Friday, July 30, 2010

The Screwtape Letters: A snippet from Letter #8

My dear Wormwood,

So you ‘have great hopes that the patient’s religious phase is dying away’, have you? I always thought the Training College had gone to pieces since they put old Slubgob’at the head of it, and now I am sure. Has no one ever told you about the law of Undulation?

Humans are amphibians—half spirit and half animal. (The Enemy’s determination to produce such a revolting hybrid was one of the things that determined Our Father to withdraw his support from Him.) As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. This means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, for to be in time means to change. Their nearest approach to constancy, therefore, is undulation—the repeated return to a level from which they repeatedly fall backHomer-Simpson-apathy, a series of troughs and peaks. If you had watched your patient carefully you would have seen this undulation in every department of his life—his interest in his work, his affection for his friends, his physical appetites, all go up and down. As long as he lives on earth periods of emotional and bodily richness and liveliness will alternate with periods of numbness and poverty. The dryness and dullness through which your patient is now going are not, as you fondly suppose, your workmanship; they are merely a natural phenomenon which will do us no good unless you make a good use of it.

To decide what the best use of it is, you must ask what use the Enemy wants to make of it, and then do the opposite....

Your affectionate uncle,

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (originally 1942; this edition: Harper Collins, 1996) 37-38.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Screwtape Letters: A snippet from Letter #3

My dear Wormwood,

I am very pleased by what you tell me about this man’s relations with his mother. But you must press your advantage. The Enemy will be working from the centre outwards, gradually bringing more and more of the patient’s conduct under the new standard, and may reach his behaviour to the old lady at any moment. You want to get in first.... The following methods are useful.
  1. Keep his mind on the inner life. He thinks his conversion is something inside him and his attention is therefore chiefly turned at present to the states of his own mind—or rather to that very expurgated version of them which is all you should allow him to see. Encourage this. Keep his mind off the most elementary duties by directing it to the most advanced and spiritual ones. Aggravate that most useful human characteristic, the horror and neglect of the obvious.  You must bring him to a conditionhomer-simpson-prays in which he can practise self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked in the same office....

Your affection uncle,

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (originally 1942; this edition: Harper Collins, 1996) 11-12.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Screwtape Letters: A snippet from letter #2

My dear Wormwood,

I note with grave displeasure that your patient has become a Christian. Do not indulge the hope that you will escape the usual penalties; indeed, in your better moments, I trust you would hardly even wish to do so. In the meantime we must make the best of the situation. There is no need to despair; hundreds of these adult converts have been reclaimed after a brief sojourn in the Enemy’s camp and are now with us. All the habits of the patient, both mental and bodily, are still in our favour.
One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans. All your patient sees is the half-finished, sham Gothic erection on the new building estate. When he goes inside, he sees the local grocer with rather an oily expression on his face bustling up to offer him one shiny little book containing a liturgy which neither of them understands, and one shabby little book containing corrupt texts of a number of religious lyrics, mostly bad, and in very small print. When he gets to his pew and looks round him he sees just that selection of his neighbours whom he has hitherto avoided. You want to lean pretty heavily on those neighbours. Make his mind flit to and fro between an expression like ‘the body of Christ’ and the actual faces in the next pew.... simpsons-in-church....Work hard, then, on the disappointment or anticlimax which is certainly coming to the patient during his first few weeks as a churchman. The Enemy allows this disappointment to occur on the threshold of every human endeavour. It occurs when the boy who has been enchanted in the nursery by Stories from the Odyssey buckles down to really learning Greek. It occurs when lovers have got married and begin the real task of learning to live together. In every department of life it marks the transition from dreaming aspiration to laborious doing. The Enemy takes this risk because He has a curious fantasy of making all these disgusting little human vermin into what He calls His ‘free’ lovers and servants—’sons’ is the word He uses, with His inveterate love of degrading the whole spiritual world by unnatural liaisons with the two-legged animals. Desiring their freedom, He therefore refuses to carry them, by their mere affections and habits, to any of the goals which He sets before them: He leaves them to ‘do it on their own’. And there lies our opportunity. But also, remember there lies our danger. If once they get through this initial dryness successfully, they become much less dependent on emotion and therefore much harder to tempt....

