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Many LDS writers have been fascinated with C. S. Lewis to the point of making him an "honorary member" of the LDS Church. A recent article stated, "Lewis wrote about the nature of God and how man's ultimate potential is to become like deity, something that seems to resonate with LDS audiences." To LDS, this means that we can become gods like our God is a God for us. In his book, The Mormon Faith: A New Look at Christianity, BYU’s Robert Millet claims that Lewis taught this LDS deification doctrine (176). Nathan Jensen’s "The Restored Gospel According to C. S. Lewis" has the following as a book description: "C.S. Lewis had no substantial contact with members of the LDS Church, yet he has filled his writings with precepts and doctrines that are not only true, but are unique to the restored church."

 

However, in the Mormon journal Dialogue, Evan Stephenson was clear: "In C. S. Lewis, Latter-day Saints do not find a unique figure who mirrors their own theology" ("The Last Battle: C. S. Lewis and Mormonism," 30, no. 4 [Winter 1997]: 69). Since Mormons distort the central doctrines of the Christian Faith, it should come as no surprise that they also distort the work of Lewis.

 

"Lewis was aware of the Book of Mormon and assumed Joseph Smith wrote it" (Ostling, Mormon America, 308). It's also clear, in contrast to Mormonism, that Lewis was a monotheist. His doctrine of deification was consistent with the monotheistic doctrine found in Eastern Orthodoxy and the Church Fathers. Becoming gods is quite different from the only God who is God by nature. Thus, for Lewis, God is a totally different one of a kind species--Creator of literally everything outside Himself. He is not human by nature. If we become "gods," we are still dependent humans by nature. Finally, for Lewis, the Son is a one of a kind species--the only begotten God (i.e., God by nature). Lewis affirmed the creedal distinction between "Making and Begetting" (cf. Book IV chapter I of Mere Christianity). The Son was begotten, not made as we are.

 

R. M. Sivulka
MormonInfo.org

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Video: C. S. Lewis, LDS Perspectives on the Man and His Message

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As for the LDS Word of Wisdom (health code that expressly prohibits, among other things, "wine"), C. S. Lewis said, "I do however strongly object to the tyrannic and unscriptural insolence of anything that calls itself a Church and makes teetotalism a condition of membership.  Apart from the more serious objection (that Our Lord Himself turned water into wine and made wine the medium of the only rite He imposed on all His followers), it is so provincial (what I believe you people call 'small town'). Don't they realize that Christianity arose in the Mediterranean world where, then as now, wine was as much part of the normal diet as bread? It was the 17th Centruy Puritans who first made the universal into a rich man's luxury" ("The Quotable Lewis," 577).
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C.S. Lewis' writings have profound effect on Latter-day Saints (11-22-13)

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23 C.S. Lewis quotes shared in LDS general conference (11-24-13)


Add Comment
Fact Checker says... (Reply)
"Funny that you should say that "for Lewis, the Son is a one of a kind species--the only begotten God (i.e., God by nature)," when Lewis himself names Christ as "one of our own race" in Mere Christianity. That sounds an awful lot like Lewis referring to Christ as a man (that is our race, right?) and God." (1/4/15)
Rob Sivulka says... (Reply)
"Of course Lewis, as well as the rest of traditional Christianity, holds that Jesus was and still is a man. 1 Tim. 2:5 says this. However, that misses the point, which is prior to coming to earth 2,000 years ago, the Son was of the nature of God. That means the Son of God was in fact God the Son, 2nd Person of the Triune God. Mormonism has no room for a divine nature, since all Gods need to obtain that status. Christ never had to become a God, since He always was God--the Creator of all things outside His own Being. " (1/4/15)
Jake says... (Reply)
"Rob, I think that what you are saying is exactly what lds doctrine teaches. Ether 3 succinctly describes the Mormon view on who Jesus was prior to being born of Mary. He was a God prior to his mortal life. Furthermore regarding mormons view on deification, it is no more clearly explained then in the book of revelations chapter 3. For example verse 21 states that, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."
I'm a Mormon and at least how I understand the doctrine suggests that "deification " or however you want to call it (it is generally referred to as eternal life in Mormon scripture) is a very dependent on God state, kind of like how Lewis described it. No where in our doctrine is it suggested that we will ever be independent of God, in fact quite the opposite. I feel like a lot of people hear a very cartoonish view of Mormon doctrine, but at its heart it is actually profoundly Christian. " (3/28/17)
Rob Sivulka says... (Reply)
"It's not the same thing, because LDS doctrine clearly teaches that 1) Jesus as well as all other Gods had to become Gods. Jesus was unique, as well as the the Holy Spirit, in that they did it prior to coming to Earth. But the Bible teaches Jesus was always God (Jn. 1:1-3 and 14) and as such His overcoming mentioned in Rev. 3 did not make Him a God and as such it won't make us one either. It will make us rule with Him though. So for LDS, we can't overcome "even as" He overcame to become Gods, since a) His overcoming was prior to this life to become a God or b) if the overcoming mentioned in Rev. 3 is in reference to this life, then it has nothing to do with becoming a God, since He already was a God prior to coming to this life. 2) Christians hold to only 1 true God, who is the Creator of literally everything outside Himself. Thus, He alone is truly independent. However Mormonism clearly teaches that we are all independent as Intelligences. The Mormon God was an architect of pre-existing and eternal things like matter and intelligence (D&C 93:29-35; 131:7-8; and Abraham 3:18-28), and we, if we're worthy enough or *depend* on Him enough, will become Gods just like He is for other worlds we'll create. This is why all of traditional Christianity finds Mormonism blasphemous. " (3/29/17)