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C. S. Lewis was baptized today: The transforming power of mentors

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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God used C. S. Lewis to change my life.

I became a Christian as a teenager but brought all my intellectual questions to my new faith. I was the person in tenth-grade Sunday school asking how we know the Bible is truly the word of God and why Jesus is the only way to heaven. Because others didn’t seem to have my questions, I assumed that something was wrong with my faith.

Then I met the writings of C. S. Lewis.

A friend gave me a copy of Lewis’s classic book, Mere Christianity. I read it cover to cover and treasure it still. It was the first time I had encountered a Christian who was willing to ask hard questions about the faith. He became a mentor to me and remains so today.

I didn’t know, however, that Lewis had his own mentors.

For instance, he was baptized as an infant on this day in 1899 at St. Mark’s in Belfast by his grandfather, the Reverend Thomas Hamilton. Rev. Hamilton died in 1905, never knowing the global significance of his grandson’s future ministry.

J. R. R. Tolkien, famous for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, was instrumental in Lewis’ return to belief in God. Not long after, Lewis came to faith in Christ as the Son of God.

The “Inklings,” a group at Oxford University that gathered to discuss literature and encourage each other’s writings, became a source of enormous support for Lewis. The writings of George MacDonald were instrumental in his faith and worldview. Father Walter Frederick Adams, an Anglican priest, served as Lewis’ private confessor and spiritual mentor.

My point is that God uses all of us to encourage all of us on the journey of faith and ministry. The “body of Christ” is made of individual members that work together for a collective good greater than the sum of the parts (1 Corinthians 12:27).

If each of us will do what only we can do, together we will do what all of us can do.

Who functioned in your life and faith as C. S. Lewis has in mine?

Whose faith story will you influence for Jesus today?

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