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Re: [mythsoc] Interesting website about C. S. Lewis

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  • SusanPal@aol.com
    Oy vey. Clearly these people haven t read the verse in the Bible about judge not lest ye be judged. Don tcha just love selective exegesis? :-) Susan
    Message 1 of 27 , Apr 10, 2002
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      Oy vey. Clearly these people haven't read the verse in the Bible about
      "judge not lest ye be judged." Don'tcha just love selective exegesis? :-)

      Susan
    • Matthew Winslow
      ... You mean like taking Mt 6:1ff out of context? Yeah, really irks me. All kidding aside, I think there should be an Internet rule about sending
      Message 2 of 27 , Apr 10, 2002
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        SusanPal@... [SusanPal@...] wrote:
        > Oy vey. Clearly these people haven't read the verse in the Bible about
        > "judge not lest ye be judged." Don'tcha just love selective exegesis? :-)

        You mean like taking Mt 6:1ff out of context? Yeah, really irks me.

        <g>

        All kidding aside, I think there should be an Internet rule about sending
        balaamsass URLs -- like, whoever does it is banned from the Internet for a
        certain amount of time. Sorry, Wendall, but we /do/ have standards to
        maintain. <g>

        --
        Matthew Winslow mwinslow@... http://x-real.firinn.org/
        "I do not think that the great object in life is to make everything cheap."
        --Sen. Henry M. Teller
        Currently reading: New Covenant Theology by Tom Wells and Fred Zaspel
      • dianejoy@earthlink.net
        Interesting? Depends on whether you wish to walk knee deep in utter filth, or prefer to take sidewalks and avoid the muck. I have never heard such patent
        Message 3 of 27 , Apr 10, 2002
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          Interesting? Depends on whether you wish to walk knee deep in utter filth, or prefer to take sidewalks and avoid the muck. I have never heard such patent nonsense in my life. I suppose it's good to learn that such sites exist. I pity the poor denizens who will likely be surprised to meet CSL in eternity. It may take a while to get them ready. God have mercy on us all, especially me, for how much my blood is boiling right now. ---djb

          Original Message:
          -----------------
          From: WendellWag@...
          Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 06:58:43 EDT
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [mythsoc] Interesting website about C. S. Lewis


          http://www.balaams-ass.com/journal/homemake/cslewis.htm


          The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

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        • David S. Bratman
          I would be very interested in a knowledgable Christian s take on this. (I am not a Christian of any description.) It seems to me that the reading of Lewis s
          Message 4 of 27 , Apr 10, 2002
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            I would be very interested in a knowledgable Christian's take on this. (I
            am not a Christian of any description.)

            It seems to me that the reading of Lewis's statements is mostly accurate.
            It's the website's interpretation of Christianity which is deficient. (I
            note the suspicion of Lewis's ecumenical attitude and the implication that
            Catholics are not Christians, which is like saying that men or women or
            blacks are not people.)

            But I'd be willing to learn more here.

            David Bratman
          • SusanPal@aol.com
            In a message dated 4/10/2002 9:34:59 AM Pacific Daylight Time, ... David, that s my take on it too -- but then, the people who put together the website would
            Message 5 of 27 , Apr 10, 2002
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              In a message dated 4/10/2002 9:34:59 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
              dbratman@... writes:


              > It's the website's interpretation of Christianity which is deficient.

              David, that's my take on it too -- but then, the people who put together the
              website would consider my interpretation of Christianity deficient! I'm one
              of those liberal feminist social-justice kinda Christians, a proud member of
              the Christian Left. (I'd have a "Jesus is a Liberal" bumper sticker on my
              car, except that doesn't go far enough: in my reading, Jesus is a Radical.)

              One of the tensions that exists in the huge range of Christian churches --
              and this tension exists not just between denominations, but within them, and
              within individual congregations and individual hearts -- is inclusivity
              versus exclusivity, welcoming people in rather than keeping people out. As
              near as I can tell, there are a lot of self-identified Christians who believe
              very devoutly that holiness is a matter of shutting out anyone who doesn't
              meet their own standards of purity: Catholics, non-Catholics, gays, divorced
              people, women, people who wear the wrong color shoes after Labor Day or don't
              blow their noses in a Scripturally approved fashion, etc. In my reading,
              this is Pharisee behavior, and those kinds of purity laws are exactly what
              Jesus came to *abolish.* (The Pharisees weren't bad people: they were
              super-holy people trying to be super-good, but I believe -- and believe Jesus
              believed -- that they had the wrong end of the stick.)

              The thing is, you can find Bible quotations to support just about anything
              you might care to say. I can find quotations to prove that God loves
              everybody and wants us to include other people; the us/them Christians can
              find quotations to prove that salvation depends on slamming the door in
              people's faces. It's a very eclectic document, the Bible. It's like
              statistics. You can make it say just about anything you want. Much of the
              time, what the Christian Right labels righteousness looks like bigotry to me
              -- but what I label love and tolerance, I know, looks like sin to folks with
              different personal and political beliefs. In the absence of a direct line to
              God saying what's what, it's entirely possible I'm wrong, but I'm willing to
              take that chance. I do the best I can. One of the things that scares me so
              much about the various brands of fundamentalism is that they *aren't* willing
              to admit that they might be wrong.

              I'd add here that I think diversity of belief is a good thing -- and also
              that I've known some very smart, caring right-wing Christians who've done a
              tremendous amount of valuable, loving work in the world. If many Christians
              are worse than their church's doctrines (witness the recent scandal in the
              Catholic Church), many are better, too. (Thanks be to God!)

              Fellow Christians on the list: your mileage undoubtedly differs. And that's
              as it should be!

