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Jack Meets Gen X:

In 1945 C. S. Lewis was invited to address an assembly of Welsh Anglican priests and youth leaders on the topic of Christian apologetics.1 After humbly confessing that, as a layman, he had “little right to address either,”2 he went on offer his thoughts on the primary task of apologetics in the British Isles at that time. Defining apologetics as the defense of orthodox Christianity “the faith preached by the Apostles, attested by the Martyrs, embodied in the Creeds, expounded by the Fathers”3 Lewis added that, though the Faith is eternal, it is imperative for the apologist to expound it in light of the cultural and spiritual environment of his audience. “Your teaching,” he writes, “must be timeless at its heart and wear a modern dress.”4

In Lewis’ analysis, the fit and cut of Britain’s “modern dress” at mid-twentieth century was essentially post-Christian. The radical secularizing tendencies of modernism had by then stripped the British public mind of its Christian memory and presented to church leaders a new social situation. According to Lewis, “a century ago our task was to edify those who had been brought up in the Faith: our present task is chiefly to convert and instruct infidels.”5 The primary reality for the apologist is that the church is engaged in a missionary activity, and he must therefore adopt a missionary mind-set. “If you were sent to the Bantus you would be taught their language and traditions,”6 Lewis writes; similarly, he who intends to present a defense of Christianity in his own time and place must first consider the prejudices, experiences, and mental habits of his fellows. As Lewis concludes, “you must translate every bit of your theology into the vernacular.”7

Sage advice, from however humble a layman, and especially helpful for us today, as we, too, seem to be presented with a new social situation namely, the so-called Generation X and its postmodern, post-Christian outlook. Indeed, leaders of Christian youth organizations and college and university student ministries find their efforts increasingly stymied by this new generation. Their tried and true evangelistic methods (many now fifty-years old) are still working, to be sure, but with ever-decreasing effectiveness. How much longer until they begin to fail utterly? Many even wonder out loud if perhaps this generation is a lost cause, as far as its evangelization is concerned.

So how do we transmit the faith of the Apostles, Martyrs, and Fathers to this generation? What is the vernacular in which we are to speak? How do we fashion a postmodern garment for our teachings? These are the immediate questions for apologetics today, and Lewis-as he is in so many other areas of Christian faith and practice-is here an indispensable resource; for, in addition to his helpful comments on how to approach the apologetical task, he has also given us a unique apologetic argument that can help us tailor the dress for our teaching in this time and place-the apologetics of longing.

My contention is that Lewis’ understanding of longing is specially relevant to crafting an apologetic strategy for this generation. To this end, this paper will proceed in three parts: The first will outline the primary characteristics of so-called Generation X, noting chiefly its postmodern mood and its core experience of alienation. The second will present the fundamental elements of Lewis’ apologetics of longing. The third will offer some preliminary observations on how this apologetic addresses the characteristics of this generation and provides a vital first step in its evangelization.

Initially, four important provisos must be made: First, to say that theology must be translated into the vernacular does not mean that Christian doctrine itself must be revised in order to conform more readily to the Spirit of the Age. (Indeed, Lewis noted that “the bad preacher takes the ideas of our own age and tricks them out in the traditional language of Christianity.)”8 Rather, it means that in order for orthodox doctrine to be heard and understood, it must be explained in a language the audience understands. We alter the clothes of doctrine, not the body of doctrine itself.

Second, of the writing of books on postmodernism and Generation X there has been no end. Thus, it needs to be emphasized that, while it is incumbent to read the signs of the times, such a project is by nature exceedingly ephemeral. “To move with the times,” Lewis wrote, “is, of course, to go where all times go.”9 The cutting edge is the first to go dull.

Third, although I am a member of Generation X, I lay no claim to be a representative spokesman for it. Finally, the limited nature of what follows must be emphasized. This paper in no way intends to present a comprehensive evaluation of postmodernism, this generation, or the apologetics of longing, nor does it claim that its analyses are original. Rather, it will present the main contours of each and strive to achieve a helpful synthesis. This paper is chiefly a prolegomena for a contemporary apologetic, the details of which must be fleshed out by others in the context of Christian ministry.

 

Who is Gen X?

Ever since this generation appeared on the cultural radar screen early this decade-the publication of Douglas Coupland’s book Generation X in 1991 is a helpful benchmark–there has been a wholesale scramble to get a hand-hold on its distinguishing characteristics, with varying rates of success. Despite all efforts to the contrary, definition has remained elusive.

