Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I imagine I’m watching, that ghastly event
The sky torn with blackness, the veil has been rent
A parched throaty cry barely comes from my mouth
Can this be that justice that needs to be dealt?
Vulgar, obscene, An affront to my sense
That my savior would suffer, all for my expense
No judge ruling fairly would allow such a crime
No guilt he does carry, save only my wrong
My eyes shut in horror, scarce can believe
This act of injustice, that fulfills my need
No token of fealty, nor act of remorse
Can pay back this debt, nor would it come close
A fool would not think it, to make such a bid
Rather grace shows it’s splendor, in "Father forgive!"

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Lewis on Pleasure

Pleasures are shafts of glory as it strikes our sensibility. . . . But aren’t there bad, unlawful pleasures? Certainly there are. But in calling them “bad pleasures” I take it we are using a kind of shorthand. We mean “pleasures snatched by unlawful acts.” It is the stealing of the apples that is bad, not the sweetness. The sweetness is still a beam from the glory. . . . I have tried since . . . to make every pleasure into a channel of adoration. I don’t mean simply by giving thanks for it. One must of course give thanks, but I meant something different . . . Gratitude exclaims, very properly, “How good of God to give me this.” Adoration says, “What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations are like this!” One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun. . . . If this is Hedonism, it is also a somewhat arduous discipline. But it is worth some labour.
C.S. Lewis

Provided the thing is in itself right, the more one likes it and the less one has to “try to be good,” the better. A perfect man would never act from sense of duty; he’d always want the right thing more than the wrong one. Duty is only a substitute for love (of God and of other people), like a crutch, which is a substitute for a leg. Most of us need the crutch at times; but of course it’s idiotic to use the crutch when our own legs (our own loves, tastes, habits, etc.) can do the journey on their own!
C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sage Advice

In 1945 C. S. Lewis was invited to address an assembly of Welsh Anglican priests and youth leaders on the topic of Christian apologetics.1 After humbly confessing that, as a layman, he had "little right to address either,"2 he went on offer his thoughts on the primary task of apologetics in the British Isles at that time. Defining apologetics as the defense of orthodox Christianity "the faith preached by the Apostles, attested by the Martyrs, embodied in the Creeds, expounded by the Fathers"3 Lewis added that, though the Faith is eternal, it is imperative for the apologist to expound it in light of the cultural and spiritual environment of his audience. "Your teaching," he writes, "must be timeless at its heart and wear a modern dress."4

In Lewis' analysis, the fit and cut of Britain's "modern dress" at mid-twentieth century was essentially post-Christian. The radical secularizing tendencies of modernism had by then stripped the British public mind of its Christian memory and presented to church leaders a new social situation. According to Lewis, "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."5 The primary reality for the apologist is that the church is engaged in a missionary activity, and he must therefore adopt a missionary mind-set. "If you were sent to the Bantus you would be taught their language and traditions,"6 Lewis writes; similarly, he who intends to present a defense of Christianity in his own time and place must first consider the prejudices, experiences, and mental habits of his fellows. As Lewis concludes, "you must translate every bit of your theology into the vernacular."7

Sage advice, from however humble a layman, and especially helpful for us today...

From Jack Meets Gen X: Apologetics of Longing and the Postmodern Mood, By: Gregory Dunn, July 1, 1998

Letters to Mr. Vanauken

These letters are a fascinating insight into C.S. Lewis apologetics.