This chapter is one that I honestly breezed through. (And I suspect that I did the same the last time I read through this book). Lewis’ point in writing it was to clarify questions that were raised on two of his previous chapters. (“Why did God not simply beget many sons instead of creating them?” and Confusion over the human race as one organism).
I had not issue tracking with Lewis and seeing where he was going with either argument, so nothing in this chapter really added to the discussion of either point for me. But Lewis makes a great statement at the end of the chapter that I would like to share with you.
“I feel a strong desire to tell you – and I expect you to feel a strong desire to tell me – which of these two errors is the worse. That is the devil getting at us. He always sends errors into the world in pairs – pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worse. You see why, of course? He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled. We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight through between both errors. We have no other concern than that with either one of them.” (page 186)
Though it would make sense that Satan offers up errors in pairs, I cannot put my faith completely in that statement from a Biblical standpoint as I struggle to remember any passage of Scripture that is that specific about Satan’s lies. But the heart of it is true. I am guilty of majoring on the minors. Churches across the country fight “worship wars” because they are focused on the error of thinking their way is the only way or the right way (based solely upon taste and possibly a faulty understanding of Scripture). People declare that there is only one acceptable translation of Scripture and all others are worthless (or from the devil). We major on the minor issues rather than being concerned for the big issues that God places us here to accomplish.
Right on, Clive. Right on.