CS Lewis (Was: Favourite books)

Paul Andinach pandinac at ucc.gu.uwa.edu.au
Wed Dec 29 21:53:55 EST 2004


On Mon, 13 Dec 2004 minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:

> The bit that got to me was the bit at the end of *The Last Battle*
> when the Calormene soldier meets Aslan, and Aslan tells him, as near
> as makes no odds, that it isn't what you *say* you are worshipping
> but whether you behave in good ways in the process that makes the
> difference.  I took this (at about age 8, I suppose) to mean that
> God was God was God and it didn't matter what we call Her, or to put
> it another way that a good Muslim was better than a bad Christian as
> far as God was concerned.  That was probably the message I took away
> from the Narnia books more than any other, in fact.

I always liked that bit, too.

But sometimes I worry about what it actually means. It sounds good to
say "it isn't what you *say* you are worshipping but whether you
behave in good ways in the process", but what are "good ways"?
Consider the Aztec priest, busily cutting a man's beating heart out
with a big knife because he genuinely believes that that's what God
wants him to do - is he covered, even though his actions are
reprehensible from a Christian viewpoint?
(Or would Lewis say that I'm working from a false premise, and that no
man could *really* believe that God actually wants him to do a thing
like that?)


Paul
-- 
"Hold fast to the one noble thing."

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