              Pax,
              Susan


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Stolzi@aol.com
              In a message dated 4/10/02 11:35:05 AM Central Daylight Time, ... Don t know about being knowledgeable, but I will weigh in as I represent a much more
              Message 6 of 27 , Apr 10, 2002
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                In a message dated 4/10/02 11:35:05 AM Central Daylight Time,
                dbratman@... writes:

                > I would be very interested in a knowledgable Christian's take on this.

                Don't know about being knowledgeable, but I will weigh in as I represent a
                much more conservative type of Christian belief than Susan and perhaps also
                than Diane Joy. Nevertheless, the article is equally repugnant to me and I
                think Wendell's "Interesting" was in an ironic sense and with the intent of
                setting the cat amongst the pigeons :)

                You write

                >It seems to me that the reading of Lewis's statements is mostly accurate.

                Lewis' statements, maybe. Some of their other readings are less defensible.

                >This same friend states on the same page that Lewis' "Christianity...was
                also >important to him professionally..." and that it eased "the camaraderie
                with some of >his friends..." who were mostly professing "Christians."

                It's generally stated that his Christian profession, at least the ways he
                made it public, were harmful to him professionally. I'm not sure what the
                friend (George Sayer? who?) meant by the remark.

                >In short, his "conversion" to Christianity was financially and socially good
                for him.

                Not at all sure about that.

                >He received the sacrament of extreme unction on July, 16th, 1963 (p. 301), a
                >sacrement that was officially ministered only to Roman Catholics at that
                time. It is >enough to cause one to wonder if he was possibly a "plant" for
                the Catholic >church all along,

                This is very inaccurate, the writer apparently knowing nothing about the
                "High Church" faction of the Church of England. And the second sentence
                showing the same kind of paranoid innuendo evident in my earlier quote when
                those whom the writer does not wish to admit as Christians become
                "Christians" in quotation marks.

                But what can you say about a fundamentalist group so fierce that they declare
                against Christmas?
              • Stolzi@aol.com
                Sorry, didn t finish that, hit the wrong keys when I was trying to add the quote about the pope being the author of Christmas. But it is too dispiriting to go
                Message 7 of 27 , Apr 10, 2002
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                  Sorry, didn't finish that, hit the wrong keys when I was trying to add the
                  quote about the pope being the author of Christmas.

                  But it is too dispiriting to go on reviewing this websuite page by page.
                  There is a certain ... ingenuity ... however, in the page which declares the
                  Narnian books to be promotion of sun worship and makes a careful clue-by-clue
                  case.

                  Can we just say that the best things about this effort are the picture of the
                  trumpeter and the nice border of lions?

                  Diamond Proudbrook
                • michael_martinez2
                  ... this. (I ... Well, a knowledgeable Christian could respond by quoting Jesus remark about knowing the tree by the fruit it bears, or by pointing out that
                  Message 8 of 27 , Apr 10, 2002
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                    --- In mythsoc@y..., "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@s...> wrote:
                    > I would be very interested in a knowledgable Christian's take on
                    this. (I
                    > am not a Christian of any description.)

                    Well, a knowledgeable Christian could respond by quoting Jesus'
                    remark about knowing the tree by the fruit it bears, or by pointing
                    out that the New Testament frequently preaches that forgiveness is
                    extended to all who ask for it regardless of their station in life
                    (and there is a story in the Book of Acts about Peter and a Roman
                    Centurion which these people should reread a few thousand times), and
                    quite deliberately NOT to those who feel they are righteous enough to
                    have earned it, or by citing the passage which says we are no subject
                    to the Spirit of God rather than to the Law of God (which Jesus
                    fulfilled through his sacrifice for all).

                    Or, one could just point out that the Web site had to remove part of
                    its content in order to avoid being shut down for violating laws
                    against hate crimes.

                    And since, by their own admission, they were engaging in hate crimes,
                    their actions are not the product of love, much less of God's love,
                    and therefore are not the actions of Christians.

                    And if they are not acting like Christians, knowledgeable Christians
                    need only say, "These people do not speak for Christians, and you
                    cannot force people to step into the light."

                    I have found that many of my fellow Fundamentalists (especially from
                    the South) are misguided and ignorant people, despite the fact that
                    many of them are college-educated. That is unfortunately due to the
                    fact that the vast majority of them prefer to read the King James
                    Version of the Bible, which is not written in a language that modern
                    English speakers can comprehend without resorting to dictionaries and
                    thesaurusi.

                    They don't much like being made fools of, when one cites the Bible in
                    refutation of their nonsense. But sometimes they do recognize their
                    mistakes and repent of their sins (which means to turn aside from
                    those sins -- something Lewis did when he acknowledge Christ as his
                    lord and savior).

                    Knowledgeable Christians also know that, when Jesus died on the
                    cross, a whole heck of a lot of sinnin' had yet to be committed, and
                    that those sins were all included in the contract of forgiveness.
                    Hence, one cannot hold any sins against a self-proclaimed Christian,
                    unless that person holds those sins against himself (and the New
                    Testament has a fair amount to say about that).

                    Generally speaking, however, it's best to let these people damn
                    themselves by their hatred and intolerance. Most people shun them,
                    and the majority of Christians turn to God, not to hate, by doing
                    pretty much was C.S. Lewis did: thinking the whole thing through and
                    making a choice. The New Testament says that Jesus stands and knocks
                    at the door of your heart. Only you can open it. That is the power
                    and beauty of free will, and the freedom of knowing what the authors
                    of the New Testament were really getting at.

                    One doesn't have to be a Christian to recognize blatant hypocrisy, or
                    to condemn it.

                    After all, Peter had a vision three times in which he was told not to
                    declare unclean what God had declared clean. Many of the
                    Fundamentalists forget that the body has many parts, and we each have
                    different gifts.

