'God … or a Bad, or Mad, Man': C.S. Lewis's Argument for Christ – A Systematic Theological, Historical and Philosophical Analysis of Aut Deus Aut Malus Homo
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Heythrop Journal 55 (1):1-30 (2014)
The proposition that Jesus was ‘Bad, Mad or God’ is central to C.S. Lewis's popular apologetics. It is fêted by American Evangelicals, cautiously endorsed by Roman Catholics and Protestants, but often scorned by philosophers of religion. Most, mistakenly, regard Lewis's trilemma as unique. This paper examines the roots of this proposition in a two thousand year old theological and philosophical tradition (that is, aut Deus aut malus homo), grounded in the Johannine trilemma (‘unbalanced liar’, or ‘demonically possessed’, or ‘the God of Israel come amongst his people’). Jesus can only be understood in the context of the Jewish religious categories he was born into; therefore, for Lewis, Jesus is who he reveals himself to be. Jesus' self-understanding reflects his identity, his triune salvific role; this is for Lewis, the transposed reality of divine Sonship. Reason and logic are paramount here, reflected in the structure of Lewis's argument. Lewis's trilemma is not so much a proof of God's existence, but a question, a dilemma, where each and every person must come to a decision. For all its perceived faults, its simplistic language, Lewis's trilemma still is a very successful piece of Christian apologetic, grounded in a serious philosophical and theological tradition
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Daniel Howard-Snyder (2004). Was Jesus Mad, Bad, or God? . . . Or Merely Mistaken? Faith and Philosophy 21 (4):456-479.
Domenico Giulini (2001). Uniqueness of Simultaneity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):651-670.
Matatyahu Rubin & Saharon Shelah (1980). On the Elementary Equivalence of Automorphism Groups of Boolean Algebras; Downward Skolem Löwenheim Theorems and Compactness of Related Quantifiers. Journal of Symbolic Logic 45 (2):265-283.
M. P. F. (1916). Fābulae Virginibus Puerīsque Aut Narrandae Aut Recitandae. By R. B. Appleton. Pp. 180. Bell, 1914. Price 2 S. The Classical Review 30 (02):61-62.
Stephen T. Davis (2004). The Mad/Bad/God Trilemma. Faith and Philosophy 21 (4):480-492.
Danilo Šuster (2012). Lehrer and the Consequence Argument. Philosophical Studies 161 (1):77-86.
Robert Holyer (1988). The Argument From Desire. Faith and Philosophy 5 (1):61-71.
Peter A. Graham (2008). A Defense of Local Miracle Compatibilism. Philosophical Studies 140 (1):65 - 82.
Richard Swinburne (1989). Could God Become Man? Philosophy 25 (Supplement):53 - 70.
Richard Swinburne (1989). Could God Become Man? IN The Philosophy in Christianity. In . Cambridge Univ Pr.
Igor Douven (2005). Lewis on Fallible Knowledge. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):573 – 580.
Stephen T. Davis (2006). Christian Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press.
Jonathan Bennett (1969). Entailment. Philosophical Review 78 (2):197-236.
Added to index2010-11-25
Total downloads20 ( #84,531 of 1,100,944 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #290,065 of 1,100,944 )
How can I increase my downloads?