A Rhetorical Analysis of “C.S. Lewis: Why He Matters Today”

If anyone would like to see the documentary, here is the link: http://vimeo.com/16791969

The participants in this documentary provide their commentary on how they believed C.S. Lewis to be revolutionary to the field of Christian Theology, as well as how his relevance has persisted decades after his death.  Throughout the film, they try to instill a sense of ethos towards C.S. Lewis as an authoritative figure as well as Christianity as a religion through a description of how he was initially what might best be described as agnostic, and then eventually deciding to convert to Christianity after weighing the scales of all his options. The film also opens with a heavily ethos centric theme. Coupled with sad piano music, the narrator gives an explanation of how certain people began to view Christianity as a purely emotional pursuit not coinciding with logic during the advent of science and technology amidst the industrial revolution and following thereafter. Lewis, he argues, was one of the very influential figures that reintroduced Christianity as a religion of logic and critical thinking.

Though this term isn’t used in the film, C.S. Lewis was considered a “Christian Apologetic”: an individual seeking to align his or her faith with logic and reasoning, that is. Apparently, Lewis was a critic of naturalism; arguing that without a creationist perspective the human mind would be considered unreliable due to it being a product of chance and evolution. The commentators of the film also explained that Lewis tore down many common misconceptions about faith. C.S. Lewis adamantly argued that Christians are called to bring intelligence and rational thinking to the table in equal proportion to their faith. Without this triumvirate, he believed that a person would lack a solid foundation for their faith and that it would be subject to collapse during times of hardship or swaying emotions. The commentators also argued that CS Lewis lives on through his books that were later adapted into films. While he is most commonly known for his story “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”, Lewis’ series of radio talks he had given during the advent of World War II were compiled and later published into “Mere Christianity” as well.

The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe” was described by the commentators in the film as Lewis’ attempt to capture the truths of the gospel and place them in an imaginary world in order to make it even more relatable to his audience. Lewis, the commentators argued, radically changed the way people viewed Christianity at that point. It challenged the idea of pure faith without asking questions and seeking answers. It was centered around a harmony of faith and logic, which he believed would provide people with a more durable form of faith in Christianity. In essence, Lewis called for a deeper analysis of Christianity in the field of theology; asking that we do not take anything at face value, but rather deeply consider each and every event that takes place- and why. I personally think this film shows that CS Lewis has held religious studies in a more scholarly light.


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