Posted by: Ken Brown | October 27, 2009

C.S. Lewis on Universal Redemption

C.S. Lewis has a great deal to say on the subject of humanity’s role in the universe, especially in chapter 14 of Miracles, some of which I agree with and some of which I remain skeptical about. Here are a couple of excerpts that bear on the conversation in the comments on my last post (once again, apologies for the gendered language):

The doctrine of a universal redemption spreading outwards from the redemption of Man, mythological as it will seem to modern minds, is in reality far more philosophical than any theory which holds that God, having once entered Nature, should leave her, and leave her substantially unchanged, or that the glorification of one creature could be realized without the glorification of the whole system. God never undoes anything but evil, never does good to undo it again. The union between God and Nature in the Person of Christ admits no divorce. He will not go out of Nature again and she must be glorified in all ways which this miraculous union demands. When spring comes it ‘leaves no corner of the land untouched'; even a pebble dropped in a pond sends circles to the margin….

For this reason I do not think it at all likely that there have been (as Alice Meynell suggested in an interesting poem) many Incarnations to redeem many different kinds of creature. One’s sense of style–of the divine idiom–rejects it. The suggestion of mass-production and of waiting queues comes from a level of thought which is here hopelessly inadequate. If other natural creatures than Man have sinned we must believe that they are redeemed: but God’s Incarnation as Man will be one unique act in a drama of total redemption and other species will have witnessed wholly different acts, each equally unique, equally necessary and differently necessary to the whole process, and each (from a certain point of view) justifiably regarded as ‘the great scene’ of the play. (pgs. 199-202)

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Responses

  1. Thanks and God Bless


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