Saturday, January 2, 2010

The World's Last Night (1)

There are many reasons why the modern Christian and even the modern theologian may hesitate to give to the doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming that emphasis which was usually laid on it by our ancestors. Yet it seems to me impossible to retain in any recognisable form our belief in the Divinity of Christ and the truth of the Christian revelation while abandoning, or even persistently neglecting, the promised, and threatened, Return. “He shall come again to judge the quick and the dead,” says the Apostles’ Creed. “This same Jesus,” said the angels in Acts, “shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” “Hereafter,” said our Lord himself (by those words inviting crucifixion)travel-Brazil-Rio-de-Janeiro-Jesus-iko-photo, “shall ye see the Son of Man . . . coming in the clouds of heaven.” If this is not an integral part of the faith once given to the saints, I do not know what is.

C.S. Lewis, "The World's Last Night" (1960) [Image: Christ the Redeemer statue, Corcovado Mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil]

1 comment:

  1. The beginning of a New Year is a great time to give careful thought to "The World's Last Night," an essay Lewis wrote about the church's neglect of the teaching of the Second Coming of Christ. As it is a time for making resolutions for the year now upon us, how could we do so without considering our faithfulness to God through Christ? How do I want to be living for Christ? Later in the essay, Lewis makes this powerful statement: "The doctrine of the Second Coming has failed, so far as we are concerned, if it does not make us realize that at every moment of every year in our lives Donne's question 'What if this present were the world's last night?' is equally relevant." So the question before me now is what resolutions should I make for 2010 knowing that Christ may return tonight?