Saturday, November 22, 2003

Between Heaven and Hell

Also on this day, two other men passed from this life, all within a few hours of the late President; Audous Huxley, the author of Brave New World, and C S Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, and numerous other books, many about his Christian faith.

Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, wrote a play about the three of them, imagining them meeting on the road to heaven. He called it Between Heaven & Hell.

The page at Amazon devoted to this book allows the viewer to see a few sample pages of the work. Concerning it, Rob Taylor of Matthews NC writes:

"Much of the fictional discussion between these three characters revolves around their own writings although Kreeft employs a bit of literary license for the sake of argument. The fact that Kreeft is a Catholic doesn't affect the content of this book since the argument is essentially Lewis' straight, or 'mere' Christianity. The position of JFK is that of a humanistic Christian in the sense of emphasizing 'horizontal' social activity rather than 'vertical' religious experience...religion without revelation. Kennedy portrays his view of Christ as that of a man become god. Huxley doesn't get the air time that Lewis and JFK get, but his contribution is significant. He represents the eastern pantheist position and reinterprets Christianity as a form of the universal philosophy of pantheism. In this view, Jesus was one of the great sages of history along with Buddha, Socrates, Confucius, Mohammed and the rest. Employing the Socratic method of question and answer, Kreeft slowly but surely uses Lewis' arguments to refute the views of Jesus being a lunatic, liar or just a great moral teacher. Once this is done, He argues that Jesus was God in the flesh, just as He claimed to be. Approximately the last third of the book focuses on the reliability of the gospel accounts which record the claims of Christ."

I always said that playing Jack Lewis in a theatric production is the only reason I would ever shave my beard. So here I sit, waiting for my curtain call. Stay tuned...

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