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How an Atheist Professor Swayed C.S. Lewis to Become a Christian

By Editorial Staff
Published April 8, 2008

Literary scholar C.S. Lewis, who was a professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, once believed that all Christians were wrong in holding to their beliefs. The last thing he ever intended to do was embrace Christianity.

However, in 1926, “the hardest-boiled of all the atheists” that Lewis knew came for a visit. As they sat by the fire conversing, the atheist remarked that the evidence for the historicity of the gospel message was “really surprisingly good.”

Lewis was shattered by the statements of his colleague. He remarked in his journal, “If he, the cynic of cynics, the toughest of the tough, was not safe, where could I turn? Was there then no escape?” After examining the basis and evidence for Christianity, Lewis concluded that in other religions there was “no such historical claim as in Christianity.” His knowledge of literature forced him to treat the gospel record as a trustworthy account. “I was by now,” he said, “too experienced in literary criticism to regard the Gospels as myth.”

Finally, contrary to his strong stand against Christianity, Professor Lewis made an intelligent decision:

“You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him Whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I have in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.”


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