Friday, May 6, 2011

Explaining vs. explaining away

water-into-wineWhere, then, do we draw the line between explaining and ‘explaining away’? I do not think there is much difficulty. All that concerns the un-incarnate activities of God—His operation on that plane of being where sense cannot enter—must he taken along with imagery which we know to he, in the literal sense, untrue. But there can he no defence for applying the same treatment to the miracles of the Incarnate God. They are recorded as events on this earth which affected human senses. They are the sort of thing we can describe literally. If Christ turned water into wine, and we had been present, we could have seen, smelled, and tasted. The story that He did so is not of the same order as His ‘sitting at the right hand of the Father’, it is either fact, or legend, or lie. You must take it or leave it.

C.S. Lewis, “Horrid Red Things,” God in the Dock (Eerdmans: 1970) 71.

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