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Calvin Academy of Life Long Learning The Real C.S. Lewis: His Life and Writings Compiled by Paulo F. Ribeiro, MBA, PhD, PE, IEEE Fellow Session II – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Calvin Academy of Life Long Learning


1
Calvin Academy of Life Long Learning The Real
C.S. Lewis His Life and Writings Compiled by
Paulo F. Ribeiro, MBA, PhD, PE, IEEE Fellow
Session II
Spring 2003, AD SB 101
2
Scripture The joy of the Lord is our
strength. Neh. 810
3
The Real C.S. Lewis His Life and
Writings Provisional Schedule 3/13/ - Surprised
by Joy The Chronology and Development of a Tough
And Holistic Christian Mind 3/20 - Mere
Christianity Orthodoxy and Basic Christian
Doctrines (Other books Reflections on the Psalms
and Miracles) 3/27 - Screwtape Letters Hell and
Heaven 4/3 - God in the Dock Common Sense
Christian Practice and Pain and Love The
Problem of Pain and the Four Loves 4/10 - From
Narnia to Literary Criticism A Fully Integrated
Christian Mind 4/17- The Last Ten Years
Shawdowlands (BBC Movie)
4
I think it important to try to see the present
calamity in a true perspective. The war
terrorism creates no absolutely new situation
it simply aggravates the permanent human
situation so that we can no longer ignore it.
Human life has always been lived on the edge of a
precipice. Human culture has always had to exist
under the shadow of something infinitely more
important than itself. If men had postponed the
search for knowledge and beauty until they were
secure, the search would have never begun. C.S.
Lewis, "Learning in War-Time," in The Weight of
Glory and Other Addresses
5
Three sides Lewis, the distinguished Oxbridge
literary scholar and critic Lewis, the highly
acclaimed author of science fiction and
children's literature and Lewis, the popular
writer and broadcaster of Christian apologetics.
6
Champion of Basic / Mere Christianity Born into
a bookish family of Protestants in Belfast,
Ireland. "There were books in the study, books
in the dining room, books in the cloakroom, books
(two deep) in the great bookcase on the landing,
books in a bedroom, books piled as high as my
shoulder in the cistern attic, books of all
kinds," A Life of Problems and Moments of
Delight (Joy) Lewis mother's death from cancer
came just three months before Jack's tenth
birthday, and the young man was hurt deeply by
her passing. On top of that, his father never
fully recovered from her death, and both boys
felt increasingly estranged from him home life
was never warm and satisfying again. Transition
From Christianity to Atheism His mother's death
convinced young Jack that the God he encountered
in the Bible his mother gave him didn't always
answer prayers. This early doubt, coupled with an
unduly harsh, self-directed spiritual regimen and
the influence of a mildly occultist boarding
school matron a few years later, caused Lewis to
reject Christianity and become an avowed atheist.
University Life Lewis entered Oxford in 1917 as
a student and never really left. "The place has
surpassed my wildest dreams," he wrote to his
father after spending his first day there. "I
never saw anything so beautiful." Despite an
interruption to fight in World War I (in which he
was wounded by a bursting shell), he always
maintained his home and friends in Oxford.
7
Mere Christianity - Table of Contents Book I.
Right and wrong as a clue to the meaning of the
universe 1. The law of human nature 2. Some
objections 3. The reality of the law 4. What lies
behind the law 5. We have cause to be
uneasy Book II. What Christians believe 1. The
rival conceptions of God 2. The invasion 3. The
shocking alternative 4. The perfect penitent 5.
The practical conclusion
Book III Christian behavior 1. The three parts of
morality 2. The Cardinal Virtues 3. Social
morality 4. Morality and psychoanalysis 5. Sexual
morality 6. Christian marriage 7. Forgiveness
8
Mere Christianity - Excerpt from Preface I
hope no reader will suppose that "mere"
Christianity is here put forward as an
alternative to the creeds of the existing
communions as if a man could adopt it in
preference to Congregationalism or Greek
Orthodoxy or anything else. It is more like a
hall out of which doors open into several rooms.
If I can bring anyone into that hall, I have done
what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not the
hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals.
The hall is a place to wait in, a place from
which to try the various doors, not a place to
live in. For that purpose the worst of the rooms
(whichever that may be) is, I think preferable.
