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C.S. Lewis: "We Must Attack the Enemy's Line of Communication"

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Monday, July 27, 2015

In God in the Dock, beloved Christian writer C. S. Lewis unexpectedly urged Christians to write (and to read!) books that reflect a Biblical point of view without being overtly apologetic. Lewis thought that the subtle approach of these books is both persuasive and counters the pervasive culture of secularism and its rejection of spiritual truth (which he calls "materialism"). Lewis wrote,

We must attack the enemy’s line of communication. What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects—with their Christianity latent. You can see this most easily if you look at it the other way round. Our faith is not likely to be shaken by any book on Hinduism. But, if whenever we read an elementary book on geology, botany, politics, or astronomy, we found that its implications were Hindu, that would shake us. It is not the books written in direct defense of materialism that make the modern man a materialist; it is the materialistic assumptions in all the other books. In the same way, it is not books on Christianity that will really trouble him. But he would be troubled if, whenever he wanted a cheap popular introduction to some science, the best work on the market was always by a Christian. The first step to the reconversion of a country is books produced by Christians.

When Lewis wrote this text in 1945, World War II was still raging in Europe and his military metaphor would have resonated with his audience. A general knows that destroying the enemy commanders' ability to communicate with their troops creates confusion, which can be decisive for victory. Lewis sees in this a spiritual truth. To win the spiritual battle in which we are engaged it is necessary to cut off the "line of communication" which our Enemy uses to lure people into unbelief. He suggests that Christians do so by countering the message sent by many writers whose underlying assumptions are atheistic with the Christian perspectives on the same issues. Doing so cultivates hearts that will be receptive to the Gospel message.

Lewis's appeal is more apt today than when he wrote it 70 years ago. The battle for our nation is a spiritual war which is being waged in the hearts and minds of our children, and the one of the Enemy's "lines of communication" is education. Today's secular education sends the message that not only should there be a separation between Church and State (the meaning of which is distorted), but also a separation between God and every "non-religious" subject, which builds up a wall in the hearts and minds of the young between them and their Creator. But when belief in God is cordoned off from the study of history, science, mathematics, literature, and other subjects that seem to be "independent" of religion, the results are tragic. The exclusion of God from everyday life leads to an emptiness and void that destroys souls.

Parents and teachers who want their children to put God first will recognize the importance of an education that is Biblically-based and Christ-centered, bringing God's Word to bear on every subject. It is only an education that approaches the whole of life from a Christian perspective that feeds the heart and mind and fills the spirit with the knowledge and love of God. The "reconversion," as Lewis calls it, of our nation requires both teaching our children the Bible and teaching them every subject from a Biblical perspective.

FACE is dedicated to bringing parents and teachers educational resources that teach every subject from a Biblical worldview. We invite you to learn more about these resources, including our facsimile edition of Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, which uses more Biblical references than any other dictionary, and the Noah Plan®, a K-12 curriculum that brings every subject under the dominion of Christ. Now is also a great time to invest in the Noah Plan. We are offering Noah Plan® Curriculum Guides at 20% off! Visit FACEBookstore.net to learn more.

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