08 May 2015

Lewis the Lutheran

at least in this passage from Broadcast Talks (pp. 32, 33):

"My reason was that Christianity simply doesn't make sense until you've faced the sort of facts I've 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 don't know they've done anything to repent of and who don't feel that they need any forgiveness. It's after you've realized that there is a real Moral Law, and a Power behind that law, and that you have broken that law and put yourself wrong with that Power—it's after all that that Christianity begins to talk. When you know you're sick, you'll listen to the doctor. When you have received that our position is nearly desperate you'll begin to understand what Christians are talking about. They offer an explanation of how we got into our present state of both hating goodness and loving it. They offer an explanation of how God can be this impersonal mind at the back of the Moral Law and yet also a Person. They tell you how the demands of this law, which you and I can't meet, have been met on our behalf, how God Himself becomes man to save man from the disapproval of God. It's an old story and if you want to go into it you will no doubt consult people who have more authority to talk about it than I have. All I'm doing is getting people to face the facts—to understand the questions which Christianity claims to answer. And they are very terrifying facts. I wish it was possible, speaking in war-time, to say something more agreeable. But I've got to say what I think is true. Of course, I quite agree that the Christian religion is, in the long run, a thing of unspeakable comfort. But it doesn't begin in comfort; it begins in the dismay I've been describing, and it's just no good trying to go on to that comfort without first going through that dismay. In religion, as in war and in everything else, comfort is the one thing you can't get by looking for it. If you're looking for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you're looking for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth—only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair. Most of us have got over the pre-war wishful thinking about international politics. It is time we did the same about religion."


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