C.S. Lewis and Evolution

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

C.S. "Jack" Lewis was born on November 29, 1989. Originally baptized in the Church of Ireland, which is Anglican, he fell away from his faith and became an atheist. Lewis was reluctant to relinquish atheism, but realized that Christianity is true. Jack was (and is) highly regarded as a leading apologist for the Christian faith. He wrote many fiction and nonfiction books, and most are available today. There are also scores of biographies of this complex figure.

Radcliffe Camera, Oxford / William Leighton Leitch
While Lewis appealed to many people with his intellectual approaches to Christianity and his refutations of atheism, his theology was rather weak. Apparently, he did not want to offend anyone, and kept his scope broad — too broad, in my view. Like William Lane Craig, he did not argue from and for the Bible, but seemed to argue for theism in general. In addition, C.S. Lewis seemed to affirm the almost-Roman Catholic doctrines of the Anglican church (such as transubstantiationism), and did not take firm stands on doctrine. Weak theology tends to render apologetics impuissant. One can be intellectually persuaded to believe in the existence God, which is essentially Deism, but arguments without Scripture tend to produce a theist who is just as lost as any atheist. I fully believe that if he had given more consideration to being theologically accurate, and had learned presuppositional apologetics (his apologetics were more classical or evidential), this brilliant man would have been even more powerful in his presentations.

In a similar manner to his generic apologetic method, Jack was never a fan of Darwinism; he even had trouble with it before his conversion to Christianity. (Ironic, because theistic evolutionists and atheists sometimes use him as a kind of celebrity appeal to authority to promote evolutionism.) However, he confronted Scientism and naturalism, which were philosophical foundations for evolution. Lewis was unwilling to take on evolution directly because he thought it would detract from his main work in apologetics, and because he felt that he did not have the scientific qualifications. This is indeed unfortunate, since Genesis is the foundation of all major Christian doctrines, and you do not have to be a scientist to notice errors in reasoning. You need logic and facts, and he had those available. Unfortunately, Lewis did not have our advantage of many biblical creation science ministries available online, which is a tremendous blessing for us.

I found it intensely interesting that Jack made some remarks about Scientism and Darwinism, including the rabid following that those belief systems had back then. He described what is happening today, and almost predicted how intolerance for nay-sayers would increase. Evolutionary devotion and intolerance of contrary views has dramatically increased in the decades that passed since Lewis' time, and I think if he could see what is happening now, he would not be surprised.

Dr. Jerry Bergman has stated that C.S. Lewis would probably be a proponent of the Intelligent Design movement. ID itself is non-biblical and only seeks to refute atheistic evolution and has adherents from various religious and non-religious persuasions. Biblical creation science uses ID arguments, but does not divorce them from theology. For these reasons, I think Dr. Bergman was quite correct that Lewis would be an ID supporter.

Certain vagaries in his writings led many people to consider him a theistic evolutionist. Citing from various works (and some evolutionists blatantly misquoted him) could support such a contention. Like all people, his views developed over time. What could be considered his most devastating essay on Darwinism, "The Funeral of a Great Myth", was published posthumously in Christian Reflections. (He was a bit premature with a eulogy for Darwinism as a myth, as the social aspects have become increasingly standardized in business, culture, and even religion.) In this essay, as well as through a careful analysis of his writings, it is clear that C.S. Lewis was definitely not a theistic evolutionist.

Here are some resources for your edification:
I hope these resources will help you regarding the attitudes of C.S. Lewis about evolution. He was no friend of Darwinism.