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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Grand Miracle

The doctrine of the Incarnation ... digs beneath the surface, works through the rest of our knowledge by unexpected channels, harmonises best with our deepest apprehensions and our 'second thoughts', and in union with these undermines our superficial opinions. It has little to say to the man who is still certain that everything is going to the dogs, or that everything is getting better and better, or that everything is God, or that everything is electricity. Its hour comes when these wholesale creeds have begun to fail us. Whether the thing really happened is a historical question. But when you turn to history, you will not demand for it that kind and degree of evidence which you would rightly demand for something intrinsically improbable; only that kind and degree which you demand for something which, if accepted, illuminates and orders all other phenomena, explains both our laughter and our logic, our fear of the dead and our knowledge that it is somehow good to die, and which at one stroke covers what multitudes of separate theories will hardly cover for us if this is rejected.
- CS Lewis, Miracles


Blogger Talmida said...

That's a timely quotation!

5:58 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Talmida - yes, that's what made me look for it :-)

11:19 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

While I admire the passion of the statement and its veracity for its author, it seems to me that the sense in which the doctine of the Incarnation makes sense is that for Christians it can make life meaningful and optimistic. I can't agree with the idea that other creeds and perspectives necessarily have less power to do this for people outside of Christianity.

The belief and symbolism of other religions must make sense to their adherents in ways that parallel how the Incarnation makes sense and meaning of life for Christians.

12:30 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:31 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:53 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


about this post and the one at your blog ...

I do think one should respect other belief systems and that, for the most part, all roads lead to Rome.

But most believers do end up choosing one system over others - they discriminate based on certain things - and thus decide that one belief system is better in some way than the others, if only better "for them".

There's a tension between accepting everything as equally worthy and discriminating among the choices ... a difference between being judgemental and having good judgement. The tension is a good thing, I think.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

I agree that's a really important point - that when it comes to religion and spirituality, we have to be respectful of what's better "for them" and for ourselves. There isn't a single approach that's always going to work for people raised in different traditions, with different temperaments, at different places in their "journey" (that cliche sort of bugs me, but it's good short hand I guess) and so forth.

At the same time, for me it's sometimes been worth comparing notes with others as something that can play some part in my own developing perspective.

I wonder what it is that allows some of us to make that acknowledgment - that it doesn't have to be the same for everyone - while others condescend or even condemn in relation to people with differing perspectives.

Maybe all those verses in the New Testament against judging others could be applied to your point.

9:37 AM  

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