CS Lewis (Was: Favourite books)

ROSLYN rosgross at bigpond.net.au
Thu Dec 30 08:20:14 EST 2004


Paul:

>>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?

Margaret:

> Presumably God knows what he *really* believes. We don't have to make that 
> judgement.

Judging from what Lewis writes in  _The Last Battle_ , I think he would 
agree with you. For instance, one of the recalcitrant Dwarves who shot the 
horses ends up in the 'real' Narnia, and feel that there is at least another 
example besides the Calormene who worshipped Tash (but I can't remember it 
and maybe I'm remembering wrongly). Eustace is surprised by what happens to 
the Dwarf and Lewis comments that "anyway it was no business of his." In 
this particular scene, where Aslan is standing at the door between the 
destroyed old Narnia and the new, real Narnia and every person or creature 
has to look him in the eyes (the Day of Judgement, I guess) it's something 
about the way each one feels about Aslan that decides their fate, and this 
is shown to remain a mystery to everyone but Aslan. I don't know much about 
Christian doctrine, but I'm assuming that this is saying something quite 
particular about the concept of salvation (maybe that a person doesn't have 
to actually be a consciously believing Christian to be saved?), and I get 
the feeling from the reaction of some Christian groups that this was quite a 
radical stance for Lewis to take.

So...I see Lewis as a most interesting, complicated person, with ideas that 
to a modern sensibility sometimes seem bigoted (in relation to women, for 
instance) and sometimes wonderfully open-hearted. (Not that I'm arguing that 
it's extraordinarily open-hearted to believe that non-Christians can be 
saved--I'm a non-Christian myself--but it's one reason why I find Lewis so 
fascinating.)

Ros


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