I recently re-read C.S. Lewis’ book Miracles (you can read my full book review by clicking here). As you may have noticed, after reading and reviewing books on this blog, I also like to share some quotes that caught my attention. Doing this with Lewis is difficult, because in order to get the context of a particular quote, I think I would have to cite almost a full page or more. So over the next few weeks I plan to share some quotes from Miracles that require not as much context, or I will provide a bit of background to set the stage.
Lewis took head-on the idea that God is everywhere or can be in everything, that all paths will ultimately lead to Him. This, Lewis firmly states, is not the case. God is definite and so there is a definite way to come to Him.
“We say that God is ‘infinite.’ In the sense that His knowledge and power extended not to some things but to all, this is true. But if by using the word ‘infinite’ we encourage ourselves to think of Him as a formless ‘everything’ about whom nothing in particular and everything in general is true, then it would be better to drop that word altogether. Let us dare to say that God is a particular thing. Once He was the only Thing: but He is creative, He made other things to be. He is not those other things. He is not ‘universal being’: if He were there would be no creatures, for a generality can make nothing. He is absolute being—or rather the Absolute Being—in the sense that He alone exists in His own right. But there are things which God is not. In that sense He has a determinate character. Thus He is righteous, not amoral; creative, not inert. The Hebrew writings here observe an admirable balance. Once God says simply I AM, proclaiming the mystery of self-existence. But times without number He says, ‘I am the Lord’—I, the ultimate Fact, have this determinant character, and not that. And men are exhorted to ‘know the Lord,’ to discover and experience this particular character. …
“God is basic Fact or Actuality, the source of all other facthood. At all costs therefore He must not be thought of as a featureless generality. If He exists at all, He is the most concrete thing there is, the most individual, ‘organized and minutely articulated.’ He is unspeakable not by being indefinite but by being too definite for the unavoidable vagueness of language. … An impersonal God—well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads—better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap—best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband—that is quite another matter.”
I posted other passages from Miracles under Miracle Or “Cheating”?, Miracles And Nature, and Correcting The Pantheist.