It is true that some people may find they have to
wait in the hall for a considerable time, while
others feel certain almost at once which door
they must knock at. I do not know why there is
this difference, but I am sure God keeps no one
waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to
wait. When you do get into the room you will find
that the long wait has done some kind of good
which you would not have had otherwise. But you
must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You
must keep on praying for light and, of course,
even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey
the rules which are common to the whole house.
And above all you must be asking which door is
the true one not which pleases you best by its
paint and paneling.
9
Mere Christianity - Excerpt from Preface In
plain language, the question should never be "Do
I like that kind of service?" but "Are these
doctrines true Is holiness here? Does my
conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance
to knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere
taste, or my personal dislike of this particular
door-keeper?"   When you have reached your own
room, be kind to those who have chosen different
doors and to those who are still in the hall. If
they are wrong they need your prayers all the
more and if they are your enemies, then you are
under orders to pray for them. This is one of the
rules common to the whole house.
10
Book I - Right and Wrong as a Clue to the
Meaning of the Universe A Flow-Chart Approach
11
I Peter 315 But in your heart set Christ as
Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to
everyone who asks you to give the reason for the
hope that you have. But do this with gentleness
and respect, keeping a clear conscience.
12
End of the Story
A Force/Power is a sort of a tame and
convenient God . An inconsistent Power
Yes
Do you believe in the existence of a Moral Law?
What Kind A Force (Power)?
No
End of the Story
No
Yes
No
Are you tricking me with a religious talk?
A God ?
Yes
Is there anything or anyone behind the Moral
Law?
No
No
We are trying to find truth and the meaning of
the universe.
End of the Story
Yes
Are you interested?
Yes
No
End of the Story
13
How can we find out more about the thing behind
the moral law and the meaning of the universe?
The Moral Law ells you to do the straight thing
and it does not seem to care how painful, or
dangerous, or difficult it is to do.
The Moral Law does not give us any grounds for
thinking that God is good in the sense of
being soft and nice.. The Moral Law is as hard as
nails. If God is like the Moral Law, then HE IS
NOT SOFT.
Looking into the The Universe He Made
Looking inside ourselves, where He wrote the
moral laws
He is quite merciless. The universe is a very
dangerous place.
He is a great artist
No
Do you want to proceed? at your own risk?
But you cannot know a man by looking at the
house he built.
End of the Story
End of the Story
Yes
End of the Story
14
Is He an Impersonal Absolute Goodness ?
No
Is He a Personal absolute Goodness ?
If the universe is not governed by an absolute
goodness, then all our efforts are in the long
run hopeless.
Yes
Yes
Absolute Goodness is either the great safety or
the great danger - according to the way you
react to it. God is the only comfort and supreme
terror
No exceptions, or allowances permitted.
Do you want to find out more about God
End of the Story
End of the Story
No
Yes
Christianity tells how the demands of the Moral
Law, which we cannot meet, have been met on our
behalf, how God Himself becomes man to save man
from the disapproval of God.
Have you broken the Moral Law? Do you think you
need Forgiveness?
No
Yes
Beginning of Chapter 1 of the Great Story
... Which goes on forever in which every chapter
is better than the one before.
End of the Story
15
My reason for going around in this way was that
Christianity simply does not make sense until you
have faced the sort of facts I have been
describing. Christianity tells people to repent
and promises them forgiveness. It therefore has
nothing (as far as I know) to say to people who
do not know they have done anything to repent of
and who do not feel they need any forgiveness.
It is after you have realized that there is a
Moral Law, the Power behind the the law, and that
you have broken that law and put yourself wrong
with the Power - it is after all this, and not a
moment sooner, that Christianity begins to talk.
16
The Christian religion is, in the long run, a
thing of unspeakable comfort. But it does not
begin with comfort it begins with dismay. In
religion, as in war and everything else, comfort
is the one thing you cannot get by looking for
it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort
in the end. If you look for comfort you will not
get either comfort or truth - only soap and
wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end
despair. All I am doing is to ask people to
face the facts - to understand the questions
which Christianity claims to answer.
17
What Is Mere Christianity? 1 - Christianity is
all about Jesus Christ. 2 - Jesus Christ is
fully God Jesus Christ is fully man. 3 - The
goal of Christianity is to be conformed into the
image of Jesus Christ. 4 - At the center of
Christianity is the Church. 5 - At the heart of
Christian discipleship is obedience.
18
Book 2 - What Christians Believe
19
Book 2 - What Christians Believe
Who was (and is) Christ?
God?
