One of the most popular Christian writers of the last century is Clive Staples Lewis. He was born in Belfast, Ireland at the dawn of the 20th century and died in 1963. He was a scholar and held an academic position in Oxford and Cambridge University for most of his life. Besides that, he was a novelist and a poet, a medievalist, a lay theologian and a Christian apologist. His best-known work includes both fictional and non-fictional work. The former includes The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters and The Space Trilogy, while the latter includes his Christian apologetic works, such as Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain and Miracles.
While in Oxford University, Lewis became close friend to J.R.R. Tolkien, who is also a very renowned novelist. Although Lewis was baptized at birth in the Church of Ireland, during his adolescence he grew away from faith. He return to the Anglican Communion at age 32, merely because of Tolkien’s influence. Faith shaped hugely his later work, while Christianity related radio broadcasts during World War II gave him wide recognition.
As a Christian apologist, he tried to bring rationalism and religion together. Because of his well presented skeptic approach to faith, he is considered the most influential Christian apologist. Christianity Today, in 2000, voted Mere Christianity as the best book of the 20th century. In most of his non-fiction Christian novels, he attempts to refute popular objections to Christianity by presenting a reasonable case.
His fictional work is probably more popular, such as the Chronicles of Narnia. They are deeply influenced by his faith and contain numerous and very strong, although often hidden, Christian messages. Lewis, as an expert on the subject, insisted that his books were not allegory, but rather suppositional. In any case, the fact remains. Over fifty years have passed since his death, yet he is still the most widespread, contemporary Christian writer.
Another important figure of the 20th century in Christian literature is the American Francis August Schaeffer. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1912 and died of lymphoma in 1984 in Minnesota. He was a philosopher, an Evangelican Christian theologian and Presbyterian pastor. He supported the Protestant faith and opposed to theological modernism. His views are prominent in his books A Christian Manifesto and Whatever Happened to the Human Race?
He promoted political activism to Protestant evangelicals in the 70s and 80s. One of the topics that he was deeply concerned with was abortion, which was expressed in his memoir Crazy for God. The Christian Manifesto was published in 1981 as a response to The Communist Manifesto (1848). He believed that the decline of the western world is due to religious pluralism and secular humanism, which rejects any religious dogma. According to Christianity Today, his work has largely shaped the way American evangelicals practice their faith nowadays.