                    A real Fundamentalist doesn't ignore those parts of the New Testament
                    which inconveniently condemn hatred and intolerance.
                  • SusanPal@aol.com
                    In a message dated 4/10/2002 8:57:31 PM Pacific Daylight Time, ... And which is also, as I understand it, actually a less accurate translation -- although
                    Message 9 of 27 , Apr 10, 2002
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                      In a message dated 4/10/2002 8:57:31 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
                      michael@... writes:


                      > That is unfortunately due to the
                      > fact that the vast majority of them prefer to read the King James
                      > Version of the Bible, which is not written in a language that modern
                      > English speakers can comprehend without resorting to dictionaries and
                      > thesaurusi.
                      >

                      And which is also, as I understand it, actually a less accurate translation
                      -- although certainly the language is lovely! -- than later ones such as the
                      NSRV (my own translation of choice). Michael, I'm interested in your take on
                      why the KJV is the preferred translation for the "vast majority:" because
                      it's what they grew up with, and is therefore what they know and love?
                      Because it sounds more distanced from everyday speech, and therefore more
                      divine? Some other reason?

                      Re speaking for Christians: I'm not sure that *any* Christian can claim to
                      speak for everyone who identifies as Christian. There are, what, 292
                      different Christian sects? And of course the problem with saying that some
                      folks aren't "real" Christians because they're too judgmental, or whatever
                      (and in retrospect, I expected someone to call me on this in my last post!)
                      is that that's a judgment in itself. It's really hard to criticize the
                      Christians one doesn't like for us/them rhetoric without falling into it
                      oneself. If we say "those" Christians are intolerant, aren't we being
                      intolerant of them? Which is at least part of what the New Testament is
                      getting at too, I think. It's all very tricky business! Thank heavens --
                      literally -- for forgiveness, is all I have to say.

                      On a related note, a friend of mine -- Lewis scholar Peter Schakel, whose
                      work some of you may know -- tells me that he's writing a book which will be
                      a general introduction to fantasy literature for a Christian audience,
                      specifically Christians who are "uncertain if fantasy and imagination can
                      actually have a place in Christian life." This sounds like a great project;
                      I only hope that some of the anti-fantasy Christians will actually read and
                      think about it!

                      Susan


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • odzer@aol.com
                      tI m sorry guys, but I personally think that site is hilarious!! and his father, Satan.... It i s quite amazing,
                      Message 10 of 27 , Apr 10, 2002
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                        << Interesting website about C. S. Lewis >>

                        tI'm sorry guys, but I personally think that site is hilarious!!

                        "and his father, Satan...."

                        It i s quite amazing, the authors of this site consider certain well known
                        arch conservative super right wing christians to be woefully liberal and
                        misguided or worse, and I think "All Catholics etc are going to hell" is part
                        of this guy's doctrines too, so Tolkien is damned for eternity even before he
                        first lifting pen to paper.
                        I am sorry if i am not severe enough, and am laughing where others feel hurt
                        or offended but i really thought from my brief look that the site was so
                        twisted that few people could take such a thing seriously, and I laughed
                        myself.
                        In fact I find it reassuring that the site is quite upset at having
                        noticed so many of his co religionists do not share his aversion, but quite
                        the contrary : he writes

                        >>The Christian community is coming out great guns in support of Tolkien's
                        masterpiece. Focus on the Family and others have said what a "Christian"
                        fantasy the whole thing is and how C. S. Lewis and Tolkien are what we need
                        to be feeding our children.

                        he goes on to say

                        I have read the books, several times in my lifetime, but I tossed my most
                        recent copy out as I realized that Aragorn was calling up the armies of the
                        dead to fight for the West against Mordor (seems to me this was Saul's great
                        sin (with the witch of Endor) wasn't it?) Then I heard the man who took over
                        Tolkien's chair in Literature at the University explain the the Ring trilogy
                        was all about the corrupting power of power. Any one of us can slip into
                        becoming a "ring wraith" to sin. This isn't the Christ I know, Romans 8:38,
                        39 says that NOTHING shall be able to separate us from his love.

                        The good news is he promises a further analysis to be posted soon with many
                        details of devil's workings in Tolkien.

                        I doubt this guy has much of a following as he has placed himself in the
                        extreme right wing of extreme right wing- kind of like the people that
                        thought John Birch society members were communist sympathisers.
                        Though I fear others may tell me there are more people like him out there
                        than someone like me would ever imagine...

                        Nice Lions on the border, I agree!
                      • Janet Croft
                        My reaction, too -- this website deserves a good and thorough mocking! Janet ... From: odzer@aol.com [mailto:odzer@aol.com] Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2002 1:01
                        Message 11 of 27 , Apr 11, 2002
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                          My reaction, too -- this website deserves a good and thorough mocking!

                          Janet
                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: odzer@... [mailto:odzer@...]
                          Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2002 1:01 AM
                          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [mythsoc] Interesting website about C. S. Lewis



                          << Interesting website about C. S. Lewis >>

                          tI'm sorry guys, but I personally think that site is hilarious!!

                          "and his father, Satan...."

                          It i s quite amazing, the authors of this site consider certain well
                          known
                          arch conservative super right wing christians to be woefully liberal and
                          misguided or worse, and I think "All Catholics etc are going to hell" is
                          part
                          of this guy's doctrines too, so Tolkien is damned for eternity even before
                          he
                          first lifting pen to paper.
                          I am sorry if i am not severe enough, and am laughing where others feel
                          hurt
                          or offended but i really thought from my brief look that the site was so
                          twisted that few people could take such a thing seriously, and I laughed
                          myself.
                          In fact I find it reassuring that the site is quite upset at having
                          noticed so many of his co religionists do not share his aversion, but
                          quite
                          the contrary : he writes

                          >>The Christian community is coming out great guns in support of Tolkien's
                          masterpiece. Focus on the Family and others have said what a "Christian"
                          fantasy the whole thing is and how C. S. Lewis and Tolkien are what we
                          need
                          to be feeding our children.

