August 18, 2009

Beyond Personality by C.S. Lewis - Part 3

Well said Clive Staples, well said.

"And now we begin to see what it is that the New Testament
is always talking about. It talks about Christians 'being
born again'; it talks about them 'putting on Christ'; about
Christ 'being formed in us'; about our coming to 'have the
mind of Christ.'

Put right out of your head the idea that these are only
fancy ways of saying that Christians are to read what Christ
said and try to carry it out as a man may read what
Plato or Marx said and try to carry it out. They mean something
much more than that. They mean that a real Person,
Christ, here and now, in that very room where you're saying
your prayers, is doing things to you. It's not a question
of a good man who died two thousand years ago. It's a living
Man, still as much a man as you, and still as much God as He
was when He created the world, really coming and interfering
with your very self; killing the old natural self in you
and replacing it with the kind of self He has. At first, only
for moments. Then for longer periods. Finally, if all goes
well, turning you permanently into a different sort of thing;
into a new little Christ, a being which, in its own small way,
has the same kind of life as God; which shares in His power,
joy, knowledge and eternity. joy, knowledge and eternity.
And that reminds me of something which has been very
misleading in my talk up to now. I've been talking as if it
were we who did everything. In reality, of course, it is God
who does everything. We, at most, allow it to be done to
us. In a sense you might even say it is God who does the pretending.

The Three-Personal God, so to speak, sees before
Him in fact a self-centred, greedy, grumbling, rebellious
human animal. But He says 'Let us pretend that this is not
a mere creature, but our Son. It is like Christ in so far as
it is a Man, for He became Man. Let us pretend that it is
also like Him in Spirit. Let us treat it as if it were what in fact it is not.
Let us pretend in order to make the pretence
into a reality.' God looks at you as if you were a little
Christ; Christ stands beside you to turn you into one. I
daresay this idea of a divine make-believe sounds rather
strange at first. But, is it so strange really? Isn't that how
the higher thing always raises the lower? A mother teaches
her baby to talk by talking to it as if it understood long
before it really does. We treat our dogs as if they were
'almost human' that's why they really become 'almost
human' in the end." (Lewis, 37-38 - emphasis mine)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great quote. I love the way he describes things. I might name my daughter Clive.