Saturday, April 01, 2006

More Mere Christianity Notes

Chapter 12 Faith
Dealing with faith in the second, higher, sense.
The question of faith in this sense arises when someone has tried his level best to practice the Christian virtues, and discovers that he has not been successful, and discovers that his own efforts only give back to God what comes from God already.
Reiterates that what God wants is not actions of a certain sort, but people having a certain sort of character.
It’s not a matter of bargaining, of claims and counterclaims between God and humans. So long as we are thinking in those terms we cannot be in a right relationship to God
We have to discover all of this by experience; any child can say we have nothing to offer God except His own, but the life of a Christian is a discovery of this truth.
As a result we must “leave it to God,” that depend on Christ to share with us the perfect obedience his lived out at his crucifixion
Is faith more important than works?
Which blade of the scissors is more important? Real faith arises in the context of wanting and trying to do the right thing and realizing that, apart from God’s grace, failure is complete.
Christianity begins from the moral code but is ultimately about a relationship with God that goes beyond mere morality.

Book III Chapter 1
Making and Begetting
Lewis attempts to provide an account of the doctrine of the Trinity.
“Everyone has warned me not to tell you what I am going to tell you in this last book. They all say ‘The ordinary man does not want Theology; give him plain practical religion.” I have rejected their advice. Theology means “the science of God” and I think any man who wants to think about God at all wants the most accurate ideas about Him that are available. You are not children, why should you be treated as children?”

Some people say that since they have experienced God, they have no need of theology.
Sure, the experience of the Atlantic Ocean is more vivid at the beach than it is looking at a map, but a map will get you to New York, while experiencing the beach will not.

Theology is practical because a lot of common ideas about what Christianity is about are false.

Popular Idea: Jesus Christ was a great moral teacher and that if only we took his advice we might be able to establish a better social order and avoid another war. That’s quite true, but it is less than the whole truth about Christianity and of no practical value at all.
We have always had lots of good advice and have not followed the advice of the greatest moral teachers. Why should we be able to follow Christ when we can’t even follow Confucius?

Christians claim that:
1) Christ is the son of God
2) This who give Him their confidence become sons of God
3) His death saves us from our sins

These statements are, of course difficult. So is modern physics.
Christianity says that when we attach ourselves to Christ we become sons of God. People find that confusing. Aren’t we sons of God already?

Christ, the son of God, is begotten, not made. Humans receive a certain kind of life as created beings (bios), and another kind of life (zoe).

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