                          he goes on to say

                          I have read the books, several times in my lifetime, but I tossed my most
                          recent copy out as I realized that Aragorn was calling up the armies of
                          the
                          dead to fight for the West against Mordor (seems to me this was Saul's
                          great
                          sin (with the witch of Endor) wasn't it?) Then I heard the man who took
                          over
                          Tolkien's chair in Literature at the University explain the the Ring
                          trilogy
                          was all about the corrupting power of power. Any one of us can slip into
                          becoming a "ring wraith" to sin. This isn't the Christ I know, Romans
                          8:38,
                          39 says that NOTHING shall be able to separate us from his love.

                          The good news is he promises a further analysis to be posted soon with
                          many
                          details of devil's workings in Tolkien.

                          I doubt this guy has much of a following as he has placed himself in the
                          extreme right wing of extreme right wing- kind of like the people that
                          thought John Birch society members were communist sympathisers.
                          Though I fear others may tell me there are more people like him out
                          there
                          than someone like me would ever imagine...

                          Nice Lions on the border, I agree!




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                        • Matthew Winslow
                          Susan, First, I hope you realize I was just poking a bit of fun in my post to you (and the list) yesterday. I m not sure if the irony came through, though. ...
                          Message 12 of 27 , Apr 11, 2002
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                            Susan,

                            First, I hope you realize I was just poking a bit of fun in my post to you
                            (and the list) yesterday. I'm not sure if the irony came through, though.

                            SusanPal@... [SusanPal@...] wrote:
                            > And which is also, as I understand it, actually a less accurate translation
                            > -- although certainly the language is lovely! -- than later ones such as the
                            > NSRV (my own translation of choice).

                            Yep. It is based on Erasmus's textus receptus, which was Erasmus's attempt to
                            create a 'definitive' Greek text of the Bible. However, he was motivated by
                            financial concerns -- the publisher he was working for wanted to get a corner
                            on the market by being the first to print the Grk text. Erasmus's TR is
                            considered the first attempt at a critical text, but it was very lacking. For
                            example, the text he used for the book of Revelation was missing the last
                            leaf, so he just translated the missing stuff into Grk from the Vulgate!

                            Nonetheless, the TR still stands as an amazing first attempt, but it really
                            should be seen only as that: a first shot from which later critics could
                            improve. The KJV-only folks (or rather, most of them, for they are not a
                            homogenous group), however, feel that any later textual criticism is the work
                            of 'godless liberals' who are trying to ruin the inerrancy of the Scriptures.

                            Another interesting facet of the KJV-only crowd is that many of them feel the
                            KJV (or AV -- Authorized Version -- as it is more commonly known across the
                            pond and among the KJV-only crowd) is actually inspired by God. Thus, any
                            other translation is heretical.

                            > Re speaking for Christians: I'm not sure that *any* Christian can claim to
                            > speak for everyone who identifies as Christian. There are, what, 292
                            > different Christian sects?

                            Well, I know that there are tens of thousands of diff't Protestant
                            denominations.

                            > On a related note, a friend of mine -- Lewis scholar Peter Schakel, whose
                            > work some of you may know -- tells me that he's writing a book which will be
                            > a general introduction to fantasy literature for a Christian audience,
                            > specifically Christians who are "uncertain if fantasy and imagination can
                            > actually have a place in Christian life." This sounds like a great project;
                            > I only hope that some of the anti-fantasy Christians will actually read and
                            > think about it!

                            It does indeed sound exciting. I find that the most common error among
                            Christians who are afraid of fantasy is that they see any fictional story as
                            having to be factually true. That is, if a story says that the sun is green,
                            that story is wrong, wrong, wrong! But such thinking assumes that the person
                            who is telling the story is making the assertion that everything in the story
                            is objectively true. But Christ Himself used parables that were sometimes
                            made-up stories. When He gave the story of the sower and the seeds, was He
                            actually saying such an event happened? Of course not. (BTW, Philip Sidney in
                            'A Defence of Poesie and Poems' makes this exact point.)

                            I think that those who hold that fantasy is wrong because of the fantastic are
                            those who take the Enlightenment epistemology as the /only/ epistemology --
                            the only way of knowing truth. If so, they must also diminish, if not outright
                            deny, much Christian thought that looks to other ways of knowing.

                            Which is, I guess, a round-about way of saying I look forward to Schakel's
                            book.

                            --
                            Matthew Winslow mwinslow@... http://x-real.firinn.org/
                            "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the topic of cheese."
                            --GK Chesterton
                            Currently reading: New Covenant Theology by Tom Wells and Fred Zaspel
                          • Stolzi@aol.com
                            This website, I d say, David, represents the fruit of a particularly exclusivistic type of Protestant Christianity, combined with a personal taste for
                            Message 13 of 27 , Apr 11, 2002
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                              This website, I'd say, David, represents the fruit of a particularly
                              exclusivistic type of Protestant Christianity, combined with a personal taste
                              for heresy-hunting - a sport enjoyed by many persons in branches of many
                              religions (not just the Christian one) and quite a few secular areas -
                              literary criticism comes to mind.

                              If I recall, Mary van Atta or whatever her name was confines her attention to
                              Narnia; she could dig richer gold elsewhere. I am thinking of the chapter in
                              MERE CHRISTIANITY where Lewis says that you may accept whichever picture or
                              explanation of the Atonement (the doctrine that Christ, by His death, has
                              gained forgiveness of sins for those who accept it) suits you, and get on
                              with it.

                              The form of religion she espouses, I believe, places a huge premium upon the
                              necessity of all whom she would call Christian, of believing firmly in one's
                              intellect and emotions a certain very definite, very detailed interpretation
                              of that doctrine.

