I’m a little behind in getting this out but I still wanted to offer some “take homes” from this year’s Lay School of Theology on CS Lewis by Rev. Ron Hoyum. Here is a YouTube link to pastor Hoyum’s presentations if you missed them or want to review them. I found a number of things helpful as pastor Hoyum reviewed Lewis’ life and writings, especially when it comes to our focus on sharing our faith with others.
CS Lewis, although a brilliant scholar, was really poor at math. That was affirming because I can relate! That made me like him even more. Ha Ha
It was interesting to learn that CS Lewis is one of the most read Christian authors of modern times and one of the greatest Christian apologists. “Apologists” means not to “apologize” as we think of today but rather the art of making a defense of our faith and commending it to others.
The first thing I learned about sharing our faith, comes from how Lewis himself came to believe. Lewis had two people who made a difference in his life – one was a brilliant thinker and teacher who met him at the level of his “mind.” The other person was a model of Christian virtue in caring for others and treating others with respect. These two people worked on both his head and heart to bring him to faith. Pastor Hoyum stated it this way, “Some people are head to heart people and others are heart to head.” First, take away: for the “head” people in our lives we should utilize Lewis, especially his Mere Christianity. However, we could utilize other authors like Lee Strobel and his The Case for Christ series of books or Ravi Zacharias. We need to engage young and old at the rational level. Yet, we also have to engage people on the level of the heart. They need to see our love and care. They need to see and encounter our joy. They need to experience the beauty of Christian community. They need music to touch their hearts. We need to tell our story of grace and forgiveness in Christ.
For my own faith journey, Lewis’ image of the “Good Infection” was affirming and helpful. Pastor Hoyum stated Lewis’ analogy this way: “Christianity is about getting as close to Christ as possible so that his life comes into yours and you are absorbed into his.” In Lewis’ own words, “We have not got to try to climb up into spiritual life by our own efforts; it has already come down into the human race. If we will only lay ourselves open to the one Man in whom it was fully present, and who, in spite of being God, is also a real man, He will do it in us and for us. Remember what I said about ‘good infection’. One of our own race has this new life: if we get close to Him we shall catch it from Him.” Second take away: no matter what happens in life, don’t let yourself get severed from Word and Sacrament, from prayer time, from scripture reading, from serving others along side other Christians, etc. To site another favorite author of mine, Mark Allen Powell, “Make yourself as big a target for the Holy Spirit as Possible.” Maybe for those open to hearing our story, we should invite them to hang out with our small group or even in worship for a while. Invite them to give the faith a try and see if they catch it.
There was much more to glean but I’m thankful for the continued
love for our Lay School efforts at SLC and certainly thankful that Pastor Hoyum
helped us get to know CS Lewis better.