Great Moral Teacher?
Lunatic?
It does Not Make Sense
It is beyond my senses
It is non-sense
What was the Purpose of it all?
To Teach
But Christians are constantly talking about
something different
Christ
Death
Resurrection
20
Book 2 - What Christians Believe
Understanding / Believing Christianity
The Real Thing
Pictures
Theories
mutually exclusive
Believing
Understanding
Why did He have to die?
God had to Restore the Original Order
Man needed to be restored and could not do it by
himself
Man Needed to go through a complete restoration /
recycle / re-birth
Perfect Humiliation was necessary
God would have to walk us through the process
This could not be accomplished by man himself
Only a God (Perfection) and Man (Humiliation)
could do it HE DID IT - FOR US
21
Book 2 - What Christians Believe
The Cosmic Equations - Calculus for Life
Creation
Fall
Redemption
22
Book 2 - What Christians Believe
Perfect Humiliation Perfect because He was God -
Humiliation because He was man
How and where from this new man derives his
strength New life - Christ life
Faith
Baptism
Communion
23
Book 2 - What Christians Believe
Christ-life operate through our bodies, fingers,
muscles, etc..
God loves and uses material things, like bread
and wine. He loves matter. He Created it
But why is God landing in this enemy-occupied
world? Why is He not landing in force, invading
it? Is He not strong enough?
Yes, He is. God will invade. But when He does,
it will be very different. When the author
walks on to the stage the play is over.
Are you ready? Have you chosen the right side -
His side? Now is the time for choosing. God is
holding back to give us that chance - It will
not last forever.
24
The C.S. Lewis Catechism Q1. Why does man need
God? A1. Because God made man to run on God
Himself Q2. Why did God give free will to man
allowing evil to come into the picture? A2.
Because free will is the only thing that makes
possibly any love or goodness or joy worth
having. Q3. What did God do to restore / redeem
man? A3. God Himself becomes man to save man
from the disapproval of God. Q4. What is
formula of Christianity? A4. That Christ was
killed for us, that His death washed out our
sins, and that by dying He disabled death itself.
That is the formula. That is Christianity. That
is what has to be believed. Q1 - says in a less
elegant way what Augustine said 1500 years ago.
"Though hast created us for Thyself and our
hearts are restless until they find their rest in
you." Q2 - Lewis leaned more to the
semi-pelagian or Arminian side of things on free
will than he did of the classiscal reformers
(e.g. Luther, Zwingli, Calvin). They all would
agree on free will before he Fall, but Lewis held
to the idea of free will after the Fall. Re
point three, he seems to operate with the
Anselmina view of the atonement, which is held to
by Calvinists, Lutherans, and most evangelicals.
25
The C.S. Lewis Catechism Q5. Is salvation by
God's predestination or by human choice? A4. "I
was offered what now appears a moment of wholly
free choice. But I feel my decision was not so
important. I was the object rather than the
subject in this affair. I was decided upon... I
chose, yet it really did not seem possible to do
the opposite."
26
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
What is Morality?
Rules to stop us having fun
Rules for running the human machine
Moral Ideals vs Moral Rules
Moral Idealism vs Moral Obedience
Ways The Human Machine Goes Wrong
Individuals drift apart from one another - collide
Different parts within an individual drift apart
or interfere with one another
27
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
Morality is concerned with three things
Fair play between individuals
What man was made for
Tidying up or harmonizing the things inside each
individual
The behavior of the human machine is related to
the understanding of its origin and destination
To whom we belong to?
How long are we going to live?
Morality Three Departments
Relations between man to man
Relations inside each man
Relations between man and the power that made him
28
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
The Cardinal (Pivotal - Essential) Virtues
Common Sense Childs Heart Grown-up Head
Prudence
Going the right length and no further From
drinking to reading
Temperance
Fairness Honesty Truthfulness Keeping Promises
Justice
Fortitude
Guts
Christianity requires the whole of us, brains,
and all.
One of the reasons why it needs no special
education to be a Christian is that Christianity
is an education itself. This is why, an
uneducated believer like Bunyan was able to write
a book that astonished the whole world.
29
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
Virtue
Quality
Not a particular Action
Important Observations
1. The right actions done for the wrong reason do
not help to build character called virtue 2.