                              I still think the site betrays many inconsistencies: in one paragraph she
                              slams Lewis for not repenting of his sins; in another, he gets slammed for
                              going to Confession - which would at least indicate that he took repentance
                              seriously. But of course, in her theology the repentance must come at the
                              start, must accompany "accepting Christ," and any return to repentance, or
                              discovery of repentance, =after= this transaction is suspect.

                              Does this help any?

                              Diamond Proudbrook
                            • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                              ... From: David S. Bratman dbratman@stanford.edu Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 09:32:36 -0700 To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Interesting website
                              Message 14 of 27 , Apr 11, 2002
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                                Original Message:
                                -----------------
                                From: David S. Bratman dbratman@...
                                Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 09:32:36 -0700
                                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Interesting website about C. S. Lewis


                                << I would be very interested in a knowledgable Christian's take on this. (I
                                am not a Christian of any description.)

                                It seems to me that the reading of Lewis's statements is mostly accurate.
                                It's the website's interpretation of Christianity which is deficient. >>

                                You've got that right. This Christian was so steamed after reading that web site that she could barely type out what she managed to in her first posting, that it is "patent nonsense and filth." I don't even think I made it past the first page before my brain started cooking. I'm afraid I have little patience for mindless drivel.

                                Now that I can think more clearly: The interpretation of Christianity is way extreme, anti-Catholic, and argues for such a narrow conception of salvation and grace that it's likely the only people who will be in Heaven (according to their lights) are themselves and Jesus, and we wonder about Jesus. (After all, He hung out with tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners.) These folk are going to be *really* surprised when time ends.

                                Susan's note is very astute; I'd probably disagree with her on some political issues, but in this matter, we track together. On theological terms, I try to be a staunch moderate. (And that's not easy!)

                                Suffice to say that this site is so full of hate and disgust for others that I find it hard to call it "Christian." I don't often use the term "hate." It's bandied about far too often these days in political discussions to cut off honest debate. However, if I ever want to make that point in a debate, I'll just use this Web site as an example to paste beside the term "Hatred" in my own mind. I suppose that's useful in a way. It's not a bad idea to pray for these folks; they need love and grace, more than others I could name---that is, if I were God (and it's a good thing I'm not!) ---djb






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                              • Richard James
                                I have appreciated the several and various responses to the C.S. Lewis expose in the Balaam s Ass Journal that have recently appeared on the Mythsoc list. I
                                Message 15 of 27 , Apr 11, 2002
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                                  I have appreciated the several and various responses to the C.S. Lewis "expose" in the Balaam's Ass Journal that have recently appeared on the Mythsoc list.

                                  I invite Mythsoc list members to my Lewis site, "The Cumberland River Lamp Post" (http://www.crlamppost.org/lewis.htm) where I have made note of this page as well as nine other cyber critics of Lewis. Most of you might also enjoy my Strange Bedfellows page where I have listed some of the many unusal and unique people and groups who have been influenced by him.

                                  Below are my introductory commets and the URL's to these pages as they are posted on my site at http://www.crlamppost.org/otherlinks.htm:

                                  1. Strange Bedfellows: Unusual Pro-Lewis Resources (http://www.crlamppost.org/strange.htm) - In spite of what some people think, Lewis and his writings have inspired a very broad following - from rock music groups to Mormons, from movie stars to the anorexic psychiatrists, from former Nixon Watergate insiders and "genome geniuses" to pet store owners and professional philosophers. Take a peek at this page of "strange bedfellows."

                                  2. When Worldviews Collide: Lewis Critics in Cyberspace (http://www.crlamppost.org/critics.htm) - here are some of Lewis's critics - both theological and literary. Each article tells as much about the critic as it does about C.S. Lewis and his works. Some are so narrow that sometimes I wonder if we are reading the same author. Usually what is at issue is "worldview" and not technique or style.

                                  Stop by and give me some feedback, either personally or on the MythSoc list about these two subjects or anything else on my page.

                                  I met several of you when my son and I attended Mythcon 29 in Wheaton in 1998, but I think that this is the first time that I have posted to the list.


                                  Richard James



                                  Richard James
                                  rvjames@...
                                  Pastor, First Christian Church
                                  Burkesville, KY 42717
                                  Come visit my C.S. Lewis website at:
                                  "The Cumberland River Lamp Post"
                                  (http://www.crlamppost.org/cslewis.htm)
                                • SusanPal@aol.com
                                  In a message dated 4/11/2002 8:12:43 AM Pacific Daylight Time, ... Yep. I, personally, refer to such folks as metaphorically challenged. One of the ironies
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Apr 11, 2002
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                                    In a message dated 4/11/2002 8:12:43 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
                                    mwinslow-sf@... writes:


                                    > I think that those who hold that fantasy is wrong because of the fantastic
                                    > are
                                    > those who take the Enlightenment epistemology as the /only/ epistemology --
                                    > the only way of knowing truth. If so, they must also diminish, if not
                                    > outright
                                    > deny, much Christian thought that looks to other ways of knowing.
                                    >

                                    Yep. I, personally, refer to such folks as "metaphorically challenged." One
                                    of the ironies is that a lot of non-beleiving rationalists who sneer at
                                    Christianity (or any form of faith) do so for exactly the same reasons,
                                    because "those crazy stories can't really have happened." So the
                                    ultra-conservative Christians who condemn fantasy, and the secular humanists
                                    who condemn religious belief, actually have something in common.

                                    Amusing footnote to that point: my father scoffs at religion, and is *such*
                                    a fierce non-believer that my sister calls him a "fundamentalist atheist."
                                    (She points out that he spends more time thinking about God than most
                                    churchgoers do.) He likes fantasy, fortunately for me, but when he was --
                                    with horror and disgust -- trying to come to terms with my conversion a few
                                    years ago, at one point he said, "Well, I guess I should have expected it.
                                    You write science fiction, after all!"

