The Theology of a Mere Christian: The Origin and Value of Creation

The Theology of a Mere Christian: The Origin and Value of Creation

One other aspect of Lewis’ creation views that may be concerning is the fact that he is comfortable with saying that the creation account in Genesis was derived from “earlier Semitic stories that were Pagan and mythical.”[1]  What Lewis means by this is that the writer of Genesis, Moses, was likely influenced by other creation stories in such a way that God used that influence to help Moses write the accurate account of creation found in Genesis.

This again is rooted in his unbiblical view of Scripture that God takes the writings of man and makes them his Word for His purposes.[2]  That is not to say that we cannot learn something about the Genesis account of creation by studying other ancient Near Eastern texts.  Indeed, if you study the Babylonian and Ugaritic texts you will find parallels to the Genesis account.[3]  However, orthodox theologians and scholars have always held that the similarities to Pagan and mythological texts found in Genesis are a polemic,[4] which is vastly different from believing that God used these Pagan and mythological texts to build the Genesis account.

These things aside, Lewis had a great appreciation for God’s creation.  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find many present-day Christians who view the creation as nothing more than a sinking ship, which has led the church to over-emphasize the spiritual nature of the Christian life.  Lewis is far from this as he says, “There is no good trying to be more spiritual than God.  Go never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature.  That is why he uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us.  We may think this rather rude and unspiritual.  God does not: he invented eating.  He likes matter.  He invented it.”[5]  Elsewhere he says, “Christianity is almost the only one of the great religions which thoroughly approves of the body—which believes that matter is good.”[6]

Furthermore, Lewis devoted an entire chapter, chapter 9, in his book Miracles to defending and praising God’s creation.  In that chapter Lewis begins by informing his readers that one of the main reasons he was an atheist was because he thought the supernatural position entailed a repugnance of nature.[7]  Yet he discovered that this was not the case since Christianity begins with creation.  Lewis came to understand that “to say that God has created her (nature) is not to say that she is unreal, but precisely that she is real.”[8]  In fact, what Lewis realized is that Christianity does not teach that the creation is merely good for something, but that it is good in itself.[9]  Nature is God’s poetry; it is not merely a tool.[10]  This is a robust and biblical theology of creation which is imperative for a robust and biblical understanding of Christianity.

[1] Lewis, C. S. The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics. Reprint edition. (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2009), 110.

[2] Ibid, 111.

[3] III, Tremper Longman, and Raymond B. Dillard. An Introduction to the Old Testament: Second Edition. 2 New edition. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2006, 52.

[4] Longman III and Dillard, Old Testament, 52.

[5] Lewis, Signature Classics, 60.

[6] Ibid, 86.

[7] Lewis, Miracles, 64.

[8] Ibid, 66.

[9] That is not to say that nature is good independent of God but rather that it is good because God created it.

[10] Ibid, 66-67.