God does not want obedience to a set of rules -
He is interested in a people of a particular
sort 3. In heaven we may not need to practice
the cardinal virtues, but there will be every
occasion for being the sort of people that we
can become only as a result of doing such acts
here. ...if people have not got at least the
beginnings of those qualities inside of them,
then no possible external conditions could make a
Heaven for them - that is, could make them
happy with the deep, strong, unshakable kind of
happiness God intended for us.
Galatians 6 1-10 (Let us not become weary in
doing good)
30
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
When Christianity tells you to feed the hungry it
does not give you lessons in cookery.
If our charities to do not at all pinch us or
hamper us, I should say they are too small.
Every time we make a choice we are turning the
central part of us either into a heavenly
creature or into a hellish creature.
31
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
Social Morality
1 Golden Rule Do as you would be done by
2 Christianity has, and does not profess to have
a detailed political program for applying Do as
you would be done by
When it tells you to feed the hungry it does not
give you lessons in cookery
When it tells you to read the Scriptures it does
not give you lessons in Hebrew or Greek
It was never intended to replace the ordinary
human arts and science it is a director which
will set them all to the right jobs, if only they
will put themselves at its disposal.
Life is Religion
32
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
The job is really on us, on the laymen, not the
Church. The application of Christian principles,
say to trade unionism or education, must come
from Christian trade unionists and Christian
schoolmasters just as Christian literature comes
from Christian novelists and dramatics - from
from the bench of bishops getting together and
trying to write plays and novels in their spare
time.
The New Testament tell us 1. There is no
passengers or parasites 2 . Leftist - and
Obedient 3. Cheerful society Economy
Socialist Code of manners Aristocratic
Modern Economy - Based on lending money at
interest Christian Economist are needed
here. The concept applies to all professions.
To All of Life
33
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
The Question of Giving - Charity
I do not believe one can settle how much we ought
to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to
give more than we can spare. In other words, if
our expenditure on comforts, luxuries,
amusements, etc.., is up to the standard common
among those with the same income as our own, we
are probably giving too little. If our charities
to do not at all pinch us or hamper us, I should
say they are too small.
A Christian society is not going to arrive until
most of us want it.
And we are not going to want it until we become
fully Christians.
But I cannot do it until I love my neighbor as
myself.
And I am not going learn to love my neighbor
until I learn to love God
and I cannot learn to love God until I obey Him.
34
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
Morality and Psychoanalysis
Christian Specification for the human machine
Moral Choices Involve 1. Choosing 2. Feelings,
Impulses (raw material of his choice)
Natural and Perverted Desires Bad psychological
material is not sin but a disease God does not
judge man on the raw material at all but on what
he does with it.
Every time you make a choice you are turning the
central part, the part of you that chooses, into
something a little different from what it was
before ... turning this central part either into
a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature.
35
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
Sexual Morality
The Christian Rule Virtue of Chastity Chastity
should not be confused with social rule of
modesty, propriety or decency
The Christian Rule is Either Marriage with
complete faithfulness to your partner, or else
total abstinence
This rule is so contrary to our instincts, that
obviously either Christianity is wrong or our
sexual instinct has gone wrong.
The biological purpose of sex is children.
Please discuss the following definition Sex was
made for the ultimate intimate enjoyment within
the bounds of marriage in which children can be
an additional blessing.
36
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
Sexual Appetite Food strip-tease (sexual
starvation or perversion) Why are lies about sex
so powerful? Christianity has glorified marriage
more than any other religion. What is the view
of the Film and TV industry on sexual morality?
Every civilized man must have some set of
principles by which he chooses to reject some of
his desires and and to permit others. Christian
Principles Hygienic Principles Sociological
Principles
Perfect Chastity - like perfect charity - will
not be attained by any merely human
efforts. Sex The Center of Christian Morality is
Not Here.
37
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
Christian Marriage
Marriage is for Life
Keeping Promises A Basic Moral Principle
The important difference between Being in Love
with someone or Loving someone
Love is an evolving process - ever improving and
deepening
The Question of Divorce
The Question of Mans Headship Constitution,
Natural Psychology
38
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
Forgiveness
If we do not forgive we shall not be forgiven.
The most unpopular virtue. Do you agree with
this statement? Think of someone you find
difficult to forgive. Let us ask God to help us
and forgive us!
Love your neighbor as yourself! Discuss what
does this mean to you. How do we love
ourselves? Do we need to like what we love?
Capital punishment. How do we respond to
it? When killing is not a murder? Never enjoy
punishing - Discuss.
