Apologetics is the defense of faith through intellect and reason.  Lewis approaches the subject from the "backwards" perspective of a demon who opposes Christ and his followers.  What are some...

Apologetics is the defense of faith through intellect and reason.  Lewis approaches the subject from the "backwards" perspective of a demon who opposes Christ and his followers.  What are some examples of how this is an effective method of apologetics for Lewis to use?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One way the "backwards" perspective is an effective method of apologetics is to showcase how the forces of the underworld are stifled by the forces of Christian faith.  Lewis's inversion of the apologetics method illuminates how the forces of "the dark side" perceive religious piety and spiritual identity.  For example, when Screwtape articulates the end purpose of the work in the underworld by the agents of temptation, a justification of the Christian faith emerges: "We want cattle who can finally become food; He wants servants who can finally become sons."  The "backwards" approach is effective here because it compels the reader to understand how the other side thinks of both the divine and the role human beings play in the dynamic between God and Satan.  Essentially, Lewis is able to justify religious faith because if one wants to be a human being, and not cattle, they would side with the divine.  This becomes seen with even greater veracity when it is clear that the forces of Satan view events in this light.  Greater testament to the Christian faith is evident in the "backwards" approach perspective that Lewis offers.

In depicting apologetics from a "backwards" condition, the forces of spiritual darkness are illuminated.  In many forms of Christian apologetics, the emphasis for justification is reductive, focusing on the divine. Lewis gives voice to the "other," and in doing so, reveals how Christian faith is a force of salvation.  An example of this is when Screwtape suggests that  "...the safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts." Another such instance would be in how the Lowerarchy of Hell sees the purpose of existence: "(God) wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them."  In both of these instances, the emphasis of apologetics is on how the other side perceives the divine.  As Lewis is able to explore the thought of those in Hell, he is able to create greater justification for the Christian faith.  Being able to distill how the forces of spiritual darkness envisions the decline of the human being, as well as how God sees the function and role of human beings are ways in which the apologetic purpose of the text is defined.  Lewis is able to create further justification for the divine in employing a "backwards" perspective of a demon who opposes spiritual elevation in the name of the divine.

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