It should be emphasized at the outset that this generation may not be who you think it is, especially if your primary data comes from popular culture. The typical portrayal of Gen Xers as unwashed slackers, pierced and tattooed, college-educated but toiling away in dead-end jobs with a”why bother” attitude–think of the characters in the movie Reality Bites–is fueled more by media myths than any correlation to reality and is exceptionally superficial and narrow. By and large, it has no bearing on those who grew up in rural America, as I did. By and large, it does not represent those of this generation with a blue-collar background. It does not come close to speaking to the experience of those who live in America’s inner cities. About the most one can say about this popularized vision of”Generation X as slacker” is that it is caricature of college-educated, middle-class white kids-suburban culture gone to seed, so to speak. It has very little bearing on the cultural and spiritual undercurrents of this generation.

So if not the slacker, then who? For starters, let’s establish their birth dates; there is some disagreement on this point, but most commentators place the front end somewhere between 1961 and 1965, and the tail end around 1979 and 1981–between the “Baby Boom” generation and the “Baby on Board” generation, if you will. Beyond sharing a certain period during which they were born, Gen Xers also, and more importantly, share a particular body of experiences and outlooks. There have been a few capable and thorough studies of the demographics of this generation, and it is not my purpose here to duplicate that research; rather, I want to quickly sketch this generation’s primary characteristics in broad strokes. Suffice it to say, then, that this generation manifests two primary characteristics: It exhibits a postmodern mood, and its primary experience is one of abandonment and alienation.

First, that this generation exhibits a postmodern mood. There has been a great deal of ink spilled on the topic of postmodernism, some of it helpful, most of it not. It should be noted at the outset that postmodernism has two facets: the one its intellectual underpinnings, the other its cultural manifestation.

Generally speaking, the “post” in postmodernism refers to its radical critique and rejection of modernism, especially modernism’s faith in unlimited and inevitable progress, that “every day in every way things are getting better and better.” Further, as French sociologist Jean-Fran├žois Lyotard has pointed out, the hallmark of a postmodern viewpoint is a certain “incredulity toward metanarratives,”10 a metanarrative being a comprehensive account of the nature of reality, similar to the concept of a “worldview. “So, modernism’s faith in inevitable progress is such a metanarrative. The Christian view of a personal, triune God working out his purposes in human history is another. For the postmodernist, such accounts of reality are deeply suspect; we are no longer able to say with any confidence that there is one true account of reality. Indeed, postmoderns exhibit a radical skepticism toward the true. “The only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain,” they would say, or–to put it another way–the only truth is that there is no truth. Notice that this goes beyond mere pluralism, a view that says “What is true for you is true for you, and what is true for me is true for me.” The postmodern view is more than that there is simply a number of differing accounts of the true; for postmodernists, the very notion of “truth” is up for grabs.

Because postmoderns are no longer certain that there is, or that we are able to comprehend, any kind of metanarrative, no one narrative has anymore credulity than any other. All individual stories are equally valid. In the absence of one unifying metanarrative that presents a comprehensive account of reality, all we have is each of our individual stories. I have my story, you have yours, and those people over there have theirs; and rather than discuss which of these stories is a truer account of reality–such asthe Socratic traveler might do–what we do is tell each other our stories. Finally, any attempt to convince another that your story is the true story really only masks a will to power.

Now, this is a key point, for it indicates that while postmodernism is in some ways a contemporary academic fad, in other ways it has deep, deep roots-all the way back to the late-nineteenth century and Friedrich Nietzsche’s identical criticism of modernism. As he says through the mouth of his prophetic Madman, “Whither is God I shall tell you. We have killed him–you and I. All of us are murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon?”11 For Nietzsche, proclaiming the dead God and the vanished horizon was not a declaration of a new thing but, rather, the ultimate consequence of the modern worldview. In short, modernism’s rejection of the transcendent elements of the pre-modern Christian worldview while attempting to retain its ethical content was a fool’s game. With the death of God came the end of truth; hence the vanished horizon, as well as Nietzsche’s advocacy of the creation of new values through the will to power. Further, though postmodernism is in some ways a reaction against modernism, it also accepts certain core modern presuppositions wholesale, such as philosophical materialism, naturalism, relativism, and subjectivism. Thus, it can be fairly said that postmodernismis not a new thing, but, rather, the fag-end of modernism.

While postmodernism is both a very old thing and a contemporary academic fad, it is also an accurate description of the intellectual mood of our times, which this generation manifests in spades. For Gen Xers, the horizon has vanished, the very notion of truth has fallen on hard times, and any hope of finding a comprehensive account of the real has been replaced with the anxious cacophony of individual stories. Any apologetic that seeks to speak to them, then, must take this mood into account.