39
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
Charity
Three Theological Virtues Faith - Hope - Charity
Discuss the following topics related to
charity Giving to the poor. Love is not a state
of the feeling but of the will. Liking conflicts
with charity. The rule is Do not waste your time
bothering ... Giving and show off. Good and evil
both increase at compound interest.
Do not waste your time bothering whether you
love your neighbor act as if you did. As soon
as we do this we find one of the great secrets.
40
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
Hope
Looking forward to the eternal world. No escapism
wishful thinking.
Aim at Heaven and you will get earth thrown in
aim at earth and you will get neither.
The Hope for Heaven led the Christians throughout
the ages to do things that changed history. (The
Apostles, the great men of the middle ages, The
Reformers, The English Evangelicals, The Civil
Rights Movement, etc.) Dealing with the
inconsolable longing. The Fools Way The Way of
Disillusioned Sensible Man The Christian Way
If I find in myself a desire which no experience
in this world can satisfy, the most probable
explanation is that I was made for another world.
41
Book 3 - Christian Behavior
Faith
Is faith a moral virtue or a statement to be
accepted as good or bad?
At what point of the Christian life does faith
come into the picture?What is the problem with
faith and emotion? Romans 714-20, Genesis
47Why is faith a necessary virtue? 1st
Recognize the fact that your moods change. 2nd
Remind yourself daily of what you believe.
It is not reason that is taking away my faith,
but my imagination and my emotions.
42
Book 4 - Beyond Personality
Making and Begetting
A discussion about life and how it relates to God.
Theology As a Map Less Real, But
Essential Christians We are all Missionaries and
Theologians
Religious Experience Based on Emotions
(Charismatic) Feelings (New Age) Popular
Understanding (Nominalism)
Christianity (Integral Religion) is Based
on Faith Reason Experience Emotions, Feelings
43
Book 4 - Beyond Personality
Making and Begetting
Christ is the Son of God Those who give Him their
confidence can also become Sons of God His death
saved us from our sins
Before all worlds Christ is begotten, not created.
Man as Pictures or Statues of God Material versus
Spiritual
This world is a great sculptors shop. We are the
statues and there is a rumor going round the shop
that some of us are some day going to come to
life.
44
Book 4 - Beyond Personality
The Three-Personal God A discussion of the
divine personality, it's qualities, and how it
works in our lives.
God beyond Personality The Wrong idea - God as
something impersonal The Christian Idea - God as
Super-Personal / Three-Personal Life
Father
is
is not
is not
God
is
is
Son
Spirit
is not
45
More Quotes From Mere Christianity "Right
actions done for the wrong reason do not help to
build the internal quality or character called a
"virtue," and it is this quality or character
that really matters." "There is a difficulty
about disagreeing with God. He is the source from
which all you reasoning power comes you could
not be right and he wrong any more than a stream
can rise higher than its own source. When you are
arguing against Him you are arguing against the
very power that makes you able to argue at all
it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting
on." "There are only two kinds of people in
the end those who say to God, "Thy will be
done," and those to whom God says, in the end,
"Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose
it. Without that self-choice there could be no
Hell."
46
More Quotes From Mere Christianity "Imagine
yourself as a living house. God comes in to
rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can
understand what He is doing. He is getting the
drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof
and so on you knew that those jobs needed doing
and so you are not surprised. But presently he
starts knocking the house about in a way that
hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense.
What on earth is He up to? The explanation is
that He is building quite a different house from
the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing
here, putting on an extra floor there, running up
towers, making courtyards. You thought you were
going to be made into a decent little cottage
but He is building a palace. He intends to come
and live in it Himself." "...in the very act
of trying to prove that God did not exist - in
other words, that the whole of reality was
senseless - I found that I was forced to assume
that one part of reality - namely, my idea of
justice - was full of sense. Consequently,
atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole
universe has no meaning, we should never have
found out that it has no meaning just as, if
there were no light in the universe and therefore
no creatures with eyes, we should never know it
was dark. Dark would be without
meaning. "Surely what a man does when he is
taken off his guard is the best evidence for what
sort of man he is..."
