The New Men
And with this chapter I come to the end of CS Lewis‘ phenomenal work, Mere Christianity. As a whole this book was a fantastic exploration of what it means to be a Christian from an academic point of view. Almost more philosophy than theology, and one that challenged me to think through my own beliefs. I do have to say that this last chapter was a nice summary pointing out that we need to place ourselves completely in God’s hands to make the next step in our development as individuals. Giving ourselves up does not mean that we become uniform to all other Christians, in fact it means that we become even more distinct from the world. It is even a vital step that we choose to allow God to do this work in us. To not allow Him to do so would be like a baby choosing not to be born. Ultimately the infant will die because they are unable to grow properly. And this is all exclusively an outside work.
This is where Lewis’ analogy really falls short. All of the human development discussion is couched in evolutionary language. This one detail made it difficult to really get into the chapter, and I wound up reading through it a couple of times to really get at the meat. This was really the only weakness of the chapter, and in the end it is something I can look past and it does not alter the importance of the boo for me.
I leave you with this quote from page 225:“In that sense our real selves are all waiting for us in Him. It is no good trying to ‘be myself’ without Him. The more I resist Him and try to live on my own, the more I become dominated by my own heredity and upbringing and surroundings and natural desires.”