Second, that the core experience of this generation is one of alienation and abandonment. There is an increasing recognition that over the past twenty-five years or so the social institutions responsible for nurturing the rising generation failed on a scale unprecedented in American history. Cultural commentators from across the ideological spectrum grow increasingly anxious as the culture appears to be disintegrating. This is especially true for three such institutions: our government, our schools, and our families.

The state has failed this generation. This is best represented by the failed promises of the politics of entitlement, both promises that were made to us and promises that were made for us. Due to the entitlement system instituted by earlier generations, it is likely that Gen Xers will have to pay for those generations’ benefits while it becomes ever-more doubtful that Gen Xers will be able to take advantage of those same entitlements when their time comes. For example, 53 percent of Gen Xers believe that the television soap opera “General Hospital” will outlast Medicare. Another oft-quoted and now-famous statistic is that more Gen Xers believe in space aliens than that Social Security will be solvent when it comes time for them to retire. Broken promises abound as the entitlement system lurches toward bankruptcy. Little wonder, then, that this generation is so highly skeptical of politics and politicians

Schools, likewise, have failed this generation. Higher education costs soar while educational standards plummet. This generation is paying more for school than ever before and getting far less. From 1974 to 1994, the average cost of four years of tuition, room, board, and fees at public universities rose from $11,032 to $25,785. Private school costs went from $25,514 to $64,410. (Incidentally, during this period median student loan debt has leapt from $2,000 to about $15,000.) In the meantime, the quality of that ever more costly education is increasingly dubious. Ever since Alan Bloom published The Closing of the American Mind in 1987, each year has seen new jeremiads on the meltdown of our higher educational system. To summarize: Grades inflate out of control, and academic standards are turned to mush. Political correctness stultifies the pursuit of truth and replaces it with the irrelevancies of the currently fashionable academic pieties. As college freshmen arrive increasingly unprepared, much of college education becomes remedial secondary education; witness the proliferation of study skills classes,time management seminars, and English 100 courses. Little wonder, then, that college educators find their students increasingly indifferent to the vocation of being a student.

Finally, and most importantly, the family has failed this generation. The 1970s were a tough time for children; it is little exaggeration to say that this generation is the most badly parented generation of American children in the twentieth century. The 1970s saw the acceleration of the sexual revolution, radical feminism, careerism, and the deification of self-fulfillment. These tendencies had a profound effect on the family as parents saw the purpose of the institution less and less as the context in which to raise children and more and more as an arena for self-actualization. So, when children–as they tend to do–got in the way of this new project, they were shunted aside. Some statistics: From 1960 to 1986, the average parental time available to children dropped 40 percent. Throughout the 1970s, the number of children under age 14 who were left alone after school nearly doubled. Further, this is the most aborted generation in American history, as throughout the 1970s one baby in three were aborted.

But more than all of this, the emergent divorce culture of the 1970s has been–and remains even today–the primary core experience for Gen Xers. Divorce rates in America doubled between 1965 and 1975. By 1988, only 51 percent of children lived with both their birth-father and birth-mother. The bottom line: Practically everyone of my generation either experienced divorce first-hand or immediately thorough the experience of a close friend. Thus you can understand the mystification of my generation as the vows “till death do us part” morphed into “however long I find it convenient. “This experience is still with us and colors the way we approach the institution of marriage; on the one hand, wanting to avoid the mistakes of our parents, and on the other hand, not knowing quite how to do that due to the paucity of good role models, Gen Xers have become the earliest copulating and latest marrying generation in American history. In short, my generation is haunted by broken promises.

So, who is Generation X? First, we are interested more in stories and narrative than argumentation and disputation. Present to us a heavily evidentiary apologetic, and we’ll likely respond, “whatever….” Second, as a deeply broken generation, we have a profound hunger for connection, community, and meaning. Apologetic techniques that sound like telemarketing stratagems leave us cold.

A recent survey indicated that only 35 percent of Xers were religiously involved while growing up, compared to 45 of our parents generation and 53 percent of our grandparents generation. It is safe to say that, like the British Isles of C. S. Lewis’ day, America is rapidly becoming, if it is not already, a post-Christian society. We are indeed in a missionary situation, and the times call us, perhaps now more than ever, to translate our teachings into the vernacular.

