Audio Transcript

One of the remarkable balances in C. S. Lewis’s theology seems to be his focus on quiddity, the this-ness of created reality, but without losing the eager anticipation of heaven, or the new creation—things unseen. Pastor John, how does he strike this balance?

Lewis balances this well. Probably the best thing we could do is to read him and watch him do it instead of trying to formulate how he did it. But I do think that Lewis does it well in large measure because, in God’s providence, Lewis came to faith by discovering the inadequacy of the lilies of the field and the inadequacies of the experience of northernness when he read his Norse mythology.

He discovered that his pangs of joyful longing as he saw beauty evaporated as soon as he turned to look at them. And he was endlessly frustrated that he would never really be able to have what he thought he wanted — mainly these stabs of joy. They came. They went.

“The mythologies Lewis was reading were all pointing towards the true myth as he called it — Christianity.”

Then Lewis discovered God, then he discovered Christ, then he discovered the gospel, and then he discovered the creator of all things and the goal of all things. He realized that all those things had been trying to awaken him, and he was trying to fasten on to them as the end in themselves. But they were all pointers. The affection of joy and the things that were awakening it were pointers. Those mythologies he was reading, they were all pointing towards the true myth as he called it — namely, Christianity.

Lewis is a good guide for us in cherishing the eternal, cherishing the unseen, and cherishing God as the source and goal of all things. As well as being able to see the this-ness and the beauty of this world because God had brought him to faith through an appreciation of the this-ness of things and then showed him that they were all thick with God. They were all pointing toward God. They were all created by God, and they were not and end in themselves. They were ways of knowing God. And unless you saw deep enough into them to get to the bottom of them, and saw high enough over them to get to what they are pointing to, they will always disappoint you.