Your affectionate uncle

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (originally 1942; this edition: Harper Collins, 1996) 5-8.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Screwtape Letters: A snippet from Letter #1

My dear Wormwood,

I note what you say about guiding your patient’s reading and taking care that he sees a good deal of his materialist friend. But are you not being a trifle naïve? It sounds as if you supposed that argument was the way to keep him out of the Enemy’s clutches. That might have been so if he had lived a few centuries earlier. At that time the humans still knew pretty well when a thing was proved and when it was not; and if it was proved they really believed it. They still connected thinking with doing and were prepared to alter their way of life as the result of a chain of reasoning.Obama-wins But what with the weekly press and other such weapons we have largely altered that. Your man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to have a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn’t think of doctrines as primarily ‘true’ or ‘false’, but as ‘academic’ or 'practical', ‘outworn’ or ‘contemporary’, ‘conventional’ or ‘ruthless’. Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don’t waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think that it is strong, or stark, or courageous—that it is the philosophy of the future. That's the sort of thing he cares about....

Your affectionate uncle

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (originally 1942; this edition: Harper Collins, 1996) 1-2.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Two mistaken views Christians have about demons

Screwtape-Letters There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (originally 1942; this edition: Harper Collins, 1996) ix.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

No good applying to heaven for earthly comfort

But I must not end on this note, I dare not—and all the less because longings and terrors of my own prompt me to do so—leave any bereaved and desolate reader confirmed in the widespread illusion that reunion with the loved dead is the goal of the Christian life.Wooden Christian Cross The denial of this may sound harsh and unreal in the ears of the broken hearted, but it must be denied.
“Thou hast made us for thyself,” said St. Augustine, “and our heart has no rest till it comes to Thee.” This, so easy to believe for a brief moment before the altar or, perhaps, half-praying, half-meditating in an April wood, sounds like mockery beside a deathbed. But we shall be far more truly mocked if, casting this way, we pin our comfort on the hope—perhaps even with the aid of séance and necromancy—of some day, this time forever, enjoying the earthly Beloved again, and no more. It is hard not to imagine that such an endless prolongation of earthly happiness would be completely satisfying.
But, if I may trust my own experience, we get at once a sharp warning that there is something wrong. The moment we attempt to use our faith in the other world for this purpose, that faith weakens. The moments in my life when it was really strong have all been moments when God Himself was central in my thoughts. Believing in Him, I could then believe in Heaven as a corollary. But the reverse process—believing first in reunion with the Beloved, and then, for the sake of that reunion, believing in Heaven, and finally, for the sake of Heaven, believing in God—this will not work. One can of course imagine things. But a self-critical person will soon be increasingly aware that the imagination at work is his own; he knows he is only weaving a fantasy. And simpler souls will find the phantoms they try to feed on void of all comfort and nourishment, only to be stimulated into some semblance of reality by pitiful efforts of self-hypnotism, and perhaps by the aid of ignoble pictures and hymns and (what is worse) witches.
We find thus by experience that there is no good applying to Heaven for earthly comfort.grief Heaven can give heavenly comfort; no other kind. And earth cannot give earthly comfort either. There is no earthly comfort in the long run.
For the dream of finding our end, the thing we were made for, in a Heaven of purely human love could not be true unless our whole Faith were wrong. We were made for God. Only by being in some respect like Him, only by being a manifestation of His beauty, loving- kindness, wisdom or goodness, has any earthly Beloved excited our love. It is not that we have loved them too much, but that we did not quite understand what we were loving. It is not that we shall be asked to turn from them, so dearly familiar, to a Stranger. When we see the face of God we shall know that we have always known it. He has been a party to, has made, sustained and moved moment by moment within, all our earthly experiences of innocent love. All that was true love in them was, even on earth, far more His than ours, and ours only because His. In Heaven there will be no anguish and no duty of turning away from our earthly Beloveds. First, because we shall have turned already; from the portraits to the Original, from the rivulets to the Fountain, from the creatures He made lovable to Love Himself. But secondly, because we shall find them all in Him. By loving Him more than them we shall love them more than we now do.