47
More Quotes From Mere Christianity "If I find in
myself a desire which no experience in this world
can satisfy, the most probable explanation is
that I was made for another world." "Until
you have given up your self to Him you will not
have a real self..." "Besides being
complicated, reality, in my experience, is
usually odd. It is not neat, not obvious, not
what you expect." The only things we can keep
are the things we freely give to God. What we
try to keep for ourselves is just what we are
sure to lose. "They are told they ought to love
God. They cannot find any such feeling in
themselves. What are they to do? The answer is
the same as before. Act as if you did. Do not
sit tying to manufacture feelings. Ask yourself,
'If I were sure that I loved God, what would I
do?' When you have found the answer, go and do
it."
"But the great thing to remember
is that, though our feelings come and go, His
love for us does not."
48
More Quotes From Mere Christianity " ...badness
cannot succeed even in being bad in the same way
in which goodness is good. Goodness is, so to
speak, itself badness is only spoiled goodness .
. . Evil is a parasite, not an original thing."
No man knows how bad he is till he has tried
very hard to be good. "Never, never pin your
whole faith on a human being...there are lots of
nice things you can do with sand but do not try
building a house on it."   "If I find myself a
desire which no experience in this world can
satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I
was made for another world."   "The Son of God
became a man to enable men to become sons of
God."   Free will is what has made evil
possible. Why, then, did God give creatures
free will? Because free will, though it makes
evil possible, is also the only thing that makes
possible any love or goodness or joy worth
having.   The happiness God desires for His
creatures is...ecstasy of love...And for that
they must be free.
49
More Quotes From Mere Christianity Christianity
agrees with Dualism that this universe is at war.
But it does not think this is a war between
independent powers. It thinks it is a civil war,
a rebellion, and that we are living in a part of
the universe occupied by the rebel....Enemy-occupi
ed territorythat is what this world is.   The
better stuff a creature is made ofthe cleverer
and stronger and freer it isthen the better it
will be if it goes right, but also the worse it
will be if it goes wrong.   Christianity is the
story of how the rightful king has landed, you
might say landed in disguise, and is calling us
all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.
  "Whenever you find a man who says he doesn't
believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find
the same man going back on this a moment later."
50
More Quotes From Mere Christianity "If I find in
myself a desire which no experience in this world
can satisfy, the most probable explanation is
that I was made for another world."   "If God
thinks this state of war in the universe a price
worth paying for free will...then we may take it
it is worth paying."   "Until you have given up
your self to Him you will not have a real
self..."   "Atheism turns out to be too simple.
If the whole universe has no meaning, we should
never have found out that it has no
meaning..."   "When you are arguing against Him
you are arguing against the very power that makes
you able to argue at all."   "You would not call
a man humane for ceasing to set mousetraps if he
did so because he believed there were no mice in
the house."   "There is nothing indulgent about
the Moral Law. It is as hard as nails...If God is
like the Moral Law, then He is not soft."
51
More Quotes From Mere Christianity "All that we
call human history--money, poverty, ambition,
war, prostitution, classes, empires,
slavery--is the long terrible story of man
trying to find something other than God which
will make him happy."   "The natural life in each
of us is something self-centered, something that
wants to be petted and admired, to take advantage
of other lives, to exploit the whole
universe."   "The natural life knows that if
the spiritual life gets hold of it, all its
self-centeredness and self-will are going to be
killed and it is ready to fight tooth and nail to
avoid that."   "The terrible thing, the almost
impossible thing, is the hand over your whole
self--all your wishes and precautions--to
Christ."
52
More Quotes From Mere Christianity "My argument
against God was that the universe seemed so cruel
and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just
and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked
unless he has some idea of a straight line. What
was I comparing this universe with when I called
it unjust? If the whole show was bad and
senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I,
who was supposed to be part of the show, find
myself in such violent reaction against it? A man
feels wet when he falls into water, because man
is not a water animal a fish would not feel wet.
Of course, I could have given up my idea of
justice by saying that it was nothing but a
private idea of my own. But if I did that, then
my argument against God collapsed too--for the
argument depended on saying that the world was
really unjust, not simply that it did not happen
to please my private fancies. Thus in the very
act of trying to prove that God did not exist--in
other words, that the whole of reality was
senseless--I found I was forced to assume that
one part of reality--namely my idea of
justice--was full of sense. Consequently atheism
turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe
has no meaning, we should never have found out
that it has no meaning just as, if there were no
light in the universe and therefore no creatures
with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark
would be without meaning."
