Saturday, May 28, 2005

Moses, Joshua, David, Peter, Paul, and Puddleglum

At tabletalk Craig Williams uses a scene from C. S. Lewis's The Silver Chair to illustrate some important lessons about faith and modernist thought. Craig tells how, under the influence of modernist thinking, the church tried to describe Christian faith using the language and proof-systems of the world:

When we decided we needed to be rationalistic in our proofs for God, we abandoned our main story. We began to give evidence to demand verdicts. We spoke of the faith as though it were something to be learned in law school or the science lab. We lost our way because we forgot our homeland.

Despite the modernist promise of progress through science, our postmodern time, Craig says, has found that "though there have been some remarkable technological advances the human condition is not largely improved." Our time thus has little room for modernist apologetics:

One thing that we must be careful of is not submitting to modern rules again. We cannot make the argument for the faith from a superior position, as though our facts are indisputable compared to others. We must adopt the posture of Jesus in addressing humanity. We come humbly and open and serving and dying. No high-handed manipulation. No oppressive authoritarianism. Simple service will do. It is the way of Jesus.

If you haven't read The Silver Chair I would almost recommend reading the entire book--perhaps the entire Chronicles of Narnia--before reading Craig's post. The scene he describes, where the children and Puddleglum are subject to the witch's enchantment, is my favorite in all literature; I wish you could get the full effect! In any case, Craig is doing a wonderful work with his ongoing series of Narnian Musings: looking at the world of Narnia to reveal vitally important truths about the world in which we live.


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