Mere Christianity, Book Four, Chapter 6: “Two Notes”

Lewis felt compelled to append, as it were, two notes following the previous chapter:

1) If God wanted many sons instead of toy soldiers, why didn’t he just beget many sons? This would have skipped the difficult and painful process of transforming the ‘toy soldiers’ into sons.

  • The first part of the answer is fairly easy – the transformation from creature to son would not have been painful had not mankind rebelled against God. The rebellion was the fruit of Free Will. Free Will was the only way to have creatures capable of infinite love and happiness.
  • The second part is complicated by the way we see things from within creation. Two identical pennies, which are identical, but not the same vs. two organs of a body which are not alike, but part of the same organ. In the same way, people are organs, part of the organism of humanity.

2) The whole human race is one organism.

  • individuals are unique, but not unrelated
    • it is wrong when we try to make others identical to ourselves.
    • it is equally wrong to dismiss others’ problems because they are not our own.

I feel a strong desire to tell you – and I expect you feel a strong desire to tell me-which of these two errors is the worse. That is the devil getting at us. He always sends errors into the world in pairs-pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worse. You see why, of course? He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled. We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight through between both errors. We have no other concern than that with either of them.

[[ Next: Mere Christianity, Book Four, Chapter 7: “Let’s Pretend” ]]

Parent: Mere Christianity: Leaders’ Notes Series

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