53
More Quotes From Mere Christianity "Doctrines
are not God they are only a kind of map. But the
map is based on the experience of hundreds of
people who really were in touch with
God--experiences compared with which any thrills
or pious feelings you or I are likely to get on
our own way are very elementary and very
confused. And secondly, if you want to get any
further, you must use the map... This is just
why a vague religion--all about feeling God in
nature, and so on--is so attractive. It is all
thrills and no work like watching the waves from
the beach. But you will not get to Newfoundland
by studying the Atlantic that way, and you will
not get eternal life by simply feeling the
presence of God in flowers or music. Neither will
you get anywhere by looking at maps without going
to sea. Nor will you be very safe if you go to
sea without a map."   "If you do not listen to
Theology, that will mean that you have no ideas
about God. It will mean that you have a lot of
wrong ones--bad, muddled, out-of-date ideas. For
a great many of the ideas about God which are
trotted out as novelties today, are simply the
ones which real Theologians tried centuries ago
and rejected. To believe in the popular religion
of modern England is retrogression--like
believing the earth is flat."   "Really great
moral teachers never do introduce new moralities
it is quacks and cranks who do that... The real
job of every moral teacher is to keep on bringing
us back, time after time, to the old simple
principles which we are all so anxious not to
see."
54
More Quotes From Mere Christianity "People often
think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain
in which God says, 'If you keep a lot of rules,
I'll reward you, and if you don't I'll do the
other thing.' I do not think that is the best way
of looking at it. I would much rather say that
every time you make a choice you are turning the
central part of you, the part of you that
chooses, into something a little different from
what it was before. And taking your life as a
whole, with all your innumerable choices, all
your life long you are slowly turning this
central thing into a Heaven creature or into a
hellish creature either into a creature that is
in harmony with God, and with other creatures,
and with itself, or else into one that is in a
state of war and hatred with God, and with its
fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one
kind of creature is Heaven that is, it is joy,
and peace, and knowledge, and power. To be the
other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage,
impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at
each moment is progressing to the one state or
the other."   "What God begets is God just as
what man begets is man. What God creates is not
God just as what man makes is not man. That is
why men are not Sons of God in the sense that
Christ is. They may be like God in certain ways,
but they are not things of the same kind. They
are more like statues or pictures of God."  
55
More Quotes From Mere Christianity   "Faith...
is the art of holding onto things your reason has
once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.
For moods will change, whatever view your reason
takes. I know that by experience. Now that I am a
Christian, I do have moods in which the whole
thing looks very improbable but when I was an
atheist, I had moods in which Christianity looked
terribly probable. This rebellion of your moods
against your real self is going to come anyway.
That is why Faith is such a necessary virtue
unless you teach your moods 'where they get off,'
you can never be either a sound Christian or even
a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to
and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the
weather and the state of its digestion."   "...
As St. Paul points out, Christ never meant that
we were to remain children in intelligence on
the contrary, He told us to be not only 'as
harmless as doves' but also 'as wise as
serpents.' He wants a child's heart, but a
grown-up's head."
56
The principle runs through all life from top to
bottom, Give up yourself, and you will find your
real self. Lose your life and you will save it.
Submit to death, death of your ambitions and
favorite wishes every day and death of your whole
body in the end submit with every fiber of your
being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back
nothing. Nothing that you have not given away
will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not
died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for
yourself, and you will find in the long run only
hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and
decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him,
and with Him everything else thrown in.
57
Reflections on the Psalms I have often, on my
knees, been shocked to find what sort of thoughts
I have, for a moment, been addressing to God
what infantile placations I was really offering,
what claims I have really made, even what absurd
adjustments or compromises I was,
half-consciously, proposing. There is a Pagan,
savage heart in me somewhere. For unfortunately
the folly and idiot-cunning of Paganism seem to
have far more power of surviving than its
innocent or even beautiful elements. It is easy,
once you have power, to silence the pipes, still
the dances, disfigure the statues, and forget the
stories but not easy to kill the savage, the
greedy, frightened creature now cringing, now
blustering in one's soul.
58
Miracles If the Incarnation happened, it was
the central event in the history of the Earth --
the very thing that the whole story has been
about. Since it happened only once, it is by
Hume's standards infinitely improbable. But then,
the whole history of the Earth has also happened
only once is it therefore incredible? Hence the
difficulty, which weighs upon Christian and
atheist alike, of estimating the probability of
the Incarnation. It is like asking whether the
existence of nature herself is intrinsically
probable. That is why it is easier to argue, on
historical grounds, that the Incarnation actually
occurred than to show, on philosophical grounds,
the probability of its occurrence.
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