C. S. Lewis imagines two people: one Miss Bates, a naturally cranky unkind woman who becomes a Christian and the other Dick Firkin, a naturally friendly kind person who has not yet become a Christian. “Christian Miss Bates may have an unkinder tongue than unbelieving Dick Firkin. That, by itself, does not tell us whether Christianity works. The question is what Jane’s tongue would be like if she were not a Christian and what Dick’s would be like if he became one. Miss Bates and Dick, as a result of natural causes and early upbringing, have certain temperaments: Christianity professes to put both temperaments under new management if they will allow it to do so. What you have a right to ask is whether that management, if allowed to take over, improves the concern. Everyone knows that what is being managed in Dick Firkin’s case is much ‘nicer’ than what is being managed in Miss Bates’. That is not the point. To judge the management of a factory, you must consider not only the
The lamp-posts are poetical...the lamp-post really has the whole poetry of man, for no other creature can lift a flame so high and guard it so well. --G K Chesterton, London Times July 24, 1909.