Sunday, May 25, 2014

"On Not Being CS Lewis" Link

I could embed the video, but prefer you see the interesting Mockingbird site it comes from.

Have I backed the wrong horse all along?

I took it personally and painfully at first, and still think there is much to it.  But second and third thoughts have caused me to question parts of it.  I'd rather the few folks who have the energy to catch the video in full do so before I comment.  I recommend skipping the Q & A section at the end, BTW.

HT:  Dubbahdee over at Necat Draco


Texan99 said...

I've just watched it. Most of the talk left me impatient, but I was quite taken by the finale: that guilt is a bad place to be, but not as bad as denial--and guilt is a room with an exit, which very kindly is opened for us from the outside.

The odd thing is that I found that a very "C.S. Lewis" way of putting it. Most of what he thought Lewis failed to do is exactly what I've always found Lewis does very well indeed: he starts with ordinary non-religious people's conviction that something's very wrong, very missing, and shows them a way out of the box.

I was raised in just the attitude toward religion that Stufford describes: it's a way for silly people to deny painful truths. The attitude is not peculiar to the last few decades at all! Yes, today we need missionaries to the completely unchurched, the people who grew up assuming the church was irrelevant, but that's not something brand new.

Lewis would never make the mistake of trying to convince unbelievers that their sin lay in breaking the technical rules of fasting or sexual purity, or anything else that failed to engage their natural moral sense. He started with irreligious people's convictions of what is "really" wrong, and showed what that had to do with God's law and Christ's redemption. He also was extremely crafty about turning the tables on people who dismissed religion because it was dry and safe and boring. He found the notion of God reaching for him with strong hands quite frightening, and communicated his anxiety powerfully. Maybe that's why Stufford's point about guilt vs. denial resonated with me. It's a good way to engage people's courage, to urge them not to retreat into denial.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Well, you just put all my best conclusions very nicely. I'll try to provide some value-added later.