One of those classics is "The Great Divorce." It is a great book revealing Lewis' ability with words and philosophy, but at the same time, the reader is stuck wonder where the fiction ends and the theological argument begins.
One of my biggest complaints that many have towards this book is that they argue, from this book alone, that Lewis believes in Postmortem evangelism. That is the essential backdrop to this story. All of the "ghost," in this story are dead and are making a choice between heaven and hell.
But Lewis makes it clear in the introduction that this book is not primarily a theological work. He would disagree with much of the setting in this book. Therefore, I wonder, does Lewis believe in Postmortem evangelism, or is it just part of the story. One thing is clear, Lewis believes is an inclusivist. This is made clear in his classic work, "Mere Christianity," and in "The Last Battle," book 7 of his most famous work, The Chronicles of Narnia. He is an inclusivist, but is does he affirm postmortem evangelism.
I don't know.
Throughout this book, I found myself constantly asking similar questions. Where does Lewis leave fiction and discuss theology and philosophy? I found myself asking this question during the main character's conversation with George MacDonald. It seems that Lewis was making an argument rather than explaining the world he had created. But I remain unsure at this.
Here is my conclusion: "The Great Divorce," must not be the only place one turns to make an argument regarding Lewis' theology. If one accuses Lewis of anything and can only point to this book, then their argument, in my assessment, is weak. The line between fact and fiction in this book remain blurred. Therefore, anyone that criticizes Lewis solely on this book might be guilty of misunderstand Lewis. At the same time, one must be concerned with some of the implications of this book.
Overall, outside of this major issue, I enjoyed this book. There is much that I am concerned about, but he makes some excellent points. It is interesting how many of the ghost refused to go to heaven simply because they were not needed. This is a powerful point. What holds many of us back from the gospel is nothing more than pride. Pride that says, "I can do it on my own. God needs me."
Perhaps this is why many of us turn to legalism or simply ignore the gospel all together. Lewis does one thing: he reminds us of our complete dependence on God while at the same time, God does not depend or need us. What a sobering thought.