C. S. Lewis, Reluctant Churchman by Wayne Martindale

C. S. Lewis, Reluctant Churchman

by Wayne Martindale

The Church has long felt comfortable with C. S. Lewis. He is quoted regularly from the pulpit and in Christian books and periodicals, not to mention the massive popularity of his own works. But Lewis was not always comfortable with the Church. He was repelled by much that he saw, both in the Church as the local congregation of worshipers and the Church as the universal body of all believers. First, the local congregation.

Lewis had no natural fondness for church-going. He found the sermons often dull, and he disliked hymns and organ music, which he described as “one long roar.”1 In his spiritual autobiography Surprised by Joy—speaking of his 1929 conversion to a belief in God (two years before his full conversion to Christianity)—Lewis refers to himself as “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.”2 Though reluctant, his reason commanded assent.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Wayne Martindale is a professor of English at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more on C. S. Lewis from the online archives

19.6—July/August 2006

Our Faith Observed

The Three-Fold Cord of Imagination, Reason & Will in C. S. Lewis by Michael Ward

30.6—Nov/Dec 2017

Odious & Deplorable

on C. S. Lewis, Brideshead Revisited & the Middle Things by Ben Reinhard

26.1—Jan/Feb 2013

Lost & Found in the Cosmos

The Alternate & Alternative Worlds of H. P. Lovecraft & C. S. Lewis by C. R. Wiley


more from the online archives

31.5—September/October 2018

Pastoral Realism

on the Congregation as a Wilderness by Paul Gregory Alms

31.6—November/December 2018

Virtue Gone Mad

Victimhood Culture Scapegoats Its Very Source by Michael P. Foley

21.8—October 2008

Weed Free

on Tending a Child’s Garden of Influences by John Thompson

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00