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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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Salvation and Persons Outside the Faith

Salvation and Persons Outside the Faith

(p.139) 10 Salvation and Persons Outside the Faith
C. S. Lewis and the Christian Worldview

Michael L. Peterson

Oxford University Press

Besides the problem of suffering and evil, and the problem of scientism, Lewis knew that the problem of religious diversity is another seemingly negative factor in the formulation of a coherent Christian worldview. Simply stated, the problem concerns how an omnipotent, wholly good God could have created a world in which many different religions arise and vie for the allegiance of countless millions of people. Is it rational to think that only one of these religions is completely true? It is fascinating how Lewis navigated this issue. Rejecting his early belief that all religions are myths in the sense of being falsehoods, deceptions, and frauds, Lewis explains that all religions are expressions of the God-implanted search for the divine. In fact, the pervasive pattern of the repetitively dying-and-rising god (annually in ahistorical fertility religions) becomes a kind of foreshadowing of the singular event of Jesus as the God-man dying in the midst of human history. Lewis’s analysis of salvation in light of world religions is based on the implicit argument that God’s perfect wisdom, justice, and love are fulfilled in God’s ability to discern and judge each person’s heart, desire, and life trajectory, regardless of mistaken beliefs about God himself.

Keywords:   problem of salvation, world religions, religious diversity, religious pluralism, religious exclusivism, religious inclusivism, ultimate destiny, religious truth, salvation, seeking

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