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The Brian Holdsworth Podcast

Jan 15, 2022

Support the channel by joining the Reinforcements at Music written and generously provided by Paul Jernberg. Find out more about his work as a composer here: As many of you know, if you’ve followed this channel long enough, I’m a big admirer of CS Lewis and even employ some of his argumentation in my videos. This in spite of the fact that even though his Catholic friend J.R.R. Tolkien was instrumental in his conversion to theism and then Christianity, he never converted all the way to the Catholic Church. He instead, embraced a kind of high Church Anglicanism. Lewis was famous for trying to build bridges along the fault lines of Christian denominations by promoting what he called Mere Christianity, or what was essential and mostly agreed upon by the main denominations – you could call this credal Christianity because it promotes the fundamentals of the ancient creeds which we almost all agree on. This is probably why Lewis wasn’t in the habit of criticizing any Christian church or tradition, but he is supposed to have compared the Catholic Church to an overwhelming jungle where people can get lost and distracted before they ever get to the fundamentals of mere Christianity. And, I, in the course of my own conversion to Catholicism have found it hard not to sympathize with that criticism. Catholic thought and beliefs are so substantial that it can be easy to miss the forest for the trees. For example, I’ve met Catholics who could tell you all about the apparitions of Medjugorje but don’t know what the phrase “consubstantial with the Father” in the Nicene Creed means. I’ve met Catholics who know all about the life of St. Juan Diego, but can’t name the 12 apostles. So maybe Lewis has a point. But instead of describing it as a jungle, I might amend the comparison to be a library – a massive library. Because, if we’re talking about the Church’s intellectual tradition, her teachings, and even her dogmas, you actually do have something like a library of content. But the challenge with a library, is that it’s easy to get distracted with the stuff you want to read as opposed to the stuff you should read.