Skip to main content

Remember Miss Bates from Mere Christianity

OLD LADY



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 output but the plant…Do not misunderstand me. Of course God regards a nasty nature as a bad and deplorable thing. And, of course, He regards a nice nature as a good thing—good like bread, or sunshine, or water. But these are the good things which He gives and we receive. He created Dick’s sound nerves and good digestion, and there is plenty more where they came from. It costs God nothing, so far as we know, to create nice things: but to convert rebellious wills cost His crucifixion.” – C. S. Lewis, "Nice People or New Men," Mere Christianity.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Return to Rome?

All right. Here is my first question to throw around to everyone: "Why am I not Roman Catholic?" (of course, if you are, help us understand why you are and why we should be(?)) Sounds like an easy question, but not so easy. Let me ask a few penetrating questions to get us going. These are all questions I've heard in different forms... Does Christ not have only one church? Does Rome not have the only consistent historical connection to the early church? Did not Rome determine the new Testament cannon of Scriptures? Does not Rome have what so many evangelicals lack: mystery, awe, contemplation, etc.? One more, does our theology go asunder so irreparably? Consider these Evangelical favorites: J RR Tolkien, G K Chesterton, and Mother Theresa. Are they not a sterling model of Christian imagination , thinking and service ? Hope this gets some discussion going.

The 'Greatest' Theologian/Preacher/Christian Philosopher

Here's a fun little discussion for us. Who is the greatest theologian since the apostle Paul? Sounds too subjective, but here are some criteria to evaluate by: 1) Personal life - Did this person's personal character reflect his convictions effectively? 2) Breadth of Influence - How wide and long has this person's influence effected the church and the world? 3) Depth of thought - How careful, biblical, and articulate were this persons's works? My vote to come...

Does Church History Matter?

In a so called unprecedented age, where all of Christianity is re-inventing itself, and all of Christian doctrine is up for re-writing , one must ask the question "Does church history matter?" (Just to write this almost makes me cringe at how unbelievably near-sighted my generation has become!) If we say 'yes it matters' too emphatically, the response will be "Why are you Protestants then?" Didn't Luther radically depart from centuries of theological teaching. One common criticism against Luther (and the Reformation) was "Can you alone be right and the whole world be wrong?" And, when Luther talks about Sola Scriptura, isn't he saying Scripture is all that matters? A few things about Luther. First, his Sola Scriptura argument was not that Scripture is the only authority for the church, but that Scripture alone is the final authority for the church. According to Luther, there can be, indeed should be, lesser authorities, including pasto