Monday, February 8, 2010

What are we to make of Jesus Christ?

[T]here is no parallel in other religions. If you had gone to Buddha and asked him: “Are you the son of Brahma?” he would have said, “My Son, you are still in the vale of illusion.” socrates If you had gone to Socrates and asked, “Are you Zeus?” he would have laughed at you. If you had gone to Mohammed and asked, “Are you Allah?” he would first have rent his clothes and then cut your head off. If you had asked Confucius, “Are you Heaven?” I think he would have probably replied, “Remarks which are riot in accordance with nature are in bad taste.” The idea of a great moral teacher saying what Christ said is out of the question. In my opinion, the only person who can say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic suffering from that form of delusion which undermines the whole mind of man. If you think you are a poached egg, when you are not looking for a piece of toast to suit you you may be sane, but if you think you are God, there is no chance for you.

C.S. Lewis, "What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ?" (1950)

1 comment:

  1. This is my favourite C.S. Lewis essay. It's rather short. It packs quite a punch. And it made me think. In today's reading, I wonder how we might update it for 2010.

    If you had gone to James Cameron and asked, "Are you Eywa?" would he say "We are all connected" or "I see you" or maybe more honestly "It was only a movie."

    If you had gone to Oprah and asked, "Are you unified with the Oneness?" would she say "Yes"?

    I must scan and see if Lewis addresses Pantheism. Today's reading does not seem to work so well if you ask a similar sort of question to the pantheist -- they may indeed just say "yes."

    Anyhow, it's a great essay by Lewis and we'll spend this week exploring it. In the past I did wonder if the essay could be updated and re-written, a kind of C.S. Lewis Redux.