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves (1960; Harcourt Brace: 1991) 137-139.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friendship's value to the community

It could be argued that Friendships are of practical value to the Community. Every civilised religion began in a small group of friends.

Mathematics effectively began when a few Greek friends got together to talk about numbers and lines and angles. What is now the Royal Society was originally a few gentlemen meeting in their spare time to discuss things which they (and not many others) had a fancy for. What we now call “the Romantic Movement” once was Mr. Wordsworth and Mr. Coleridge talking incessantly (at least Mr. Coleridge was) about a secret vision of their own. Communism, Tractarianism, Methodism, the movement against slavery, the Reformation, the Renaissance, might perhaps be said, without much exaggeration, to have begun in the same way.

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves (1960; Harcourt Brace: 1991) 68.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ezekiel Bulver: one more time

[Do you remember Ezekiel Bulver? C.S. Lewis never got around to writing his full biography, but what he does tell us is very insightful. Ezekiel Bulver assures us that "refutation is no necessary part of argument.  Assume that your opponent is wrong, and then explain his error, and the world will be at your feet."  I just discovered one further snippit that I should've given when we went over the readings on Bulver -- kind of a fitting conclusion. So if you don't remember, here's what we previously read:
Why Ezekiel Bulver assumes "You're wrong" (Part 1)
The problem with Ezekiel Bulver's discovery that "You're wrong" (Part 2)
Why Ezekiel Bulver must be proven wrong (Part 3)
And now the final piece.]John-Baird-See

But our thoughts can only be accepted as a genuine insight under certain conditions. All beliefs have causes but a distinction must be drawn between (1) ordinary causes and (2) a special kind of cause called 'a reason.' Causes are mindless events which can produce other results than belief. Bulverism tries to show that the other man has causes and not reasons and that we have reasons and not causes. A belief which can be accounted for entirely in terms of causes is worthless.

C.S. Lewis, "'Bulverism,'" in God in the Dock (Eerdmans: 1970) 275.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The sermon and the lunch (Part 3)

"It is there that we can fling aside the disguises and be ourselves." These words, in the Vicar’s mouth, were only too true and he showed at the lunch table what they meant. Outside his own house he behaves with ordinary courtesy. He would not have interrupted any other young man as he interrupted his son.all-in-the-family He would not, in any other society, have talked confident nonsense about subjects of which he was totally ignorant: or, if he had, he would have accepted correction with good temper. In fact, he values home as the place where he can ‘be himself’ in the sense of trampling on all the restraints which civilized humanity has found indispensable for tolerable social intercourse. And this, I think, is very common. What chiefly distinguishes domestic from public conversation is surely very often simply its downright rudeness. What distinguishes domestic behaviour is often its selfishness, slovenliness, incivility even brutality. And it will often happen that those who praise home life most loudly are the worst offenders in this respect: they praise it — they are always glad to get home, hate the outer world, can’t stand visitors, can’t be bothered meeting people, etc. — because the freedoms in which they indulge themselves at home have ended by making them unfit for civilized society. If they practised elsewhere the only behaviour they now find ‘natural’ they would simply be knocked clown.

C.S. Lewis, "The Sermon and The Lunch" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 285-286.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The sermon and the lunch (Part 2)

5minsThe sermon, for all practical purposes, was over; the five minutes for which the preacher continued talking were a total waste of time — at least for most of us.

