C.S. Lewis Asks, Is There Such A Thing As “Christian Obstinacy”?

“There are times when we can do all that a fellow creature needs if only he will trust us. In getting a dog out of a trap, in extracting a thorn from a child’s finger, in teaching a boy to swim or rescuing one who can’t, in getting a frightened beginner over a nasty place on a mountain, the one fatal obstacle may be their distrust. We are asking them to trust us in the teeth of their senses, their imagination, and their intelligence. We ask them to believe that what is painful will relieve their pain and that what looks dangerous is their only safety. We ask them to accept apparent impossibilities: that moving the paw farther back into the trap is the way to get it out—that hurting the finger very much more will stop the finger hurting—that water which is obviously permeable will resist and support the body—that holding onto the only support within reach is not the way to avoid sinking—that to go higher and onto a more exposed ledge is the way not to fall. …

“But if we succeed, we do so because they have maintained their faith in us against apparently contrary evidence. …

“Now to accept the Christian propositions is ipso facto to believe that we are to God, always, as that dog or child or bather or mountain climber was to us, only very much more so. …

“There is, you see, no real parallel between Christian obstinacy in faith and the obstinacy of a bad scientist trying to preserve a hypothesis although the evidence has turned against it. Unbelievers very pardonably get the impression that an adherence to our faith is like that, because they meet Christianity, if at all, mainly in apologetic works. And there, of course, the existence and beneficence of God must appear as a speculative question like any other. Indeed, it is a speculative question as long as it is a question at all. But once it has been answered in the affirmative, you get quite a new situation. To believe that God—at least this God—exists is to believe that you as a person now stand in the presence of God as a Person. What would, a moment before, have been variations in opinion, now become variations in your personal attitude to a Person. You are no longer faced with an argument which demands your assent, but with a Person who demands your confidence.” —C.S. Lewis, in The World’s Last Night

8 Quotes From “The World’s Last Night”

In seven essays expressly shared to get the reader to think in terms of eternity, C.S. Lewis masterfully practices his craft. Check out my full book review of The World’s Last Night by clicking here. Below is just a small sampling of a few of the outstanding quotes in this book.

“Simply to say prayers is not to pray; otherwise a team of properly trained parrots would serve as well as men.”

“Prayer is not a machine. It is not magic. It is not advice offered to God. Our act, when we pray, must not, any more than all our other acts, be separated from the continuous act of God Himself, in which alone all finite causes operate.”

“Scientists are mainly concerned not with believing things but with finding things out. And no one, to the best of my knowledge, uses the word believe about things he has found out. The doctor says he ‘believes’ a man was poisoned before he has examined the body; after the examination, he says the man was poisoned. No one says that he believes the multiplication table. No one who catches a thief red-handed says he believes that man was stealing. The scientist, when at work, that is, when he is a scientist, is labouring to escape from belief and unbelief into knowledge. Of course he uses hypotheses or supposals. I do not think these are beliefs.”

“Since most men, as Aristotle observed, do not like to be merely equal with all other men, we find all sorts of people building themselves into groups within which they can feel superior to the mass.”

“‘Good works’ in the plural is an expression much more familiar to modern Christendom than ‘good work.’ Good works are chiefly alms-giving or ‘helping’ in the parish. They are quite separate from one’s ‘work.’ And good works need not be good work, as anyone can see by inspecting some of the objects made to be sold at bazaars for charitable purposes. This is not according to our example. When our Lord provided a poor wedding party with an extra glass of wine all round, He was doing good works. But also good work; it was a wine really worth drinking.”

“Christ died for men precisely because men are not worth dying for; to make them worth it.”

“It would be difficult, and, to me, repellent, to suppose that Jesus never asked a genuine question, that is, a question to which He did not know the answer. That would make of His humanity something so unlike ours as scarcely to deserve the name. I find it easier to believe that when He said ‘Who touched Me?’ (Luke 7:45) He really wanted to know.”

“For what comes [after Christ’s Second Coming] is Judgment: happy are those whom it finds labouring in their vocations, whether they were merely going out to feed the pigs or laying good plans to deliver humanity a hundred years hence from some great evil. The curtain has indeed now fallen. Those pigs will never in fact be fed, the great campaign against White Slavery or Governmental Tyranny will never in fact proceed to victory. No matter; you were at your post when the Inspection came.”

