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C. S. Lewis and the Christian Worldview$
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Michael L. Peterson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190201111

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190201111.001.0001

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Humanity and the Incarnation

Humanity and the Incarnation

Chapter:
(p.77) 6 Humanity and the Incarnation
Source:
C. S. Lewis and the Christian Worldview
Author(s):

Michael L. Peterson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190201111.003.0007

In presenting an exalted concept of humanity, Lewis endorses historic Christian orthodoxy, which corrects and transcends distorted versions of humanity that devalue it in order to accent God’s glory and our fallen condition. Lewis continues to explain how human nature is meant for relationship with God and how persons can find that relation through the historical person of Jesus Christ who, as Athanasius said, “assumed” our humanity in order to heal and redeem it. Lewis navigated early and mid twentieth-century criticisms of the historical Jesus, which are not greatly different from current criticisms by the Jesus Seminar and others, and Lewis concludes that the Gospels reliably reveal an underlying historical personality. Thus, we see the relevance of Lewis’s “Liar, Lunatic, or Lord” trilemma argument. In fact, in his own journey, he held some of these same criticisms and doubts, even after becoming a theist, such that it took a lengthy talk with J. R. R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson to convince him that the Gospels contained some “myths” (conceived as symbolic stories that communicate higher truth) but that in the person of Jesus the higher truth had become uniquely manifested in our world.

Keywords:   humanity, historical Jesus, Chalcedon, Christology, Athanasius, Incarnation, Trilemma

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