Union’s very own philosophy professor, Justin Barnard stood at the bottom of Hartley Recital Hall in Jennings to introduce Jerry Walls, who was wearing a black tie with gold lettering and a huge lion head at the bottom. Ironically this man was about to argue that the lion was real.
“Is there anyone here who hasn’t read a book by C.S. Lewis?” Walls asked.
Even more ironic than the tie, one lone Unionite, in the dimly lit top row of Hartley Hall, raised his hand high.
Walls then spent the next hour arguing the case for Christ. Walls argued that “man” today has shut themselves off to the belief they can be in reality and still find joy. He argued society has given up delight and imagination to solely focus on reasoning and evidence. Humanity has either become a fool that continually chases the next best thing or has become a disillusioned sensible man that believes he will never find happiness and needs to get over it.
However, Walls argued that society can find happiness on earth, but society must not separate the reason part of the brain from the imaginative part of the brain. C.S. Lewis believes to fully grasp the whole context and meaning of the gospel, one has to be willing to use both sides of the brain. In doing so, one has to be ready to be enchanted by holiness.
Walls presented four arguments to prove Christ is who he says he is. The first he defeated Naturalism by saying the word “because” could very well be a ‘cause and effect’ statement. But it also could be an inference, allowing if A + B to be true, C must be true as well.
As Walls skipped around the front of the recital hall, waving his arms at points he obviously felt we all should have gotten equally excited over and other times standing cross legged, arms folded seemingly wondering if what he was saying was sinking in to the minds of college students, he went on to explain the argument for desire. Of course one of Lewis’ most memorable quotes was used,
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
Looking across the room, this statement more than any seemed to sink into the minds of students who wished they had a faster car, a sweeter girlfriend, or a more understanding boyfriend (or a boyfriend at all). Walls related well to those attending, as he played into the desire we all want: to be loved and be satisfied, but nothing in this world will ever satisfy us.
The third was the Agape argument profoundly stating that if one does not know the God of love, they will make love their god.
“By loving him more than them, we shall love them more than we do now. You’ll love others best when you love God most,” Walls said.
The fourth and final argument was the moral argument leading to the trilemma. Most Union students who have take Dr. Barnard or any philosophy class would have seen this argument before. It starts with an argument between two people and ends up asking if Jesus is a liar, lunatic, or Lord.
In The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the professor said to Peter about his sister Lucy,
“There are only three possibilities. Either your sister is telling lies, or she is mad, or she is telling the truth. You know she doesn’t tell lies and it is obvious that she is not mad. For the moment then and unless any further evidence turns up, we must assume that she is telling the truth.”
He ended the final argument by saying he could beat Proffesor Mark Bolyard in basketball. A smiling young man in the front row agreed with Walls.
Then he went on to say he could beat Union’s point guard in one on one. The room filled with laughter when surprised Walls exclaimed, “This young man is still with me!” as the same young man agreed.
He then declared he could beat Kobe, last night, in his final game of his career. The room filled with laughter, but not because the young man agreed with him, it was because we were all hoping he wasn’t being serious.
“Those comments may make you think I’ve gone off the edge, but I have yet to say ‘I am God and I will save you from your sins,’” Walls said.
Jesus declared he is God, and we can either call him a liar, lunatic or Lord, but we still have to decide.