[C S Lewis] certainly did not believe that all of them would be saved; he knew very well that not all roads lead to God. He also knew that it is our duty to spread the gospel. Nevertheless, he did not think that only Christians go to heaven.. He wrote: ’We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him’ (Mere Christianity , Book II, Chapter 5). The second half of that sentence contains a dangerous and troubling mistake.
Of course, Lewis’s isn’t/wasn’t the only Christian who believes this. But because Wheeler is coming from a very specific evangelical position, this belief of Lewis’s is problematic for Wheeler. There is much good in Wheeler’s analysis of Lewis’s writings. They provide a useful summary. But this particular example illustrates an important weakness in Wheeler’s critique. He is writing from a very narrow theological perspective without any indication of the breadth of Christian theological and doctrinal belief. Lewis’s clarity and confusion can be defined and discussed in various ways depending on which perspective one comes from. Despite this narrowness, the book is worth reading. It just means that even Wheeler’s evaluation of Lewis’s understandings also needs to be read critically. Related Links