Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mere improvement is not redemption

‘Niceness’—wholesome, integrated personality—is an excellent thing. We must try by every medical, educational, economic, and political means in our power to produce a world where as many people as possible grow up ‘nice’; just as we must try to produce a world where all have plenty to eat. But we must not suppose that even if we succeeded in making everyone nice we should have saved their souls. A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, looking no further, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world—and might even be more difficult to save.Zara Phillips of Great Britain rides Glenbuck during the Showjumping event on the final day of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials on September 6, 2009 in Stamford, United Kingdom
    For mere improvement is not redemption, though redemption always improves people even here and now and will, in the end, improve them to a degree we cannot yet imagine. God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man. It is not like teaching a horse to jump better and better but like turning a horse into a winged creature. Of course, once it has got its wings, it will soar over fences which could never have been jumped and thus beat the natural horse at its own game. But there may be a period, while the wings are just beginning to grow, when it cannot do so: and at that stage the lumps on the shoulders—no one could tell by looking at them that they are going to be wings—may even give it an awkward appearance.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1952; Harper Collins: 2001) 215-216.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to be late with today's reading; I know some of you check it in the morning. I try to have the posts scheduled to appear during the night, but occasionally they need a tweak (like adding a pic). That was the case today. But today is Ash Wednesday. And I was busily trying to finish an article about "Giving up chocolate for Lent" before rushing off to attend an Ash Wednesday service. So after all that, I quickly tweaked our C.S. Lewis reading for today. Love this one! Great quote: "Mere improvement is not redemption." No luck finding a picture of a winged horse, so I hope you get the idea from Zara Phillips flying on her stallion.

    I'm hoping some of you Lewis fans will visit my other blog (Samaritan XP) where I've just posted an article about "Giving up chocolate for Lent, maybe for life." I'm looking for help in working out a Christian response to the reality that most chocolate bars we eat today have been produced using child labour and oftentimes forced slavery of children. No one is speaking up for these children and I suspect as Christians we have a responsibility to speak up. Check it out and let me know if you can join the discussion. I think this could be a very rewarding process.

    Giving up chocolate for Lent, maybe for life by Ken Symes