During my time in Oxford last week, I was able to peruse a number of handwritten manuscripts written by C. S. Lewis, now housed in the Special Collections of the Bodleian Library. One of those manuscripts actually contained an additional letter that Lewis had planned for his last book, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer. That additional letter (originally planned as number XII), was on the topic of Scripture and Fundamentalism. In that unpublished "letter" Lewis says,
One of my reasons for disbelieving in literal inspiration is that this theory is contradicted by Scripture itself. The opening sentence of St. Luke tells us explicitly that he got his facts by inquiry, in a purely human and natural fashion. And I disbelieve in the inerrancy of Scripture because there are contradictions in the historical parts. (Manuscript of Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, p. 48, Dep. d. 808, Special Collections, Bodleian Library)In another unpublished piece of writing, Lewis says:
The fact that we accept the Bible on the authority of the Church does not make the authority of the Church the higher of the two. It need not even make it equal to that of the Bible. Nothing is commoner in life than to accept a higher authority on the strength of a lower.... The child, being baptised and sent to Sunday School, is accepting the church on the authority of its parents; but the church has more authority than they. By accepting the Canon, he accepts the Bible on the authority of the Church but its authority is higher than hers. By believing the Gospels he accepts Christ (in a certain rudimentary sense) on the authority of Scripture; but Christ has more authority than it. If higher authorities were not accepted on the strength of lower ones, to learn anything would be almost impossible. (Dep. d. 811)This "discovery" was interesting to me because Lewis' thoughts expressed here amplify those published in the chapter on Scripture in Reflections on the Psalms. What do you think?