Micah Watson: "C.S. Lewis as Natural Law Evangelist: Evangelical Political Thought and the People in the Pew"

One of the challenging features of considering the role of natural law for an evangelical tradition of political thought is the connection between a thinker’s understanding of morality and politics and the intended audience for whom a tradition may offer guidance for actual political wisdom and action. Part of such a project is very well spent in just the theoretical task of determining the best or most true way of thinking about politics. Presumably, however, worthwhile thinking about politics should be directed to bear more than just theoretical fruit, and this means considering how actual members of a particular tradition might be persuaded of the proposed (and likely ongoing) articulation of a political tradition.

This paper attempts to delineate such a connection­­—in the case between an evangelical understanding of natural law with actual evangelicals--through the bridge of the natural law though of C.S. Lewis. The paper will begin by elaborating on the peculiar difficulties of establishing this connection for evangelicals given that evangelicals do not answer to a universally accepted creed or an institutional magisterium, as well as other difficulties. The next two sections will introduce Lewis as a proposed bridge and then offer a brief sketch of his approach to natural law. Following this exposition, the paper will evaluate Lewis’s thought with regard to what potential it holds to “connect” evangelical natural law thought and actual evangelicals.