Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Meetings for October and November

October meeting this Friday!

Dear Friends of C. S. Lewis:

I have great news for you.  Our next two general meetings will be occasions to meet and hear two significant C. S. Lewis scholars.  The October meeting will be on Friday, 26 October, at 7:00 p.m. and the November meeting will be on St. Andrew's Day, Friday, 30 November, at 7:00 p.m.  Both events will be in the meeting room across the street from The Camp House, 1427 Williams St., on the Southside. 

For our October meeting, we welcome again Rev. Will Vaus, from Monterey, Virginia.  He will present a paper entitled "C. S. Lewis' Reading of George MacDonald."  In early November, he will again present this paper to the Oxford C. S. Lewis Society, in the U.K., so we have the privilege of getting a preview of his Oxford presentation to our sister Society.

Will Vaus was born outside of New York City and grew up in Southern California.  He is the son of Jim Vaus, former organized crime wiretapper who came to personal faith in Jesus Christ through the ministry of Billy Graham in 1949.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama from the University of California at San Diego and a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.  He has served as a pastor in California, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  He is the President of Will Vaus Ministries, through which he has creatively communicated the love of Christ around the world since 1988.

Will is the author of Mere Theology: A Guide to the Thought of C. S. Lewis, My Father Was a Gangster: The Jim Vaus Story, The Professor of Narnia: The C. S. Lewis Story, The Hidden Story of Narnia: A Book-by-Book Guide to C. S. Lewis' Spiritual Themes, and most recently Open Before Christmas, Devotional Thoughts for the Holiday Season.

During the meeting, we will take up an offering to assist Will on his trip to England.  He will also have copies of his books for sale, especially his latest, which you would surely enjoy reading for this coming Advent and Christmas season.

For our November meeting, we will have The Rev. Dr. Robert MacSwain, Assistant Professor of Theology and Christian Ethics, The School of Theology, The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee.  His talk this evening is titled, “A Fertile Friendship: C. S. Lewis and Austin Farrer.”  It explores Farrer’s close friendship with both “Jack” and Joy Lewis, how each man understood and evaluated the other’s work, their similarities and differences, and what possible influence they may have had one another.

A philosophy graduate of Liberty University, Robert MacSwain studied theology at Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Edinburgh, and Anglican Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary.  After an internship as Research Assistant to Archbishop George Carey at Lambeth Palace, he was ordained in 2001 and spent three years in parish ministry.  In 2004 he was awarded an Episcopal Church Foundation Fellowship and began doctoral studies with Canon Professor David Brown at the University of Durham.  However, in 2007 he followed his supervisor to the University of St. Andrews, and received his doctorate from there in 2010.  His dissertation, which focused on the religious epistemology of the Anglican theologian, philosopher, and New Testament scholar Austin Farrer, will be published in 2013 as Solved by Sacrifice: Austin Farrer, Fideism, and the Evidence of Faith.

His teaching and research interests combine philosophy, theology, ethics, literature, and spirituality with a particular focus on how these five disciplines interact within the Anglican tradition.  The author of several chapters, journal articles, book reviews, and poems, he has also co-edited four books: Grammar and Grace: Reformulations of Aquinas and Wittgenstein (with Jeffrey Stout), The Truth-Seeking Heart: Austin Farrer and His Writings (with Ann Loades), The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis (with Michael Ward), and Theology, Aesthetics, and Culture: Responses to the Work of David Brown (with Taylor Worley).

Feel free to visit the Camp House coffee shop before the meeting.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Doug Wilson on Lewis' "Calvinism"

Pursuant to our discussion last Friday night. Lewis would speak ill of Calvinism, but it was of a certain sort, a kind of determinism. As Wilson explains, when it comes down to what he says about salvation, he was in line with the teaching of Calvin and the other Reformers.