Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rescue for the drowning (or How C.S. Lewis illustrates the atonement)

lifeguard-running If I am drowning in a rapid river, a man who still has one foot on the bank may give me a hand which saves my life. Ought I to shout back (between my gasps) ‘No, it’s not fair! You have an advantage! You’re keeping one foot on the bank’? That advantage—call it ‘unfair’ if you like—is the only reason why he can be of any use to me. To what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?
    Such is my own way of looking at what Christians call the Atonement. But remember this is only one more picture. Do not mistake it for the thing itself: and if it does not help you, drop it.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1952; Harper Collins: 2001) 59.

1 comment:

  1. To get the full context and be able to understand today's illustration well, I would recommend reading the whole chapter "The Perfect Penitent" from Mere Christianity, or you could read all of this week's excerpts (Mon to Thu). In context, I think this is a great illustration of this theory of the atonement.

    Personally, I don't think it's a complete picture and I would recommend further reading on this subject. And Lewis concurs! But as far as understanding the Moral Influence Theory of Atonement (Jesus as our example), Lewis explains it very well and offers a great illustration.