                                    And I picked up on your irony; don't worry! ;-)

                                    Cheers,
                                    Susan


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Margaret Dean
                                    ... Well, obviously, considering what they do to your waistline. Temptations to Gluttony, that s what they are! :) --Margaret Dean
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Apr 11, 2002
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                                      Stolzi@... wrote:
                                      >
                                      > If the Circle is a symbol of evil pagan worship, as one of these pages
                                      > asserts...
                                      >
                                      > DOUGHNUTS must be straight from SATAN!!!!!!!

                                      Well, obviously, considering what they do to your waistline.
                                      Temptations to Gluttony, that's what they are! :)


                                      --Margaret Dean
                                      <margdean@...>
                                    • Stolzi@aol.com
                                      If the Circle is a symbol of evil pagan worship, as one of these pages asserts... DOUGHNUTS must be straight from SATAN!!!!!!! Diamond Proudbrook
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Apr 11, 2002
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                                        If the Circle is a symbol of evil pagan worship, as one of these pages
                                        asserts...

                                        DOUGHNUTS must be straight from SATAN!!!!!!!

                                        Diamond Proudbrook
                                      • juliet@firinn.org
                                        ... Oh my...any Simpsons fans out there who remember the episode where Homer sells his soul to the Devil for a doughnut?
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Apr 11, 2002
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                                          On Thu, Apr 11, 2002 at 07:20:14PM -0400, Stolzi@... wrote:
                                          > If the Circle is a symbol of evil pagan worship, as one of these pages
                                          > asserts...
                                          >
                                          > DOUGHNUTS must be straight from SATAN!!!!!!!

                                          Oh my...any Simpsons fans out there who remember the episode where Homer
                                          sells his soul to the Devil for a doughnut?
                                        • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                                          ... If the Circle is a symbol of evil pagan worship, as one of these pages asserts... DOUGHNUTS must be straight from SATAN!!!!!!! Diamond Proudbrook
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Apr 11, 2002
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                                            Original Message:
                                            -----------------
                                            If the Circle is a symbol of evil pagan worship, as one of these pages
                                            asserts...

                                            DOUGHNUTS must be straight from SATAN!!!!!!!

                                            Diamond Proudbrook
                                            ______________

                                            LOL! That includes bagels, oranges, meatballs, pancakes, and burgers---all circular, which proves that their reasoning is "round," too. :)


                                            The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

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                                          • David S. Bratman
                                            Thanks for the various comments on this. I m not so much interested in scriptural (or other) proof that this fellow is wrong - he could always shoot back the
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Apr 11, 2002
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                                              Thanks for the various comments on this. I'm not so much interested in
                                              scriptural (or other) proof that this fellow is wrong - he could always
                                              shoot back "the Devil can quote Scripture to prove his purposes," and
                                              indeed his main line seems to be that Lewis _is_ quoting Scripture for
                                              demonic purposes. What I'm more interested in is your confirmation of my
                                              impression that he is practicing a narrow, intolerant brand of
                                              Christianity, and that those who have posted here disagree with that.

                                              I don't think this person would object to those adjectives: it seems clear
                                              that his belief is that Christianity is indeed narrow and intolerant, and
                                              that he believes that is the nature of salvation. There are plenty of
                                              scriptural quotes to back that up, as you know as well as I. What seems to
                                              upset him most is Lewis's broad ecumenical attitude. That mercy could be
                                              shown those who are not explicitly pledged to Christ is the opinion of
                                              Lewis's to which he most objects. I don't think Richard's list of "Strange
                                              Bedfellows" would be a good counter-argument - the more differing types of
                                              people, and the less orthodox they are, the more suspicious this fellow
                                              would likely become.

                                              I found most interesting the author's summary of Lewis's conversion as a
                                              case of social conformity rather than of spiritual conversion. Lewis
                                              really does say in "Surprised by Joy" that one thing that opened his mind
                                              to Christianity in the 1920s was finding that all his friends whom he
                                              admired the most (Nevill Coghill, Hugo Dyson, Tolkien ...) were Christians.
                                              Lewis intends for this to be read as his learning to associate
                                              Christianity with goodness and godliness. But for someone who associates
                                              Christianity only with salvation, that must not be much of an argument.

                                              In specific response to Stolzi's strictures: no, the facts are right. We
                                              must distinguish between Lewis's 1940s popularity as an apologist, which
                                              certainly did him no good academically, and his 1930s conversion, which
                                              definitely was a net positive, if not a strong one, in his career, and a
                                              much stronger positive in his social life. Many other writers, including
                                              John Wain, have noted that professing Christian academics were very common
                                              in Oxford, however rare they might have been elsewhere.

                                              And concerning the writer's suspicion that Lewis was a Catholic "plant",
                                              Stolzi responds that the writer apparently knows nothing about High-church
                                              Anglicanism. More likely, the writer considers High-church Anglicanism to
                                              be a stalking-horse for Catholicism in its entirety, a view held by many
                                              ever since Newman and Manning did indeed take the step to Catholicism.

                                              David Bratman
                                            • Stolzi@aol.com
                                              In a message dated 4/11/02 7:24:42 PM Central Daylight Time, ... Well, this might go along with the statement by his brother: This seemed to me no sudden
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Apr 11, 2002
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                                                In a message dated 4/11/02 7:24:42 PM Central Daylight Time,
                                                dbratman@... writes:

                                                > I found most interesting the author's summary of Lewis's conversion as a
                                                > case of social conformity rather than of spiritual conversion.

