Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm a Christian Humanist!

I have often wondered why many conservative Christians make different decisions about "engaging the culture" than their parents or grandparents did. That is, why do many adult children (and grandchildren) of yesteryear's fundamentalists and evangelicals read novels and watch films their parents would have avoided like the plague?

I'm sure there are many answers--probably as many as there are people. But here's a response I am pursuing today: Christian humanism. And Exhibit A is C. S. Lewis.

Doris T. Myers, in her book, C. S. Lewis in Context, devotes one whole chapter to Lewis's thinking and writing in "The Context of Christian Humanism." There she writes, "Christian humanism asserts that the knowledge of non-Christian, even nonreligious, literature and philosophy is compatible with leading a Christian life."

Myers continues, "The Christian humanist argues that Christ the Word is Lord of all human culture, and that all human learning is valuable because it contains hints and foreshadowings of the Incarnation. The Christian antihumanist, on the other hand, argues that since Jesus Christ is the Word of God and the Bible is the truth of that Word, it is a waste of time to study anything else. From the beginning, Christianity has experienced tension between these two viewpoints." (113)

I have not been able to express my beliefs about reading fiction and watching films that succinctly; but when I read Myers's description of a Christian humanist, I realized that I am one. Indeed, Christian humanism is the basis of my work with Quest Ministries. And my article, "Mozart: God's Conduit for Beauty" that you can find on my website (, expresses that viewpoint.

And now if you will excuse me, I'll continue reading Myers's account of Lewis's Christian humanism.

© 2009 by Stan Bohall

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