Thursday, March 03, 2005

If I Fell

Okay, so I'm reading The Problem of Pain and loving it. Lewis is so wonderful. He makes abstract theological arguments seem completely logical and relevant. Tonight is the group meeting, and I can't wait to discuss it.

He is a little sexist, which comes as no surprise to me after having read Mere Christianity. The only thing I've found that was offensive so far was this:

"For we are only creatures: our role must always be that of patient to agent, female to male, mirror to light, echo to voice. Our highest activity must be response, not initiative." (p. 51)

He was talking about our subservient role to God, and he threw in that great analogy of "female to male." But anyway, I found this really interesting:

"A recovery of the old sense of sin is essential to Christianity. [...] And when men attempt to be Christians without this preliminary consciousness of sin, the result is almost bound to be a certain resentment against God as to one who is always making impossible demands and always inexplicably angry." (p.57)

"We try, when we wake, to lay the new day at God's feet; before we have finished shaving, it becomes our day and God's share in it is felt as a tribute which we must pay out of "our own" pocket [...]." (p. 75)

"[...] so they [generally, mankind; specifically, Adam] desired to be on their own, to take care for their own future, to plan for pleasure and for security, to have a meum from which, no doubt, they would pay some reasonable tribute to God in the way of time, attention, and love, but which nevertheless, was theirs not His. They wanted, as we say, to "call their souls their own." But that means to live a lie, for our souls are not, in fact, our own. They wanted some corner of the universe of which they could say to God, "This is our business, not yours." But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives." (p. 80)

I can completely relate to the first quote; if you don't truly feel that you are a sinner, it makes you wonder, "What does God want from me??" (according to organized religion, anyway). But we're human, and fickle, and our perceptions vary based on our actions. Sometimes I feel like a sinner, sometimes I feel like a saint. Isn't that how human beings are?

The others are interesting too. Most was from the chapter entitled "The Fall of Man." Lewis is big on giving all to God and not being so cocky as to hold things back as if they're actually ours, because nothing is ours. Fascinating thing to consider. Extremely difficult thing to live by.

No comments: