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C.S. Lewis on Scripture, Science and Technology

C.S. Lewis on Scripture, Science and Technology
Presented by Bruce Mewjork at the ISCAST Vic Intensive 2010

 

Introducing Bruce MewJork B.Sc(Hons).Dip Ed. MBA. Bruce’s career in science began with a Sydney University science degree majoring in advanced chemistry and an honours year in protein NMR studies. During vacations, he worked at the NSW Government Analyst in forensic and industrial toxicology. This later became a full-time position, working in the areas of food, water, blood alcohol and physical evidence. He is currently the Quality and Technical Manager (ANZ) with AB Mauri Yeast. 

Abstract

C.S .Lewis was the foremost Christian apologist of the twentieth century. His theological thought and influence continues unabated to the present day. The fascination with his life and his works such as “Mere Christianity”, “ Miracles”, “The Screwtape Letters” and “The Four Loves” have elevated his books to the status of Christian classics. His children’s books, “The Chronicles of Narnia” are perhaps now, more than ever before, more widely known in the public domain through the worldwide cinematic and DVD releases of “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” and “Prince Caspian”. 

It is of course well known that Lewis was for many years an atheist, but became convinced of the existence of God and then the claims of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament. By contrast, it is perhaps a little-known and surprising fact that C.S Lewis had a great respect for science and had even considered science as a vocation in his early life. His books, essays and sermons are in fact a rich source of his contemplation about science and technology. To date, there has not been a rigorous assessment of this area of his thought and how it contributed to his understanding of Christianity. The corollary of this has also not been the subject of sustained investigation. How does Christianity affect our understanding of science and technology?           

This paper will explore the three aspects of Scripture, science and technology in the writing of C.S Lewis. Critical to this paper will be the question “How do ancient manuscripts written in a pre-scientific age relate to the dynamic, technological societies in which we now live?” It will begin by exploring the views that Lewis had on scripture and its interpretation. It will reveal his attitude to the Bible and what he understood to be God’s revelation to us through scripture and the limits of scripture as knowledge. It will then move to Lewis’s understanding and attitude toward science as a body of knowledge. Fundamental to this, is his characterization of science by two key features. The first is that of progress within science itself while the second is that of its dependence upon humanity as a social construct.

This paper will conclude by exploring the interaction between these two domains of knowledge. It will look at the relationship between Christianity and Science and how they are connected in Lewis’s thought. It will provide an assessment of this relationship and suggest it as a model for the audience’s consideration in their own faith and work in the field of science.

 Download pdf - Presentation Notes

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