Douglas Wilson has been writing about Reformed theology for decades. He is such a prolific writer that one person quipped that he had “no unpublished thoughts.” As Wilson continues to demonstrate his love of writing, he readily acknowledges that he has owed much to C. S. Lewis. He has also commented on Lewis through the years, and his new book, The Light From Behind the Sun, is a collection, or “miscellany,” of these compositions: articles, a Desiring God conference talk, a forward to a book, blog posts, etc.
The subtitle of the book is “A Reformed and Evangelical Appreciation of C. S. Lewis.” Much of the book is a critique of Lewis from that perspective, though a very friendly one. The author being Reformed and evangelical, the reader can expect Wilson to address questions that like-minded people have often had about Lewis themselves. A sampling of questions he answers:
Was Lewis really a Calvinist after all?
What should we expect to happen to Susan Pevensie (one of the best things I’ve read on the subject)?
Does including Emeth in Aslan’s Country make Lewis a universalist?
Did Lewis believe in hell?
Was Lewis right to dismiss the imprecatory psalms?
Was Lewis presuppositional or evidentialist in his apologetics?
And so forth.
Wilson attempts a fair answer to such questions, referring broadly to both the Bible and Lewis’s writings. I especially enjoyed his references to Lewis’s Oxford History of English Literature – a work not often quoted, though it is full of valuable gems. He engagingly writes for the general reader, with helpful, practical observations along the way.
While the book is of interest for those concerned particularly with theological questions (e.g., did Lewis hold to all five points of TULIP?), it is a good read for anyone who profits from Lewis’s “religious” writing. If a person wants a more in-depth analysis of what is “reformed” about Lewis’s writing, the best place to go would be Donald William’s book, Deeper Magic (ISBN: 978-1941106051).
ISBN-13: 978-1-954887-15-2, canonpress.com/products/light-from-behind-the-sun
Please note that the content and viewpoints of Rev. Beckmann are his own and are not necessarily those of the C.S. Lewis Foundation. We have not edited his writing in any substantial way and have permission from him to post his content.
The Rev. David Beckmann has for many years been involved in both the Church and education. He helped to start a Christian school in South Carolina, tutored homeschoolers, and has been adjunct faculty for both Covenant College and the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. He founded the C.S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga in 2005. He has spoken extensively on C.S Lewis, and was the Director of the C.S Lewis Study Centre at The Kilns from 2014-2015. He is currently a Regional Representative for the C.S. Lewis Foundation in Chattanooga.