; Director, Erasmus Institute, Switzerland

    Jonathan J. Bean
    Professor of History, Southern Illinois University

    Arthur C. Brooks
    President, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research;
    former Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University

    Paul A. Cleveland
    Professor of Economics, Birmingham-Southern College

    G. Marcus Cole
    Helen L. Crocker Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law, Stanford University

    James T. Como
    Professor of Rhetoric and Public Communication, York College, City University of New York

    Stephen T. Davis
    Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College

    David C. Downing
    R. W. Schlosser Professor of English, Elizabethtown College

    Colin Duriez
    Author, The C.S. Lewis Encyclopedia, The C.S. Lewis Chronicles, The Inklings Handbook, Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, A Field Guide to Narnia, and Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings

    Freeman J. Dyson
    Professor Emeritus of Physics, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University;
    Templeton Prize Laureate

    Bruce L. Edwards, Jr.
    Professor of English and Associate Dean, Continuing and Extended Education
    Bowling Green State University

    Kenneth G. Elzinga
    Robert C. Taylor Professor of Economics, University of Virginia

    Thomas P. Flint
    Professor of Philosophy and Director
    Notre Dame Center for Philosophy of Religion, University of Notre Dame

    Stewart C. Goetz
    Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Ursinus College

    Peter J. Hill
    George F. Bennett Chair of Economics, Wheaton College

    Laurence R. Iannaccone
    Director, Institute for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Society
    Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University

    Philip Jenkins
    Distinguished Professor of History and Co-Director for the Program on Historical Studies of Religion, Baylor University

    Peter G. Klein
    Professor of Economics and Associate Director
    Contracting and Organizations Research Institute, University of Missouri, Columbia

    Robert C. Koons
    Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas

    Peter J. Kreeft
    Professor of Philosophy, Boston College

    John C. Lennox
    Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford; Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science, Green Templeton College

    Wilfred M. McClay
    SunTrust Chair of Excellence in Humanities, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

    Scot McKnight
    Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University

    Marjorie Lamp Mead
    Associate Director, The Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College

    J. P. Moreland
    Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University

    Andrew P. Morriss
    D. Paul Jones, Jr. & Charlene Angelich Jones Chairholder of Law, University of Alabama

    Robert H. Nelson
    Senior Fellow, The Independent institute;
    Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland

    Armand M. Nicholi, Jr.
    Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

    J. I. Packer
    Board of Governors Professor of Theology, Regent College, Canada

    Alvin Plantinga
    John O’Brien Chair of Philosophy Emeritus, University of Notre Dame

    Sir John C. Polkinghorne
    Retired President, Queens’ College; Templeton Prize Laureate;
    former Professor of Mathematical Physics, Cambridge University

    Mary S. Poplin
    Professor of Educational Studies and Director, Institute for Education in Transformation
    Claremont Graduate University

    Stephen G. Post
    Professor of Preventive Medicine
    Director, Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics
    Stony Brook University

    Richard L. Purtill
    Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Western Washington University

    Peter J. Schakel
    Peter C. and Emajean Cook Professor of English, Hope College

    Jeffrey P. Schloss
    Professor of Biology, Westmont College

    Rodney Stark
    University Professor of Social Sciences
    Co-Director and Distinguished Senior Fellow, Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University

    Edward P. Stringham
    Lloyd V. Hackley Endowed Chair for Capitalism and Free Enterprise Studies
    Fayetteville State University

    Eleonore A. Stump
    Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy, St. Louis University

    Charles Taliaferro
    Professor of Philosophy, St. Olaf College

    Charles H. Townes
    Nobel Laureate in Physics and Templeton Prize Laureate
    Graduate School and Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley

    Jerry L. Walls
    Professor of Philosophy, Asbury Theological Seminary

    Michael Ward
    Chaplain of St. Peters College, Oxford University; Author, Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis

    Robert M. Whaples
    Professor of Economics, Wake Forest University

    Nicholas Wolterstorff
    Senior Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia; Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale University

    In Memoriam:

    James A. Sadowski, S.J.
    Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Fordham University


Copyright 2014, The C.S. Lewis Society of California