Christian Stories Videos

The Shocking Alternative by C.S. Lewis

Source: The Shocking Alternative by C.S. Lewis Doodle (BBC Talk 8, Mere Christianity, Bk 2, Chapter 3) via YouTube

Notes: This is an illustration of C.S Lewis’ third talk of the third radio series called ‘What Christians Believe’. This became Chapter 3 of Book 2, in the book called ‘Mere Christianity’. Notes below…

You can find the book here:… (0:05)

This radio talk was given in February 1942 during some of Britain’s darkest days in WWII, with major cities having experienced a series of bombing blitzes and about to experience more. The Axis powers were at the zenith of their power. Step up to the microphone, C.S. Lewis… (This radio talk was the first to be heard by the American G.I.’s who arrived in Britain the week before).

(3:06) If you would like to think more about thought itself, see other doodles on the subject such as ‘The Foundation of 20th Century thought’ (…), and ‘The Poison of Subjectivism’ (…).

(6:27) At this time there was fuel rationing in wartime Britain. Many people tried to run their cars on alternatives to petrol – using different alcohols – and this inevitably failed as the engines overheated.

(8:03) In English folklore, John Barleycorn is a character who represents the crop of barley harvested each autumn. The character grew healthy and hale during the summer, was chopped down and slaughtered in his prime, and then processed into beer and whiskey so he lived once more. This ‘dying god’ myth, copied into folklore from the patterns of nature, Lewis actually led C.S. Lewis to Christ – nature’s Creator, as he explains here:

(8:47) See John 10.30, John 8.58, Matt 9:2, and Mark 14:62. Take a read of these chapters to see Jesus confronting hostile crowds, seeking to execute Him.

(12:13) This shortened version of the argument “Liar, Lunatic or Lord” included another two non-Christian hypotheses, “Exaggeration or Legend”, in Lewis’ other writings. This armchair-psychologist’s argument (that gospel writers were lunatics) and the literary non-scholar’s argument (that the gospels were just novelettes) are usually based on unthinking atheistic assumptions that the existence of God or the miraculous is impossible based on “one of the sciences”. Based on these assumptions, Jesus’ shocking acts or statements can not be true, and therefore some way, however implausible, is sought to remove or discredit the offending sayings and acts. However, these are not strong arguments in themselves without the false assumption fueling them. Lewis counters these basic philosophic errors (illustrated in doodle form) in ‘Religion and Science’ ( and ‘Miracles’ (

Once the unthinking atheistic assumptions are dealt with, these two less likely possibilities can be addressed. Lewis’ voluminous arguments against them can be found in the essays ‘What are We to Make of Jesus Christ’ (…), ‘Fern-Seed and Elephants’, ‘Myth became Fact’, ‘The Grand Miracle’, ‘Christian Apologetics’ and other works.

Header image: CSLewisDoodle via YouTube

Internal Link: you can listen to an audio podcast of C. S. Lewis’ ‘Mere Christianity’ here. Duration: 5:51 hrs.