The Obstinate Toy Soldier
For being such a short chapter (only 4 full pages long), these few pages seem to be almost entirely underlined by me from the last time I read through the book. Lewis uses a great (he does indeed acknowledge that his analogy breaks down) of a toy tin soldier becoming a living, breathing entity and how that contrasts to humans being saved and adopted into God’s family, our transformation into so much more than we already are. He also uses that to show how Jesus’ incarnation impacted all of humanity, by becoming what all men were intended to be. There is a lot of meat to be had, and I think I will just select a couple of key passages to share from the experience. Let the words speak for themselves for a change.
“Imagine turning a tin soldier into a real little man. It would involve turning the tin into flesh. And suppose the tin soldier did not like it. He is not interested in flesh; all he sees is that the tin is being spoilt. He thinks you are killing him. He will do everything he can to prevent you. He will not be made into a man if he can help it.” (page 179)
“If you could see humanity spread out in time, as God sees it, it would not look like a lot of separate things dotted about. It would look like one single growing thing – rather like a very complicated tree.” (page 180)
“Humanity is already ‘saved’ in principal. We individuals have to appropriate that salvation. But the really tough work – the bit we could not have done for ourselves – has been done for us. We have not got to try to climb up into spiritual life by our own efforts; it has already come down into the human race” (page 181)
What say you, O’ gentle reader?