Crucifixion of Christ by Albrecht Altdorfer, 1526 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In this second post from the final chapter of my Medieval Wisdom: An Exploration with C S Lewis, I open the door to Lewis’s own incarnational spirituality:
The very fact that C S Lewis needed to see Christianity as satisfying not just to his intellect but also to his imagination shows us that he saw our full humanity as important in our faith. He had been taught well in that by the Romantics – Wordsworth, who he listed as one of the writers who most influenced him – George MacDonald – a true romantic who reveled in nature and its sacramental function, pointing to God. These predisposed the post-conversion Lewis to dwell lavishly, as the medieval authors he studied had dwelt, on the wonder of the Incarnation.
The Incarnation and Passion as ways God meets us in our suffering – and met Lewis in his
We will see how that fascination with the Incarnation – the enfleshment of the Creator God as a human being – emerged across his nonfiction and fiction writings. But it also gained a new and powerful meaning for him when he lost the love of his later life, his wife Joy. That Christ shared not only our humanity but our suffering helped Lewis get through that experience of grief: Continue reading →
"Souls chained and tormented in hell," from Kalender of Shepherdes: a 15th-c. miscellany of religious, farming, astrological and medicine texts and illustrations
Well done, Mr. Galli! Mark Galli is the former editor of Christian History magazine and current (and long-time) managing editor of Christianity Today. He ministers in an evangelical Anglican church in the Chicagoland area. And he has just provided us with what I think is a helpful and charitable reflection on the significant minority position, among Bible-believing, gospel-teaching Protestants.
The position? That the traditional Christian doctrine of “conscious, eternal punishment” for the damned is out of kilter and should not be held as orthodoxy. Here’s a bit of Galli’s reflection, which was spurred by a recent book by the celebrated (and vilified) American pastor Rob Bell, and can be found in its entirety here: Continue reading →
A fine essay in Colin Duriez‘s J. R. R. Tolkien Handbook (Baker, 1992) opens up the topic of the theology of story. Though the handbook focuses on Tolkien, this particular essay ranges richly between Tolkien, Lewis, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, and even a bit of G K Chesterton. (Again, the following uses my typical abbreviations; “xn” is Christian, “xnty” Christianity, “T” is Tolkien.)
I appreciate in this essay especially Duriez’s keen grasp of the romantic underpinnings of the theological meaning of story and imagination for the Inklings, as well as the sacramental element in Williams’s and Tolkien’s thought (what Williams identifies as “the Affirmative Way”). My overall comment on the usefulness of this essay to my “Medieval Wisdom for Modern Protestants” project follows, and then the essay itself sprinkled with a few of my notes
[Duriez’s essay on Tolkien and Christianity, from the same book, is here.]
Continue reading →