I am reading C. S. Lewis’s book The Weight of Glory and once again I realize why he is so popular 50 years after his death. He is addressing the fact that culture will always exist, even in times of crisis like a world war. He sets out to put culture in its proper place for the believer. In the first of two quotes, we see how Lewis looks at culture before the eyes of a watching God.
“I reject at once an idea which lingers in the mind of some modern people that cultural activities are in their own right spiritual and meritorious – as though scholars and poets were intrinsically more pleasing to God than scavengers and bootblacks” (p. 55).
And then he challenges the believer to engage with the culture. He states,
“If all the world were Christian, it might not matter if all the world were uneducated. But, as it is, a cultural life will exist outside whether it exists inside or not. To be ignorant and simple now – not able to meet the enemies on their own ground – would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered” (p. 58).