Whether I wasted them or not is for you to judge. I certainly did not hear any more of the sermon. I was thinking; and the starting-point of my thought was the question, ‘How can he? How can he of all people?’ For I knew the preacher’s own home pretty well. In fact, I had been lunching there that very day, making a fifth to the Vicar and the Vicar’s wife and the son (Royal Air Force) and the daughter (Auxiliary Territorial Service), who happened both to be on leave. I could have avoided it, swiss-chalet-lunchbut the girl had whispered to me, ‘For God’s sake stay to lunch if they ask you. It’s always a little less frightful when there’s a visitor.’ [Sorry, you'll have to read the essay for the sordid details of lunch at the vicar's!]

.... The memory of that lunch worries me during the last few minutes of the sermon. I am not worried by the fact that the Vicar’s practice differs from his precept. That is, no doubt, regrettable, but it is nothing to the purpose. As Dr Johnson said, precept may be very sincere (and, let us add, very profitable) where practice is very imperfect, and no one but a fool would discount a doctor’s warnings about alcoholic poisoning because the doctor himself drank too much. What worries me is the fact that the Vicar is not telling us at all that home life is difficult and has, like every form of life, its own proper temptations and corruptions. He keeps on talking as if ‘home’ were a panacea, a magical charm which of itself was bound to produce happiness and virtue. The trouble is not that he is insincere but that he is a fool. He is not talking from his own experience of family life at all: he is automatically reproducing a sentimental tradition — and it happens to be a false tradition. That is why the congregation have stopped listening to him.

C.S. Lewis, "The Sermon and The Lunch" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 283-284.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The sermon and the lunch (Part 1)

[This essay by CS Lewis was published in the Church of England Newspaper in 1945. It's quite a surprisingly insightful look at preaching from the lay people's side of the pulpit!]

‘And so’, said the preacher, ‘the home must be the foundation of our national life. It is there, all said and done, that character is formed. It is there that we appear as we really are. It is there we can fling aside the weary disguises of the outer world and be ourselves. It is there that we retreat from the noise and stress and temptation and dissipation of daily life5mins to seek the sources of fresh strength and renewed purity . . .‘  And as he spoke I noticed that all confidence in him had departed from every member of that congregation who was under thirty. They had been listening well up to this point. Now the shufflings and coughings began. Pews creaked; muscles relaxed. The sermon, for all practical purposes, was over; the five minutes for which the preacher continued talking were a total waste of time — at least for most of us.

C.S. Lewis, "The Sermon and The Lunch" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 282.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The risk of apologetics (Advice to Christian Apologists, Part 11)

One last word. I have found that nothing is more dangerous to one’s own faith than the work of an apologist. No doctrine of that Faith seems to me so spectral, so unreal as one that I have just successfully defended in a public debate. For a moment, you see, it has seemed to rest on oneself:Caviezel Jesus as a result, when you go away from that debate, it seems no stronger than that weak pillar.  That is why we apologists take our lives in our hands and can be saved only by falling back continually from the web of our own arguments, as from our intellectual counters, into the Reality — from Christian apologetics into Christ Himself. That also is why we need another’s continual help — oremus pro invicem [‘Let us pray for each other’].
C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 101.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The real point (Advice to Christian Apologists, Part 10)

One of the great difficulties is to keep before the audience’s mind the question of Truth. They always think you are recommending Christianity not because it is true but because it
good. And in the discussion they will at every moment try escape from the issue ‘True or False’ into stuff about
good society, or morals, or the incomes of Bishops, or the Spanish Inquisition, or France, or Polandtime_laser — or anything whatever.  You have to keep forcing them back, and again back, the real point. Only thus will you be able to undermine
(a) Their belief that a certain amount of ‘religion’ is desirable but one mustn’t carry it too far. One must keep on pointing out that Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important. (b) Their firm disbelief of Article XVIII (Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ).* Of course it should be pointed out that, though all salvation is through Jesus, we need not conclude that He cannot save those who have not explicitly accepted Him in this life. And it should (at least in my judgement) be made clear that we are not pronouncing all other religions to be totally false, but rather saying that in Christ whatever is true in all religions is consummated and perfected. But, on the other hand, I think we must attack wherever we meet it the nonsensical idea that mutually exclusive propositions
about God can both be true.
*Article XVIII in the Prayer Book: Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ, which says 'They also are to be had accursed that presume to say, That every man shall be saved by the Law or Sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that Law, and the light of Nature. For holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.’
C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 101-102.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Advice to Christian Apologists (Part 9)

