Why CS Lewis Needed To Go To Church

Why CS Lewis Needed To Go To Church

There are tons of resources out there as to why we should go to church.  Wise and insightful Christian leaders have spoken and written eloquently and convincingly on the subject.  If you need more reason, the New Testament will give it to you in spades.


Sometimes, if we’re honest, it’s not enough.  If it was, then we would never want to skip church; attendance would never be an issue for churches and sanctuaries would be bursting at the seams.  I could put together a snazzy list that would give us five key points as to why we should go to church.  I could do an exegetical review of Scripture that outlines why corporate worship and Christian fellowship our essential to living a life commensurate with the Gospel.  I could, but I won’t.  None of that worked for CS Lewis, and he was a lot smarter than I am.  For Lewis, it came down to a singular point:

We’re conceited.

That’s it.  No more study, no more sub-points.  It’s the sheer, excessive pride in ourselves.  For Lewis, attending church destroyed his conceit.

Here is what Lewis said in his book, God in the Dock, in the chapter entitled, “Answers to Questions on Christianity”:

“When I first became a Christian, about fourteen years ago, I thought I could do it on my own, by retiring to my rooms and reading theology, and I wouldn’t go the churches and Gospel Halls;…I disliked very much their hymns, which I considered to be fifth-rate poems set to sixth-rate music.  But as I went on I saw the great merit of it.  I came up against different people of quite different outlooks and different education, and then gradually my conceit just began peeling off.  I realized that the hymns (which were just sixth-rate music) were, nevertheless, being sung with devotion and benefit by an old saint in elastic-side boots in the opposite pew, and then you realize that you aren’t fit to clean those boots.  It gets you out of your solitary conceit.”

Maybe you think you can live the life of a Christian on your own.  You may think this way, but according to CS Lewis, it’s neither helpful nor conducive to growth.  What is helpful?  Being in Christian community with others.

If you’ve given up on the Church, take it from CS Lewis: give it another try.

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