Author C.S. Lewis is held in high regard in the Christian community—as well he should be. His journey to faith has inspired many, as have his countless contributions to the kingdom.
But best-selling author Frank Viola says Lewis and others like him weren't perfect. And that should encourage us when it comes to the way we respond to fellow believers whose opinions differ from ours.
As Viola documents in his new book, ReGrace: The Shocking Beliefs of Great Christians, Lewis believed in praying for the dead. He believed in purgatory, and he also believed that the Bible contains errors.
Edwards, a revivalist preacher instrumental in the first Great Awakening, believed it was OK to own slaves. He also believed "very strongly" that God hated sinners. Lewis and Edwards join Martin Luther, Charles Wesley and others who had beliefs that would shock most Christians today.
"These are the men who shaped the Christian faith," Viola told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent edition of "Greenelines" on the Charisma Podcast Network. "I am a C.S. Lewis fan; I think his work is fantastic. But the point is that even C.S. Lewis can miss some things, and yet God still used him." These icons were far from perfect in their views, but that's where grace comes in.
Viola says Christians have "lost graciousness" in our conversation with other believers on social media and elsewhere. By pointing out the divergent opinions of these historical heroes of the faith, he hopes to effect change.
"To ReGrace means that we should be able to have a divergent viewpoint with another believer and model that in a Christlike way, where we're not raking one another over the coals just because their view is different from ours."
Listen to the "Greenelines" podcast below to find out more.
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