Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians: Finding Authentic Faith in a Forgotten Age with C. S. Lewis

Chris Armstrong November 10, 2017

Many Christians today view the Middle Ages with suspicion—a time of decay and corruption within the church. This posture is unfortunate, for the wisdom and riches of this period have been largely forgotten in our contemporary world.

In Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians, church historian, Dr. Chris Armstrong, invites readers on a journey to look beyond modern caricatures of the Middle Ages to the animating Christian spirit of that unique period. In his presentation, Chris explores key ideas, figures, and movements from the Middle Ages in conversation with C. S. Lewis and other thinkers. We join Lewis, medievals, and other luminaries from Christian history, who overcame both a dismissal of the material world as spiritually irrelevant and an idolatry of material enjoyments as an end themselves, by seeing the world as sacramental—that is teeming with God’s glory, presence, and grace. This perspective offers great potential today to enliven our engagement with the arts, the sciences, and all aspects of human culture on earth.

Dr. Chris R Armstrong is a second-career academic (Duke Ph.D., American Christian History) who taught from 2004 to 2013 at Bethel Seminary in Minnesota. (His first career was in business communications.) In 2014, Chris was called to Wheaton College to become the founding director of Opus: The Art of Work, an institute on faith and vocation.

Chris originally turned to church history to see how Christians have lived out their faith in the world; the same impulse drives his current research on work, vocation, and human flourishing. His first book, Patron Saints for Postmoderns (InterVarsity Press, 2009), looked beyond “the usual church-historical suspects” for guides to a vibrant, socially engaged faith. In his second book, Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians: Finding Authentic Faith in a Forgotten Age with C S Lewis (Brazos, 2016), Chris explores medieval faith to find what Western Christians need today: a sacramental tonic for life in our disenchanted, secularized world.

Chris is the senior editor of Christian History magazine and blogs at gratefultothedead.wordpress.com. He lives in Naperville, IL with his wife Sharon and three of their five children. He enjoys board games and movies and is constantly surprised at how the mid-20th-century author C S Lewis still helps so many—including himself—live faithfully today.