I’ve never been a fan of C. S. Lewis. I know this makes me almost unemployable in America, but I can’t see past the social snobbery of Narnia and the contrived logic of Mere Christianity. I’ve always felt that the memorable but manipulative climax of the latter—that Jesus must have been “mad, bad or God”—was just plain wrong.
Just this week a graduate student asked me what he and his girlfriend might do about reconciling their religious differences. Though prejudiced against the staple book in the genre, I might have had nothing but Lewis to recommend—if it weren’t for Tom Wright. “Read Simply Christian and come and see me in a month,” I told my student. “Then your girlfriend will know whether the Christianity she has rejected is the real thing.”