 

The Apologetics of Longing

The king’s beautiful daughter, Psyche, is to be sacrificed to the god of the mountain–the Shadowbrute, a holy and frightening being–so that peace and prosperity can come again to the land of Glome. Her sister, Orual, who loves Psyche deeply, comes to visit her in her tower chamber before the sacrifice is to occur. Orual is beside herself with fear and grief for Psyche, but Psyche is calm, even expectant, longing to come into contact with this holy Other. “I have always,” she says, “-at least, ever since I can remember-had a kind of longing for death.” “Ah, Psyche,”Orual replied, “have I made you so little happy as that?”

“No, no, no,” she said. “You don’t understand. Not that kind of longing. It was when I was happiest that I longed most. It was on happy days when we were up there on the hills, the three of us, with the wind and the sunshine where you couldn’t see Glome or the palace. Do you remember? The colour and the smell, and looking across at the Grey Mountain in the distance? And because it was so beautiful, it set me longing, always longing. Somewhere else there must be more of it. Everything seemed to be saying, Psyche come! But I couldn’t (not yet) come and I didn’t know where I was to come to. It almost hurt me. I felt like a bird in a cage when the other birds of its kind are flying home. The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing-to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from. my country, the place where I ought to have been born”12

This passage from Lewis’ novel Till We Have Faces explores in a literary context one of the primary themes of the Lewis corpus: longing, specifically that experience of longing or desire that points us toward God. Truly, the experience saturates nearly all of Lewis’ literary work, from his fiction to his apologetics, from his theological books to his popular essays. And this is precisely what we should expect, for by his own admissionin his spiritual autobiography, Surprised by Joy, “In a sense the central story of my life is about nothing else.”13 If we take Lewis at his word, then, we can conclude that one cannot fully understand Lewis apart from this experience of longing. Further, Lewis explained this phenomena of longing in such a way as to present it as a sort of apologetic, what will be called the “apologetics of longing” in what follows.14

The structure of the argument is rather straightforward. Premise One: Each natural human desire corresponds to a real object that can satisfy that desire. Premise Two: There is in each of our experiences one desire that defies satisfaction in this world. Conclusion: Something must lie beyond this world that is the satisfaction of this desire. This object of our longing is God.

First, the premise that each natural human desire corresponds to a real object that can satisfy that desire. In his sermon “The Weight of Glory”–one of the most magnificent writings to come from his hand–Lewis, in the course of preaching about our eternal destiny in heaven, explores this notion of desires and objects. He begins by noting that there are two different kinds of rewards. (Lewis here using “rewards” instead of “objects,”but his meaning is the same.) The first kind of rewards have “no natural connection with” and are “quite foreign to the desires that ought to accompany those things.”15 In a fallen world where the reality of sin is ever-present, people can and do desire all sorts of unreasonable, imaginary, improper, and unnatural things. So, in Lewis’ examples, the man who marries in order to advance his financial standing and the general who fights in order to secure a peerage desire improper objects; indeed, we would condemn such men as mercenary.

Conversely, there are those objects that it is appropriate for one to desire. The man who marries for love and the general who fights for victory desire appropriate things, “victory being the proper reward of battle as marriage is the proper reward of love.”16 In these examples, the desire and the object of that desire are closely and appropriately linked; indeed, according to Lewis, “the proper rewards are not simply tacked on to the activity for which they are given, but are the activity itself in consummation.”17 So, Lewis makes a careful distinction between unnatural desires, which are the result of our environment, and natural desires, which are the result of our spiritual heritage. Not every possible human desire has a corresponding object; only our natural, innate desires do.

Further, Lewis is careful to point out that, yes, a particular desire may go unsatisfied, but it does not then follow that the object of that desire does not exist at all. As he explains, a man stranded on a raft in the middle of the Atlantic hungers for bread, yet may starve to death. The mere existence of his hunger, however, points to the fact that the man comes from a race that is able to eat and that lives in a world where things to eat do exist. Presenting another example, Lewis writes, “a man may love a woman and not win her; but it would be very odd if the phenomenon called ‘falling in love’ occurred in a sexless world.”18In short, the absence of satisfaction of a particular desire does not demonstratethat the object of that desire is a fiction.