Something will usually have to be said about the historicity of the Gospels. You who are trained theologians will be able
do this in ways which I could not. My own line was to
say that I was a professional literary critic and I thought I did know the difference between legend and historical writing:
that the Gospels were certainly not legendswriting-in-the-sand (in one sense they're not good enough) :  and that if they are not history then they are realistic prose fiction of a kind which actually never existed before the eighteenth century. Little episodes such as Jesus writing in the dust when they brought Him the woman taken in adultery [John 8:3-8] (which have no doctrinal significance at all) are the mark.
C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 101.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Advice to Christian Apologists (Part 8)

It is very difficult to produce arguments on the popular level for the existence of God. audience_questionAnd many of the most popular arguments seem to me invalid.  Some of these may be produced in discussion by friendly members of the audience. This raises the whole problem of the ‘embarrassing supporter’. It is brutal (and dangerous) to repel him; it is often dishonest to agree with what he says. I usually try to avoid saying anything about the validity of his argument in itself and reply, ‘Yes. That may do for you and me. But I’m afraid if we take that line our friend here on my left might say etc. etc.’
C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 100.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Don't water it down (Advice to Apologists, Part 7)

water Do not attempt to water Christianity down. There must be no pretence that you can have it with the Supernatural left
out. So far as I can see Christianity is precisely the one religion from which the miraculous cannot be separated. You must frankly argue for supernaturalism from the very outset.

C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 99..

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Missionaries to Great Britain! (Advice to Apologists, Part 6)

Our great danger at present is lest the Church should continue to practise a merely missionary technique in what has become a missionary situation. A century ago our task was to edify those who had been brought up in the Faith: our present task is chiefly to convert and instruct infidels. Great Britainengland-football-fans is as much part of the mission field as China. Now if you were sent to the Bantus you would be taught their language and traditions. You need similar teaching about the language and mental habits of your own uneducated and unbelieving fellow countrymen. Many priests are quite ignorant on this subject. What I know about it I have learned from talking in R.A.F. camps. They were mostly inhabited by Englishmen and, therefore, some of what I shall say may be irrelevant to the situation in Wales. You will sift out what does not apply....

C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 94.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Talking in today's language: Advice to Apologists (Part 5)

Our business is to present that which is timeless (the same
yesterday, today, and tomorrow [Hebrews 13:8]) in the particular language of our own age.michelle-obama-wilma-flintstone  The bad preacher does exactly the opposite: he takes the ideas of our own age and tricks them out in the traditional language of Christianity. Thus, for example, he may think about the Beveridge Report [on the social security system in Britain] and talk about the coming of the Kingdom. The core of his thought is merely contemporary; only the superficies is traditional. But your teaching must be timeless at its heart and wear a modern dress.

C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 93-94.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Christians need to write popular books! (Advice to Apologists, 4)

