As I prepared my course on C. S. Lewis’s many essays, one of my choices (because there are so many excellent possibilities and limited time) was an essay that I hadn’t recalled previously. I selected it because it goes to the very heart of Christian faith.
While this might seem matter of fact to some, and certainly not a controversy among Christians, the world has many different views about Jesus. It’s also good to remind Christians of the uniqueness of our Savior.
Lewis begins by posing the stumbling block for those who cannot accept Christ for who He says He is. Yes, people like his moral teachings, which have “depth and sanity.” But then there are His theological remarks—“the appalling claim which this Man seems to be making.” Standing before the High Priest, Jesus indicates that He will eventually be the Judge of all. In another discourse, He says that He existed before Abraham, invoking the sacred words “I Am,” placing Himself on the same level as God the Father.
Lewis notes that if those claims were untrue, Jesus would be a “megalomaniac, compared with whom Hitler was the most sane and humble man.” He then turns to what other religions say about their leaders and argues that “there is no parallel in other religions.”
Lewis then summarizes with this:
If those words sound familiar, it’s because he is making the same case that he offers in Mere Christianity with his famous “liar, lunatic, or Lord” exposition. One can find this essay in the God in the Dock collection.It is well worth your time if you haven’t read it yet. It is well worth your time to re-read it as well.