Second, the premise that there is in each of our experiences one desire that defies satisfaction in this world. Lewis lays out this point most fully in his preface to the third edition of The Pilgrim’s Regress, itself a powerful and moving allegorical treatment of his apologetics of longing. He first explains the experience itself, that it is one of “intense longing”–in another place he describes this longing as “the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited”19 and that it is, he writes, “common, commonly misunderstood, and of immense importance.”20

Further, this peculiar longing is distinguished from other kinds of longings on two points: First, these other, more mundane longings are pleasurable only insofar as one expects their imminent satisfaction. Hunger is pleasant only if we know that we will soon eat; prolong this longing, and it quickly becomes misery. But the longing that Lewis describes is enjoyed, even cherished, even when there is no hope of its fulfillment. “This hunger is better than any other fullness,” he writes, “this poverty better than all other wealth.”21 Second, accordingto Lewis, “there is a peculiar mystery about the object of this desire.”Many who experience this longing at first confuse it for the desire for something temporal; so, different people associate it with different things, such as homesickness, nostalgia, wanderlust, romanticism, sexual pleasure,the occult, or the craving for knowledge. Lewis is convinced that each ofthese impressions is wrong, chiefly because he claims to have tried eachin turn and, in his words, “contemplated each of them earnestly enoughto discover the cheat”22 the “cheat”being that though each of these possible satisfactions were exhilarating in its own way none of them were able to bring complete satisfaction. The longing remained; the object of this longing remained elusive.

Thus Lewis concludes: One feels this longing. He then tries to satisfy it by pursuing its possible objects, discovers that each of them in fact do not satisfy it, and rejects them each in turn. Following this strategy, Lewis maintains, he would discover “the clear knowledge that the human soul was made to enjoy some object that is never fully given-nay, cannot even be imagined as given-in our present mode of subjective and spatio-temporal experience.”23 This desire is to the soul as the Siege Perilous was to Arthur’s castle a chair in which only one can sit. So, if each desire does indeed have its requisite object, “if nature makes nothing in vain,” as Lewis puts it, then “the One who can sit in this chair must exist.”24 When all possible temporal objects of this desire are proven false, one is driven to the conclusion that the object of our deepest and most powerful longing lies beyond this world. In Lewis’ words, “the dialectic of Desire, faithfully followed, would force you to not to propound, but to live through, a sort of ontological proof.”25

One primary objection to this argument is to deny the premises. This denial can take two forms, both of which Lewis anticipated in perhaps his best-known and most-read book, Mere Christianity. The first form of this denial states, “Yes, I am unhappy in this world and I do experiencethis longing, but I can think of a situation in this world where I would be happy.” Lewis calls this “the Fool’s way,”26 for such an individual will spend his whole life always seeking for that next big thing which will truly fulfill this longing, but never finding it. The second form this denial takes is, “No, I am perfectly happy right now, and all this pursuit of something better is nonsense.” Lewis calls this “the Way of the Disillusioned ‘Sensible Man.’ “27 He represses his desire and longing by asserting that the whole business was a fantasy to begin with. Echoing Pascal’s “Wager,”Lewis points out that if the possibility of infinite, eternal happiness was indeed fact, it would be an infinite pity to discover this all to late.

Countering these two denials, Lewis presents a third possibility, whathe calls “the Christian Way,”28 really a restatement of his apologetics of longing. As he explains, “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for these desires exist. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy,the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If that is so I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country.”29

 

“Jack, Gen X; Gen X, Jack”

What relation does this ruddy, joyful English don have with the alienated, broken Gen Xers? What, if anything, does this self-confessed pre-Modern”dinosaur” have to say in our postmodern times? As the above discussion of Lewis’ apologetics of longing has hinted at, a very great deal.

First, perhaps the single greatest strength of the apologetic is that, though I have presented it as a formal argument, it is really an invitation to meditation. Because of its postmodern mood, it is not prone to ask questions like, “Does this worldview present a true account of reality?” and “Is this argument valid?” This generation, therefore, remains unmoved by the traditional arguments for Christianity. It is, however, deeply interested in spirituality, meaning, and personal narrative, all of which are encompassed by Lewis apologetic of longing.

Second, this apologetic has a natural point of contact with the longing that this generation naturally feels. That we feel deeply the pain of alienation and brokeness is not to be doubted. Such feelings produce the longing for home and the nagging perception that there must be more to life than appears.”Is this all there is?” this generation asks. “No,” Lewis’ apologetic replies and, further, goes on to connect this particular longing with the universal human thirst for the Living Water of Christian salvation.

Third, it avoids the technical jargon of the theologians. Discussing with a Gen Xer topics like sin and redemption, bondage and deliverance, repentance and justification, and all you are likely to elicit is a blank stare. Their thorough secularization has left them bereft of understanding of the traditional categories of theological and ethical thought. The apologetics of longing is not dependent upon such pre-understandings and instead presents the Gospel in the powerful–and thoroughly biblical–language of alienation and reconciliation.