While we are on the subject of science, let me digress or a moment. I believe that any Christian who is qualified to write physics-for-dummies a good popular book on any science may do much more by that than by any directly apologetic work. The difficulty we are up against is this. We can make people (often) attend to the Christian point of view for half an hour or so; but the moment they have gone away from our lecture or laid down our article, they are plunged back into a world where the opposite position is taken for granted. As long as that situation exists, widespread success is simply impossible. We must attack the enemy’s line of communication. What we want is not more little books about Christianity,global-warming-for-dummies but more little books by Christians on other subjects — with their Christianity latent.   You can see this most easily if you look at it the other way round. Our Faith is not very likely to be shaken by any book on Hinduism. But if whenever we read an elementary book on Geology, Botany, Politics, or Astronomy, we found that its implications were Hindu, that would shake us. It is not the books written in direct defence of Materialism that make the modern man a materialist; it is the materialistic assumptions in all the other books. In the same way, it is not books on Christianity that will really trouble him. But he would be troubled if, whenever he wanted a cheapastronomy-for-dummies popular introduction to some science, the best work on the market was always by a Christian. The first step to the re-conversion of this country is a series, produced by Christians, which can beat the Penguin and the Thinkers Library on their own ground. Its Christianity would have to be latent, not explicit: and of course its science perfectly honest. Science twisted in the interests of apologetics would be sin and folly.

C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 93. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Advice to Christian Apologists (Part 3)

From this there follows a corollary about the Apologist’s private reading. There are two questions he will naturally ask himself. (1) Have I been ‘keeping up’, keeping abreast of recent movements in theology? (2) Have I stood firm (super monstratas vias)[Jeremiah 6:16] amidst all these ‘winds of doctrine’?[Ephesians 4:14]wind-turbines-spain  I want to say emphatically that the second question is far the more important of the two. Our upbringing and the whole atmosphere of the world we live in make it certain that our main temptation will be that of yielding to winds of doctrine, not that of ignoring them. We are not at all likely to be hide- bound: we are very likely indeed to be the slaves of fashion. If one has to choose between reading the new books and reading the old, one must choose the old: not because they are necessarily better but because they contain precisely those truths of which our own age is neglectful. The standard of permanent Christianity must be kept clear in our minds and it against that standard that we must test all contemporary thought. In fact, we must at all costs not move with the times. We serve One who said ‘Heaven and Earth shall move with the times, but my words shall not move with the times.’ [Matthew 24:35]
C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 91-92.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Advice to Christian apologists (Part 2)

This scrupulous care to preserve the Christian message as something distinct from one’s own ideas, has one very good effect upon the apologist himself.cs-lewis troubled It forces him, again and again, to face up to those elements in original Christianity which he personally finds obscure or repulsive. He is saved horn the temptation to skip or slur or ignore what he finds disagreeable. And the man who yields to that temptation will, of course, never progress in Christian knowledge. For obviously the doctrines which one finds easy are the doctrines which give Christian sanction to truths you already knew. The new truth which you do not know and which you need must, in the very nature of things, be hidden precisely in the doctrines you least like and least understand.
C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 90.
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Monday, July 5, 2010

Advice to Christian Apologists

Apostles-Creed-Stained-Glass We are to defend Christianity itself -- the faith preached by the Apostles, attested by the Martyrs, embodied in the Creeds, expounded by the Fathers. This must be clearly distinguished from the whole of what any one of us may think about God and Man. Each of us has his individual emphasis: each holds, in addition to the Faith, many opinions which seem to him to be consistent with it and true and important. And so perhaps they are. But as apologists it is not our business to defend them. We are defending Christianity; not 'my religion'.

C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 89. 

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Glory in nature

Nature never taught me that there exists a God of glory and of infinite majesty. I had to learn that in other ways. But nature gave the word glory a meaning for me. I still do not know where else I could have found one.
C.S. Lewis

That seemed like a fitting quote from Lewis. It is a beautiful world we live in, and often we are blessed to see the glory of it. But sometimes we see the awful tragic consequences that sin has on our world. Today's jolt from Lewis is late because I've been busy writing a posting for another blog concerning the Gulf oil spill crisis and a Christian response to it. It's a matter for urgent prayer, especially now with the added dimension of Hurricane Alex. Please feel free to check out my posting (link below) and leave any comments. I wish a mere Christian response were possible to this crisis, but instead it would seem some Christians are more eager to promote other agendas.

Oil Spill Disaster in the Gulf: How we can know that it is not God's judgment on the US