Wednesday, 5 March 2008

True truth

Just read this wonderful quote from CS Lewis in his book The Weight of Glory. I think I've heard it before but been struck but its sheer depth.

The line is this: “I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

Lewis is making the point that we become convinced that something is true not just when a few pieces of evidence seem to support it - but when absolutely everything proves it.

In university missions over the past few weeks, I've been quite staggered by the number of individuals who have come from religious backgrounds but who are under the impression that thinking is the enemy of Christianity. Some have even been told by Christians (maybe sometimes with good intention?) not to question, but just to have faith. What freedom Lewis's observation is: that questions are good and that thinking is good. As we do so, and as we seek to make sense of the world, we'll find that all of the evidence points back to Jesus and the truth claims of the gospel. You certainly don't have to throw your brain in the bin or divorce yourself from experience to be a Christian (far from it!).

It's been great to be able to encourage students to think, knowing that if the gospel really is true truth, that it will be able to stand up to their honest questions.


Chris said...

Gooooooooood! Read The Weight of Glory with Alister this week. He uses it ALL the time. He got us to go through looking for

- quotes to use
- ideas to develop
- approaches to follow

Here are my favourite sections

The argument from desire:
A man’s physical hunger does not prove that that man will get any bread; he may die of starvation on a raft in the Atlantic. But surely a man’s hunger does prove that he comes of a race which repairs its body by eating and inhabits a world where eatable substances exist. In the sameway, though I do not believe (I wish I did) that my desire for Paradise proves that I shall enjoy it, I think it a pretty good indication that such a thing exists and that some men will. A man may love a woman and not win her; but it would be very odd if the phenomenon called “falling in love” occurred in a sexless world.

The meaning of longing
The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing.
These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.

Chris said...

by the way it's only a short sermon that rewards any time in it.

peterdray said...

Cheers Chris - I loved it.

Will check out the link too.