Tag: sin

“Modern Men” & How They Think

C. S. Lewis wrote the essay “Modern Man and His Categories of Thought” in 1946. Now, some people, noting the date of that essay, will dismiss it immediately. After all, they might ask, “How can an essay from 1946 that talks about modern man have anything worthwhile to say to us in 2020?” That question, of course, rests on one’s definition of modern. As a historian, I have no problem seeing 1946 as modern because I compare that date with… Read more »

The Iron-bound Prison of the Self

I’m a Protestant. I don’t believe in Purgatory. Yet I want to read Dante, so what can I do? Well, first, one can read Dante’s second volume of The Divine Comedy as a treatise that applies to this life also—God purges sin from our lives and we must respond properly. The second thing that helps me in this quest is that Dorothy Sayers, a writer I love, undertook to make a fresh translation of Dante back in the 1940s-1950s. It… Read more »

The Moral Law, Comfort, & Wishful Thinking

I’m teaching my C. S. Lewis course at my university again this semester. The students began their Lewis reading with Surprised by Joy, his insightful autobiography. We are now focused on Mere Christianity and discussing the significance of that book. Every time I come back to it, I’m deeply impressed all over again, and I always seem to find nuggets of truth and wisdom that stand out more clearly than in my previous reading. This time I was struck particularly… Read more »

The Decision-Point

Those who come to the decision-point in their lives as to whether to commit themselves to the Lordship of Christ must first go through a soul-searching with respect to their sins. While all sin separates from God, some sins have greater impact not only on their own lives but the lives of countless others. Whittaker Chambers was a man who had to struggle through his former allegiance to communism before he could make his salvation decision. He had worked in… Read more »

Only Two Kinds of People in the End

We love to talk about heaven. Hell, not so much. We get glimpses of both eternal destinations in Scripture, but not the full picture of either. C. S. Lewis is well known for perceiving both in imaginative ways. On the subject of hell, we naturally think of The Screwtape Letters, where in his preface he tells us, “We must picture Hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance,… Read more »

We Are Not Our Own

There are some days that I’m nearly overwhelmed by the sinfulness of man. The more one appreciates the holiness of God and the absolute “rightness” of His laws, the more our deviations from His ways appear ludicrous and—well—downright stupid. C. S. Lewis dissected this abominable foolishness of sin in chapter five of his The Problem of Pain. From the first moment a creature becomes aware of God as God and of itself as self, the terrible alternative of choosing God… Read more »

Feel-Good Beliefs vs. Dying to Self

“Christianity asserts that every individual human being is going to live forever, and this must be either true or false,” C. S. Lewis states in Mere Christianity. “Now there are a good many things which would not be worth bothering about if I were going to live only seventy years,” he continues, but concludes, “but which I had better bother about very seriously if I am going to live forever.” The problem is that most people don’t want to think… Read more »