James Flory's MEMORY-HOLED BOOK REVIEWS

The Majority is Always Wrong.

Category: Rare, Rational Philosophers

A CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO by Francis Schaeffer

REVIEW: Typical Brilliant Schaeffer

Similar to other Schaeffer works, that is to say, exceptional, brilliant, and thought-provoking. Explains Romans 13 so that Erastian Christians can stop their state-worshipping and get on with serving the Lord more Scripturally, less worldily. Those false teachers who today teach a perverted interpretation of Romans 13, that of so-called “unlimited submission to authority” typically despise this work of Schaeffer’s, because Schaeffer, in this his last work, came to the conclusion that there is a point when Christians must not obey evil government. Such of today’s false teachers are want to attack Schaeffer for this, disparaging him as suffering too much from the cancer when he wrote this to have been lucid anymore.

Read the book. It’s today’s false-teaching cowardly pastors who have lost their lucidity, not to mention their grasp on Scripture.

Rating: Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ
5/2004

HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? by Francis Schaeffer

REVIEW: A work of humble soul, genius intellect

Incredibly thought-provoking; stimulating; a work of real genius. Schaeffer knew more about the history of mankind and of what mankind is suffering from, down through history and at this very moment, than anyone else I’ve ever read. Only C.S. Lewis comes close. I can remember, years ago before I knew anything, really, having to take a course in philosophy at the local secular junior college. I was a moron then. I knew nothing. So when, after an entire semester of being introduced to the labrynthine speculations of philosophers from all around the world, espousing everything from agnosticism to myriad pantheisms, I can still remember feeling disillusioned that there must not be any such thing as “Christian philosophy.” After all, it was not included in a course which included pretty much everything and anything. Well then I went to a Christian college the next year, and I was introduced to Francis Schaeffer, first through this book then through others, as well as C.S. Lewis. Both of their philosophical work smashes to bits any of the absurdities posing as profundities which I’d been forcefed in secular college. It was a deliberate and calculatingly biased omission that these two intellectuals of the 20th century were left out of my “general” philosophy class.

Though I can see what they were afraid of. Francis Schaeffer does more than open up minds with his Christian philosophical arguments–his work could easily be used to bring inquiring minds to Christ. It is extremely cogent, and thought-provoking, and fascinating, and logical, and Scriptural, and all things good and true. Can you tell I’m a big fan of Francis Schaeffer?

Perhaps the most fascinating illustrative tool Schaeffer uses is his consistent comparison of artists’ work down through history and how these works anticipated and reflected the times in which the respective artists lived. Shaeffer is of course correct in his assertion that artists are much more sensitive to the things around them, and hence their works in a way can act as a form of historical time capsules. Utterly enthralling stuff. Now here’s a man I long to meet up with in heaven!

Rating: Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ
5/2004

THE C.S. LEWIS HOAX by Kathryn Lindskoog

Christian philosopher C.S. Lewis had many interests but none of those interests had anything to do with temporal financial dealings, and one of many financially foolish things Lewis did in his lifetime was to leave the management of his literary estate to two friends who had neither the experience nor the time to manage it. After Lewis died, these two friends disburdened themselves of this obligation at the very first opportunity, and that opportunity came along very quickly, in the form of an American student named Walter Hooper, who had occasionally visited Lewis in the last summer of Lewis’s life.

If Lindskoog is right–and she makes a very strong case–then this Hooper fellow was, at best, an unscrupulous stalker of Lewis, who managed to infiltrate the world of the object of his obsession, taking advantage of the confusion of the time right after C.S. Lewis’s sudden death, and who has subsequently managed to re-write certain histories about himself and about Lewis, as well as smearing the reputation of Lewis’s beloved brother along with way.

Also, though Lindskoog nowhere wonders about this, it is this reader’s opinion that the possibility that Hooper was working as a spy for a certain “religious” order needs to be considered.

Pick up any C.S. Lewis book nowadays and there will without fail be in it an introduction written by this Walter Hooper fellow. And in it Hooper will never fail to aggrandize himself and lionize his relationship to Lewis. But if you look at the letters of Lewis’s brother in the days right after C.S. Lewis’s death, as Lindskoog shows, then you see that Lewis’s brother was in fact deeply alarmed by the sudden intrusion into, and the co-opting of, the Lewis estate by this young, barely recognizable American student, and Warren Lewis, in no small measure due to his own alcoholism, was frustrated by his inability to stop it from happening.

Hooper has profited immensely ever since then from his apparent usurpation in the 1960s of the C.S. Lewis estate, and he continues to wield all power over which academics get permission to quote Lewis and have access to Lewis’s archives–this despite the fact that it is now known that Hooper flat out lied about his relationship to Lewis, greatly embellishing it, fabricating events that never occured.
Lindskoog exposes all this in a very detective-like prose which makes for a very stimulating read. If there is any fault with this work it is that Lindskoog poses many more questions than she can factually answer.

However, there are occasions in this book when her constant question-raising is more than justified: Like when she asks whether or not the novel The Dark Tower was in fact written by C.S. Lewis. The Dark Tower was supposedly Lewis’s last and posthumous novel, which only Hooper was able to produce for the world. However, as Lewis afficiados already know, The Dark Tower is a very suspicious book because it contains doctrines which conflict with the belief system Lewis espoused in all his other works. The Dark Tower is also widely regarded as being of an inferior literary quality. So, Lindskoog adds a huge amount of justification to the suspicions of many that this Hooper fellow simply produced a counterfeit when he foisted this book on the world and called it Lewis’s. Disturbingly, this wasn’t the only time that Hooper “discovered” forgotten “Lewis writings” or “revisions.”

This is a real conundrum this book presents as it seems there is nothing that can be done about any of this now, even if Lindskoog is correct. But if that’s the case then Lindskoog has performed a great service by alerting Lewis fans of this Hooper fellow and what he seems to have pulled off. Let God deal with him. Ouch.

Rating: Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ
4/2008