(CMCSL-7): C.S. Lewis was a Universalist

BRIEF UPDATE: It’s seems I’ve “over-summarized” MacDonald’s views on Universalism…inadvertently creating, or continuing a misconception about him. So, I’ll be doing a formal update soon to correct this oversight. 

This is part of an occasional series exploring questionable claims about the life or writings of C.S. Lewis.  For a list of the topics either already explored or planned to be examined you can visit the introduction to this series


Saying C.S. Lewis is popular among Evangelicals is like reporting the grass is green. However, there are those who are on the other end of the spectrum, believing Lewis is dangerous because of some of his views. One of those issues deals with the heart of the Christian faith – the issue of salvation. Specifically, whether or not everyone will be saved. Those who believe ALL will be saved are called “Universalists.” That is, if you hold to the idea that all will eventually go to Heaven, you are a Universalist. Some believe that Lewis held this position. However, a careful consideration of his writings clearly shows he did not hold this perspective.

Specifically, there are three main reasons some believe Lewis held a Universalist position. The first has to do with the Emeth character from The Last Battle, the final Narnia story. A second common factor for thinking he believed in Universalism is his praise of George MacDonald, who was a proponent of universal salvation. Finally, another concern expressed by some is comments Lewis made related to salvation in Mere Christianity, as well as other writings.

WRL03 – The Great Divorce

This podcast, part of an occasional feature to encourage you to read material from Lewis, focuses on one of the shortest works by him (excluding essays, of course). The Great Divorce was first released in weekly installments in The Guardian before published in 1946. If you have never read this fictional work then you will be pleasantly surprised about how much truth can be learned from the experiences of the characters! The guests sharing their thoughts are (in order of appearance): Dennis Beets, Gina DalFonzo, James Motter, and Brenton Dickieson.     

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Listen to The Great Divorce Reflections

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CSL Daily 4/13/17

FACT OF THE DAY:

23rd & final installment of what eventually became part of The Great Divorce was published on April 13, 1945 in The Guardian.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Only the Greatest of all can make Himself small enough to enter Hell. For the higher a thing is, the lower it can descend.”

Who Goes Home? or The Grand Divorce XXIII
(Published in The Guardian on 4/13/1945)

Q04-13 - (Greatest of All)

CSL Daily 4/06/17

FACT OF THE DAY:

22nd installment of what eventually became part of The Great Divorce was published today (4/6) in The Guardian in 1945.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Either the day must come when joy prevails and all the makers of misery are no longer able to infect it: or else for ever and ever the makers of misery can destroy in others the happiness they reject for themselves.”

Who Goes Home? or The Grand Divorce XXII
(Published in The Guardian on 4/6/1945)

Q04-06 - (Happines Rejected)

CSL Daily 3/29/17

FACT OF THE DAY:

21st installment of what eventually became part of The Great Divorce was published March 29, 1945 in The Guardian.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“[In Heaven there] is joy that cannot be shaken. Our light can swallow up your darkness: but your darkness cannot now infect our light.”

Who Goes Home? or The Grand Divorce XXI
(Published in The Guardian on 3/29/1945)

Q03-29 - (Darkness vs Light)