                                                Well, this might go along with the statement by his brother: "This seemed to
                                                me no sudden plunge into a new life, but rather a slow steady convalescence
                                                from a deep-seated spiritual illness of long standing - an illness that had
                                                its origins in our childhhood, in the dry husks of religion offered by the
                                                semi-political church-going of Ulster, in the similar dull emptiness of
                                                compulsory church during our schooldays." - MEMOIR by WH Lewis, prefaced to
                                                LETTERS OF CS LEWIS

                                                But otoh, "social conformity" could be interpreted to mean "Oh well,
                                                everybody else is a Christian, so I guess I'll go along too." It seems to
                                                me, Lewis' fierce honesty would preclude this; and his own portrayal of his
                                                conversion in SURPRISED BY JOY is somewhat more dramatic than what Warnie
                                                allows. ... It should not be forgotten that his worst enemy (as scripture
                                                says) wd now be those of his own household: was not Mrs Moore an almost
                                                fanatical unbeliever, embittered by her son Paddy's death?

                                                > his 1930s conversion, which
                                                > definitely was a net positive, if not a strong one, in his career

                                                How so? Interesting.

                                                > And concerning the writer's suspicion that Lewis was a Catholic "plant",
                                                > Stolzi responds that the writer apparently knows nothing about High-church
                                                > Anglicanism. More likely, the writer considers High-church Anglicanism to
                                                > be a stalking-horse for Catholicism in its entirety,

                                                Well, if that's what she meant, she did not -say- it (the writing is not
                                                outstanding for clarity). I doubt if people of her sect know much at all
                                                about Anglicanism. (Even if Anglicanism did give us the King James Bible in
                                                the first place!)

                                                On another tack, isn't her summary of what the rites of Bacchus and Silenus
                                                actually involved, pretty much on target? And wasn't Tolkien (I seem to
                                                recall) also uncomfortable with this element in the books? (Not that the
                                                BalaamsAss people would give a hang what Tolkien thought!)

                                                Very interesting thoughts, David.

                                                Diamond Proudbrook
                                              • michael_martinez2
                                                ... modern ... and ... translation ... such as the ... your take on ... because ... love? ... therefore more ... I have never understood why the KJV is
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Apr 12, 2002
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                                                  --- In mythsoc@y..., SusanPal@a... wrote:
                                                  > In a message dated 4/10/2002 8:57:31 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
                                                  > michael@x... writes:
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > > That is unfortunately due to the
                                                  > > fact that the vast majority of them prefer to read the King James
                                                  > > Version of the Bible, which is not written in a language that
                                                  modern
                                                  > > English speakers can comprehend without resorting to dictionaries
                                                  and
                                                  > > thesaurusi.
                                                  > >
                                                  >
                                                  > And which is also, as I understand it, actually a less accurate
                                                  translation
                                                  > -- although certainly the language is lovely! -- than later ones
                                                  such as the
                                                  > NSRV (my own translation of choice). Michael, I'm interested in
                                                  your take on
                                                  > why the KJV is the preferred translation for the "vast majority:"
                                                  because
                                                  > it's what they grew up with, and is therefore what they know and
                                                  love?
                                                  > Because it sounds more distanced from everyday speech, and
                                                  therefore more
                                                  > divine? Some other reason?

                                                  I have never understood why the KJV is popular. Many people have
                                                  told me they think the language is very beautiful, but it's extremely
                                                  painful for me to listen to anyone try to read aloud from it,
                                                  especially southern ministers. Of course, a favorite passtime of
                                                  people in the South is to mock ministers, so I guess they get their
                                                  due for bad reading performances.

                                                  When I was in college, one of my English professors told my "History
                                                  of the English Language" class that she got a kick out of her friends
                                                  who were KJV fans. They all told her they wanted to "read the Lord's
                                                  words in the language in which he originally spoke them".

                                                  > Re speaking for Christians: I'm not sure that *any* Christian can
                                                  claim to
                                                  > speak for everyone who identifies as Christian. There are, what,
                                                  292
                                                  > different Christian sects?

                                                  It doesn't take much to be a Christian. As far as identifying and
                                                  acknowlegding who is a Christian, the New Testament gives us a very
                                                  short list of tests: a profession of belief in Jesus as their Lord
                                                  and Savior. Of course, there are also some complaints in the New
                                                  Testament about Christians who have fallen away. That seems to be
                                                  the starting point for many of the divisions between Christian groups.

                                                  But any group practicing and preaching hatred and intolerance is NOT
                                                  Christian, no matter how many Biblical names and words they attach to
                                                  themselves.

                                                  Many Christians misunderstand the "cast the evil man out" passage,
                                                  which speaks only about removing someone from a group who is
                                                  obviously not living in accordance with God's love. It has nothing
                                                  to do with condemning the behavior of others. That is covered
                                                  by "Vengeance is mine, says the Lord. I shall repay".

                                                  > On a related note, a friend of mine -- Lewis scholar Peter Schakel,
                                                  whose
                                                  > work some of you may know -- tells me that he's writing a book
                                                  which will be
                                                  > a general introduction to fantasy literature for a Christian
                                                  audience,
                                                  > specifically Christians who are "uncertain if fantasy and
                                                  imagination can
                                                  > actually have a place in Christian life." This sounds like a great
                                                  project;
                                                  > I only hope that some of the anti-fantasy Christians will actually
                                                  read and
                                                  > think about it!

                                                  Some might, but the barriers of ignorance are often held up by
                                                  foundations of tradition. One must learn how to get around the
                                                  traditional thinking in many Christian groups. They don't like to be
                                                  told they are wrong about anything.
                                                • michael_martinez2
                                                  ... that. There is no such thing as a narrow, intolerant brand of Christianity . Christianity, by definition, is founded on the life and teachings of Jesus.
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Apr 12, 2002
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                                                    --- In mythsoc@y..., "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@s...> wrote:
                                                    > What I'm more interested in is your confirmation of my
                                                    > impression that he is practicing a narrow, intolerant brand of
                                                    > Christianity, and that those who have posted here disagree with
                                                    that.