Allow me to illustrate the power of the apologetics of longing with a testimony. I had a close friend in college who was very nearly a representative postmodern man: a thoroughgoing materialist, a convinced relativist, a magnificent hedonist. Further, he was one of those rare gifted fellows who, by all appearances, had the world by the tail. A scholar and athlete, he graduated from a professional program with a Master’s degree and high honors. Upon graduation he married a beautiful woman and accepted a very financially rewarding job. I always wondered, What could the Gospel mean to him? How does one offer salvation to one who sees nothing from which he needs to be saved? In darker moods, I considered him a lost cause.

One evening, I get a phone call. It’s this friend, and he asks me straight-away, “How can I have a personal relationship with Jesus?” I about fell off my couch. What had happened? After talking with him about how he came to ask this question, it came to light that, though, materially, he had all he wanted, he was haunted by a mood of spiritual poverty. All the supposed objects of his desire proved unsatisfactory. Indeed, he had followed the dialectic of desire to its end in God.

 

Conclusion

It must be emphasized that, powerful though this apologetic is, it is also limited in one important respect. The argument demonstrates that the object of our longing is the Holy Other, but it is unable to elaborate on the character of this Other. We have yet to come before the alter of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; to worship at the throne of the God of the Apostles, Martyrs, and Fathers. This apologetic is an important first step, but still only a first step. We must also always remember our catechetical obligation. We may be dealing with post-Christian people, but ultimately they must be brought into the fullness of the Christian tradition.

This apologetic does not provide a comprehensive road map to guide us all the way from the dark wood of postmodernism to the Holy City. Longing,as Lewis reminds, is “valuable only as a pointer to something other and outer When we are lost in the woods the sight of a signpost is a great matter But when we have found the road and are passing signposts every few miles, we shall not stop and stare.” We are pilgrims on a long journey, progressing and regressing, and the apologetic of longing is only a glimpse of the first few feet of road on our journey. But, as Lewis wrote, “to a man on a mountain road by night, a glimpse of the next three feet of road may matter more than a vision of the horizon.” That glimpse is crucial, given the vanished horizons of our time, but once our postmodern pilgrims have set out on those first few feet, then the full horizon of grace can be brought into sharper relief. But not yet. The message of that grace must be delivered in a language its hearers can understand; we must take first things first, and Lewis’ apologetic of longing is that crucial first thing for this generation in these times.

So, no, Generation X is not a lost cause; the springs of God’s grace yet flow and still prove to be irresistible to those spiritually thirsty. We are not at home in this world, and if we are honest, each of us–of any generation–knows in his heart of hearts that we subjects of a Sovereign of another country.


NOTES

1 This address was later published as “Christian Apologetics”in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (Eerdmans; 1970), 89 103.

2 Ibid., 89.

3 Ibid., 90.

4 Ibid., 94.

5 Ibid., 94.

6 Ibid., 94.

7 Ibid., 98.

8 Ibid., 93.

9 C. S. Lewis, “Period Criticism,” Time and Tide (9 November1946).

10 Jean-Fran├žois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, trans. Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi, Theory and History of Literature (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), 10:xxiv.

11 Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Madman,” Gay Science 125, in The Portable Nietzsche, trans. Walter Kaufmann (New York: Viking, 1954, 95 96.

12 C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold (San Diego: HarcourtBrace Jovanovich, Publishers, 1956), 74-76.

13 Lewis, Surprised By Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (New York: Harcourt,Brace and World, Inc., 1955), 17.

14 I am indebted to Peter J. Kreeft’s analysis of this apologetic, especially in his essay “C. S. Lewis’s Argument from Desire” in The Riddle of Joy: G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis, edited by Michael H. Macdonald and Andrew A. Tadie (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989),249-272.

15 Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, revised and expanded edition, edited and with an introduction by Walter Hooper (Macmillan Publishing Co., N.Y.: 1980), 4.

16 Ibid.

17 Ibid.

18 Ibid., 9.

19 Lewis, The Weight of Glory, 7.

20 Lewis, The Pilgrim’s Regress: An Allegorical Apology for Christianity, Reason and Romanticism (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1933), 7.

21 Lewis, The Pilgrim’s Regress, 7.

22 Ibid., 8.

23 Ibid. 10.

24 Ibid.

25 Ibid.

26 Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillian Publishing Co., 1943),105.

27 Ibid.

28 Ibid., 106.

29 Ibid.