Friday, October 22, 2010

Life without Christianity

The question before each of us is not "Can someone lead a good life without Christianity?" The question is, "Can I?"


  1. Gary, are you answering the question and saying, "SURE! I could live a good life without Christianity." Really?

    I think C.S. is making the point that once we've learned what good really is, once we've been enlightened with the gospel, the question, "Can someone lead a good life without Christianity?" becomes meaningless to us because we cannot lead a good life without Christ.

    Leave it to you, btw, to comment on a quote which somehow I forgot to document! I'll fix the post, but it's from an essay by Lewis titled "Man or Rabbit?" I think you would like it. It's quite an interesting read. I probably won't work it through here at Mere C.S. Lewis, but it gave me one short quote to fill in one day. Read the essay (just click on the title above, it's online, of course!), let me know what you think about it.

  2. Ken, define good first.

    On our own, it is impossible to perform any type of goodness.

    Gary, what do you mean "sure?" Please explain in light of the quote below from Mark, tell me what you make of it. It appears no one is good or even considered good except for God.

    Mark 10:17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
    18 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone.

    There are many more texts relating to the depravity of man that deal with the futility of man's performance.

  3. Andy,

    I don't need to define good. If you wish to debate, it's not me you will be debating. This site is about presenting the ideas of C.S. Lewis from his writings. You may debate with him if you wish and I will happily do my best to represent Lewis from his writings.

    In this case, the quote is taken from an essay titled "Man or Rabbit?" I recommend reading it if you want to understand Lewis' definition of good.

    As I understand Lewis, each of us has a sense of right and wrong. And every one of us fails to do the good we know we ought to do. When we discover that Christianity is offering us the power to do good, the question, "Can someone lead a good life without Christianity?" becomes meaningless to us because we will know that we cannot lead a good life without Christ.

    Lewis refuses to engage in a speculative conversation. A Christian who asks if it's possible for someone to lead a good life without Christ is avoiding the fact that having found Christ this is a dead option. The only way for me to be good now is through faithfulness to Christ, his grace empowering change toward the good in my life.