C. S. Lewis: Converted Later than Believed?
Jerry Root, associate director of the Billy Graham Center Institute of Strategic Evangelism at Wheaton College and an expert on Lewis, asks, "Does C. S. Lewis Have Something to Hide?" in a review of Alister McGrath's C. S. Lewis - A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet for Christianity Today (November 22, 2013). Root thinks not, but he does acknowledge this:
McGrath does uncover some information that's barely known even among Lewis scholars and aficionados. For example, Lewis's conversion to Christianity actually took place several months to a year later than the dates Lewis himself seems to suggest. The chronology of these events reveals how carefully McGrath pays attention to detail.I noted this point on the Milton List -- Lewis was an expert on Milton's Paradise Lost -- and Professor Salwa Khoddam, another expert on Lewis, filled in the details:
What Alister McGrath in C. S. Lewis: Eccentric Genius. Reluctant Prophet--A Life writes is that Lewis came to believe in God in 1930 rather in 1929. But the famous conversation between him, Tolkien, and Dyson in Sept. 19, 1931 is still the pivoting event that drove the process of his conversion to Christianity, by his accepting the true "myth" of Christianiy. According to McGrath, this conversion process culminated not in what is traditionally taken to be the correct date of his belief in the divinity of Christ (28 Sept. 1931), during a trip to the Whipsnade Zoo in a motorbike driven by his brother Warnie, but in June 1932, while being driven to the Whipsnade Zoo in a car by Edward Foord-Kelcey. McGrath has interesting evidence to prove these new landmarks (135-59).There it is, for all you Lewis fans: The Truth! Well, accuracy about dating, anyway . . .