Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lewis v. Tolkien on Marriage



John B. Moore said...

CT wrote that Lewis's argument "simply assumes that religious dogma is strictly personal and, therefore, ultimately relative. You have your practices and I have mine." But this is a big misunderstanding. Lewis wasn't a relativist. He didn't say sin wasn't bad for non-believers. He just said we should allow non-believers to sin despite the bad effects.

Even God allows sinners to sin. How can Parliament step in where God himself refrained?

oozzielionel said...

It seems that Lewis and Tolkien are talking past each other. Lewis is talking about using force to compel behavior. He would see this as contrary to love. Tolkien, on the other hand, is concerned with the moral implication of tolerating (I think in the sense of approving) harmful behavior. Lewis seeks to avoid the harm of a Sharia law enforcement contrary to people's will. Tolkien wants us to do our utmost to protect people that people endure when they violate natural law. Tolkien reads more like a Roman Catholic approach while Lewis is more Evangelical appealing to a heart conversion rather than forced compliance.

I appreciate Lewis' approach. I suggest that Christians offer to the secular world values that would make their life better. In an ironic sense, Christians offer something that the secular world can only fail at. They have neither the values nor the ability to live according to this higher way of living. They would need Christ to accomplish it. So, if the secular world can, for a time, accept the give of heterosexual, monogamous marriage, then, perhaps, as much as they are able, they can enjoy its privileges. But the Christian should not be surprised if they do it poorly or eventually reject it. It is a gift that can be received or rejected. Tolkien might have us use our political force to make them do it even if they hate it because it is good for them. He likely had to eat his broccoli.