                                                    There is no such thing as "a narrow, intolerant brand of
                                                    Christianity". Christianity, by definition, is founded on the life
                                                    and teachings of Jesus. Anything which radically departs from those
                                                    teachings (and I mean, anything which is intolerant) is
                                                    not "Christianity".

                                                    One might as well call Oceanography a narrow, intolerant brand of
                                                    Astrophysics. The comparison is equally valid because Astrohysics,
                                                    by definition, is the branch of astronomy that studies the physics of
                                                    stars.

                                                    Anyone can call themselves a Christian. All Christians make
                                                    mistakes, all Christians sin. But to live a life guided by hatred
                                                    and intolerance is not the kind of thing a real Christian does. This
                                                    has nothing to do with denominational traditions. Any Catholic, any
                                                    Protestant, any Greek Orthodox person can be a Christian. But you
                                                    aren't a Christian simply because you go to church. You are a
                                                    Christian because you believe that Jesus died for your sins.

                                                    It is as erroneous to call intolerant people "Christians"
                                                    or "Muslims" or whatever, if their behavior and lifestyles are
                                                    clearly contrary to the teachings of the faiths they profess to
                                                    follow. Whereas there is a general perception in the West that many
                                                    Muslims are violent war-mongers, that perception is mirrored in the
                                                    Muslim world. But those are perceptions based on culture. Numerous
                                                    Muslim organizations around the world have denounced Al-Qaida and
                                                    declared their actions to be completely inconsistent with the Koran.
                                                  • David S. Bratman
                                                    ... I d say so too. Lewis was described by Tolkien as a very impressionable man, and the fact of his friends Christianity definitely impressed him. This
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Apr 12, 2002
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                                                      At 07:19 PM 4/11/2002 , Stolzi wrote:

                                                      >But otoh, "social conformity" could be interpreted to mean "Oh well,
                                                      >everybody else is a Christian, so I guess I'll go along too." It seems to
                                                      >me, Lewis' fierce honesty would preclude this;

                                                      I'd say so too. Lewis was described by Tolkien as a very impressionable
                                                      man, and the fact of his friends' Christianity definitely impressed him.
                                                      This definitely is part of what opened his mind. It requires a hostile
                                                      attitude indeed towards Lewis to assume that this was the sole cause of his
                                                      conversion, but the facts can be made to fit.


                                                      >> his 1930s conversion, which
                                                      >> definitely was a net positive, if not a strong one, in his career
                                                      >
                                                      >How so? Interesting.

                                                      Lewis during the 1920s, especially the late 20s, was a man torn. His
                                                      atheistic beliefs led him into association with men like Harry Weldon,
                                                      whose intelligence he admired but whom he found fundamentally appalling.
                                                      While the people who "spoke his own language" and held his
                                                      aesthetic/cultural/etc. beliefs were Christians. Eventually he resolved
                                                      this conflict in the way which would not violate his whole character. This
                                                      helped his career by putting him firmly in one camp in the great spiritual
                                                      divide of Oxford, instead of flitting around uneasily uncertain of where he
                                                      fit in.

                                                      One phrase might sum up Lewis's final decision here: it is "By their fruits
                                                      ye shall know them."


                                                      David Bratman
                                                    • Stolzi@aol.com
                                                      In a message dated 4/11/02 11:28:54 AM Central Daylight Time, ... fantastic ... -- ... This is so true in my own faith - the Eastern Orthodox - which is very
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Apr 13, 2002
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                                                        In a message dated 4/11/02 11:28:54 AM Central Daylight Time,
                                                        SusanPal@... writes:

                                                        > In a message dated 4/11/2002 8:12:43 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
                                                        > mwinslow-sf@... writes:
                                                        >
                                                        > > I think that those who hold that fantasy is wrong because of the
                                                        fantastic
                                                        > > are
                                                        > > those who take the Enlightenment epistemology as the /only/ epistemology
                                                        --
                                                        > > the only way of knowing truth. If so, they must also diminish, if not
                                                        > > outright
                                                        > > deny, much Christian thought that looks to other ways of knowing.
                                                        > >
                                                        >
                                                        > Yep. I, personally, refer to such folks as "metaphorically challenged."

                                                        This is so true in my own faith - the Eastern Orthodox - which is very
                                                        uninterested in "enlightenment" or "scholastic" approaches. We primarily
                                                        seek to approach God by worship, and by purifying our hearts that we may see
                                                        Him.

                                                        Friday night we attended the service of the Akathist Hymn. The hymn, and
                                                        the preceding Canon also sung at the service, are both poetic works directed
                                                        to the praise of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos.

                                                        I began to think of the extravagance of metaphor with which this poem is
                                                        saturated; indeed, it is mythic while at the same time being about Truth.

                                                        Rejoice, Vine bringing forth an unwithering Branch;
                                                        Rejoice, orchard of pure Fruit!
                                                        Rejoice, for you tend the Husbandman, the Lover of mankind
                                                        rejoice, for you bear the Gardener Who cultivates our life!
                                                        Rejoice, earth yielding a rich harvest of compassion;
                                                        rejoice, table laden with abundant mercy!
                                                        Rejoice, for through you the fields of Eden flower once again;
                                                        rejoice, for you make ready a haven for our souls!

                                                        And in one verse, She is said to have "silenced the word-webs of the
                                                        Athenians" and "left the philosophers as mute as gaping fish."

                                                        And =all= of this, of course, would be considered the rankest heresy and
                                                        idolatry by the Balaam's-Ass people.

                                                        >< }}} : 0

                                                        Diamond Proudbrook
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