May 16, 2015

Merely a Christian 07.

If you thought the first part of Mere Christianity was deep, the second part gives the first a run for its money - why?  Because we get to dive into the meaningful and highly useful world of Christian Ethics (i.e. how our beliefs effect our behavior).  Cheers!

Lewis spends the bulk of this first chapter in section two, discussing the superiority of Christianity compared to other "religions" (e.g. Hinduism, Islam, etc.), and what a brilliant case he makes!

The first big division of humanity is into the majority, who believe in some kind of God or gods, and the minority who do not.  On this point, Christianity lines up with the majority.... 

People who believe in God can be divided according to the sort of God they believe in.  There are two very different ideas on this subject.  One of them is the idea that He is beyond good and evil....  The other and opposite idea is that God is quite definitely 'good' or 'righteous', a God who takes sides, who loves love and hates hatred, who wants us to behave in one way and not in another. 

Pantheists usually believe that God, so to speak, animates the universe as you animate your body: that the universe almost is God, so that if it did not exist He would not exist either, and anything you find in the universe is a part of God.  

The Christian idea is quite different.  They think God invented and made the universe.... 

If you do not take the distinction between the good and bad very seriously, then it is easy to say that anything you find in the world is a part of God.  

You must believe that God is separate from the world and that some of the things we see in it are contrary to His will.  

But it also thinks that a great many things have gone wrong with the world that God made and that God insists, and insists very loudly, on our putting them right again.  

Lewis shares about his own atheism:

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust.  But how had I got this idea of just and unjust?  

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 a word without meaning. 

Source: Mere Christianity c. 1952 C.S. Lewis   

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