Deliver Us from Morality

I recommend Doug Wilson’s Five Cities that Ruled the World (Thomas Nelson, 2009). The cities he highlights are Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York, each leaving the world a legacy.

Jerusalem has bequeathed to us a legacy of the spirit; Athens, reason and the mind; Rome, law; London, literature; and New York, industry and commerce. (xx)

In developing the literary legacy of London, Wilson unearths this nugget from C. S. Lewis about William Tyndale and the Reformation:

Tyndale was willing to endure great trials because of what he believed about the gospel. C. S. Lewis explained that the “whole purpose of the ‘gospel,’ for Tyndale, is to deliver us from morality. Thus, paradoxically, the ‘puritan’ of modern imagination—the cold, gloomy heart, doing as duty what happier and richer souls do without thinking of it—is precisely the enemy which historical Protestantism arose and smote.” (128–129, quoting Lewis from his English Literature in the Sixteenth Century [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1954], 187)

David Mathis (@davidcmathis) is executive editor at desiringGod.org and an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis. He has edited several books, including Thinking. Loving. Doing., Finish the Mission, and Acting the Miracle, and is co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.