C.S. Lewis on Jesus.
Was Jesus madman or son of God?
C.S. Lewis, a Christian author, writes that everybody must decide whether Jesus was madman, agent of Satan, or son of God.
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 1952, says--
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man, and said the sort of things Jesus said, would not be a great teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman, or something worse.”
Liar, lunatic, or Lord.
But Jesus could've been a sage, portrayed as co-equal to God.
Fictional accounts, campfire stories about the amazing Jesus, were added to his life.
Moreover, words might well have been attributed to him.
C.S. Lewis doesn't consider those alternatives.
Jesus didn't intend to be known only as a great moral teacher.
C.S. Lewis writes--
"[L]et us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
A common Christian ultimatum is, "You must make your choice."
Fact is, C.S. Lewis offers limited choices.
Christians, he says, know what Jesus intended to do two thousand years ago.
He seems to say the ridiculous: That they have the psychic ability to cross the centuries and get in Jesus' head.
One hopes that he doesn't claim something so outrageous as that.
"[P]eople often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say."
The Gosples don't have him making a "claim to be God."
Unless, of course, C.S. Lewis misreads them or fills in the blanks, as Christians are liable to do.
His intimation is that Christians know the secret things of God.
And what "secret things" do they know?
They read the New Testament, its misrepresentations of an historical sage, Jesus.
Thus C.S. Lewis' list of choices should have included one more thing‑‑
Jesus the legend.