September 23, 2020

Coffee Cup Apologetics 19

cca_small.gif“Lessons from Mere Christianity” The first of several podcasts examining Lewis’s apologetic approach in this classic book.

Coffee Cup Apologetics now has its own website:

All the episodes of Coffee Cup Apologetics are now on iTunes. Go to iTunes and search for “Apologetics.”


  1. just wanted to mention that the audio version of Mere Christianity is available online for download. Fun to listen to.


  2. Michael,

    I, too, think it a good intro. However, my respect for Lewis took a nose dive after reading this:

    “‘Say what you like, we shall be told, ‘the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false.’ It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said these words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And He was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else.’ It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.” Essay “The World’s Last Night” (1960), found in The Essential C.S. Lewis, p-385.

    I find it hard to understand how anyone can claim faith in Jesus when “he was wrong . . . . clearly knowing no more about the end of the world than anyone else.”


  3. Lewis wrote:
    “It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible. Yet how teasing, also, that within fourteen words of it should come the statement ‘But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.’ The one exhibition of error and the one confession of ignorance grow side by side.

    About a page later, Lewis writes:
    “To believe in the Incarnation, to believe that he is God, makes it hard to understand how he could be ignorant; but it also makes it certain that, if he said he could be ignorant, then ignorant he could really be. … The answer of theologians is that the God-Man was omniscient as God, and ignorant as Man. ….”

    I’m not sure how this indicates any doubt about either the incarnation or about Lewis’s orthodoxy.

  4. I should add that I don’t have before me “The Essential C.S. Lewis,” so I don’t know whether the entire essay was included. I’m quoting from “The World’s Last Night and Other Essays,” Hracourt, Brace & World, 1960, pp. 98-99.

  5. Good evening,

    I listened to the Internet Monk Radio Podcasts for the first time tonight. I listened to episodes 66-68 and really enjoyed them–thanks.

    Some comments:
    –You sound different than I expected 🙂
    –Your voice is nice–a good one for ‘radio’
    –Thank you so much for using and explaining the phrase ‘critical engagement’–I think I can really use this to explain to people my reaction to some reading
    –Your intro is a bit too long for my tastes

    I’ll try out some of the other podcasts next!

  6. Do you have a account?

  7. No. And thanks for the feedback.

  8. Nicholas Anton says

    Re; your reference to “elders” in item 12;
    I have struggled with the term for the past year because of abuses of it. After hundreds of hours of research and writing, this is a brief observation regarding the term and concept.
    When I was a child, I enjoyed reading about King Arthur and his noble knights. To me, being a knight was a position of prestige, honor and authority to be envied. After all, these men were so noble, had such shiny armor, rode such magnificent steeds, and did so many great deeds in their service to the king and country. This noble image of them remained intact in the background of my imagination until the last few years, when I gradually realized that they were nothing more than the lowly servants of a king or duke. The only characteristics that made them outstanding were the many noble deeds they are alleged to have done. They themselves were nothing! Initially they had no title, no position, no authority other than that delegated to them by the king; Owned no property other than that given to them by the king, no land, in many cases no home, many times not even their own horse, nor the armor on their body. Everything belonged to the king. They were simply servants. How then did the lowly Low German word “knight” (servant) take on such noble characteristics, and become a prestigious position of power and authority in our minds? After all, were these men not knighted (ordained?) and become Sir this and Sir that? Quite simply. It was the noble deeds of many of these servants that gradually transformed our concept of the term, “servant” into a noble office of “Knighthood”/servanthood. And yet, in fact these men always remained servants with no authority of their own. Nothing more.
    The church does not need Monarchial or autocratic servants/elders to rule over it. What it need is brothers and sisters in Christ to work with, mentor and care within it. When the subject of “eldership” is treated under this teaching of Jesus (Matt. 23; Matt. 20), within the patriarchal concept of both the Old and New Testament, the total teaching on eldership as found in the New Testament fits together well. There is no such thing as “The office of” an older brother. Elders are simply older, more mature physical and spiritual heads of families, whom God through His Spirit has also made overseers as Spiritual shepherds within or among, rather than over the ekklesia/church. As God has predestined the natural “parents” to take care of their natural children, He likewise has predestined through His Spirit, the older, more mature believers to take care of the younger, less mature. One could simply say that “all” older people who fit the descriptions given in 1 Tim. and Titus have been designated by the Holy Spirit as older brother servants, to supervise, superintend and shepherd. The only caution Paul gives is “make sure that one who already IS an elder, qualifies to superintend.

  9. Mere Christianity: 7 million+ copies sold
    Your Best Life Now: 3.7 million
    The Prayer of Jabez: 9 million
    The Purpose Driven Life: 25 million and going

    (results from a hurried google search…)

  10. ‘I find it hard to understand how anyone can claim faith in Jesus when “he was wrong . . . . clearly knowing no more about the end of the world than anyone else.”’

    It seems clear that Lewis was quoting his imaginary opponent, introduced earlier in your quote.

  11. sound quality seemed a lot better on this podcast. did u get a new microphone or change something?

  12. I have a new mic and I’m learning a bit more about it.