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“People who suffer the loss of a loved one will tell you that your presence is comforting, not your answers. In his first sermon after losing his son to suicide, Pastor Rick Warren advised his congregants that if they were unsure about what to say in a tragedy, say nothing. Just be there. Job’s friends initially did that. It was only after they began to speak that they made matters worse. If you’re hurting right now, I risk making matters worse by giving intellectual answers to emotional pain.” —Frank Turek

“Men may as well build their houses upon the sand and expect to see them stand, when the rains fall, and the winds blow, and the floods come, as to found free institutions upon any other basis than that of morality and virtue, of which the Word of God is the only authoritative rule, and the only adequate sanction. All societies of men must be governed in some way or other. The less they have of stringent state government, the more they must have of individual self-government. The less they rely on public law or physical force, the more they must rely on private moral restraint. Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet. It may do for other countries and other governments to talk about the state supporting religion. Here, under our own free institutions, it is religion which must support the state.” —Robert Winthrop, speaker of the US House of Representatives (1847–1849)

Some wonderful quotes from Maya Angelou.

“Anything which you have in this world, which you do not consecrate to Christ’s cause, you do rob the Lord of.” —Charles Spurgeon

“If we don’t kill every hint of immorality, we’ll be captured by our tendency as males to draw sexual gratification and chemical highs through our eyes. But we can’t deal with our maleness until we first reject our right to mix standards. As we ask ‘How holy can I be?’ we must pray and commit to a new relationship with God, fully aligned with His call to obedience.” —Steve Arterburn

[VIDEO] So are Christian scientists biased in their research? Yes! Any scientist is, but that is why there are controls—

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“The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.” —Seth Godin

Check this out: just 2 verses of Scripture, but 22 verified historical confirmations!

J. Warner Wallace explains why we should trust a courtroom over a laboratory when evaluating the truthfulness of historical events.

Seth Godin tells us how to win an argument with a scientist.

I know you read this from me (a lot!), but I love what the folks at The Overview Bible Project do. Check out this overview of the Gospel of John.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell on the power of implementation—

[VIDEO] Dr. Bobby Conway answers a tough question: what is habitual sin?

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Some good reading from today…

“One doesn’t realize in early life that the price of freedom is loneliness. To be happy one must be tied.” —C.S. Lewis

“The Savior looks at sin through the glass of compassion; we often look upon it through the lens of Pharisaic pride.” —Charles Spurgeon

The longer the answer is delayed and the more effectually you pray, the more important He becomes and the less important the answer becomes.” Read more from David Wilkerson in his post Power In Prayer.

I always enjoy Tim Elmore’s insights into the youth mindset. Check out his post 4 Meta-Beliefs of Generation iY.

I think it is quite comical that so-called serious scientist says that a certain level of CO2 gas is “symbolic,” and how they extrapolate data with no regard to past data nor any mitigating future events. All in all, “climate change” proponents are more philosopher than they are scientist.

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Some great reading from this weekend…

Are you a Christian? Then there’s something dreadfully wrong with you. You’re unthinking; you’re unscientific; you can’t see how badly Christianity botches morality. You represent a deeply defective culture that’s been getting all the most important things wrong for a hundred generations.” Read more from Tom Gilson in Skeptics Dehumanizing Christianity.

“No one can know truth except the one who obeys truth. You think you know truth. People memorize the Scriptures by the yard, but that is not a guarantee of knowing the truth. Truth is not a text. Truth is in the text, but it takes the text plus the Holy Spirit to bring truth to a human soul.” —A.W. Tozer

Important news for pregnant women: Take care of your teeth. “The results reinforce data suggesting a link between periodontal disease in the mother and the risk of preterm birth.” Read more in Bacteria Found In Healthy Placentas.

Many contemporary critics of the faith charge that Christianity is a barrier to progress. … But the overwhelming weight of good is undeniable—and indispensable to civilization.” Read more in The ABCs Of Christian Civilization.

[VIDEO] Rep. Trey Gowdy asks “Did the media ever pursue these big questions on Benghazi?”

“Biblical hope is not wishful thinking or an optimistic outlook; rather, it is a confident expectation based on the certainty of God’s Word that as He has anchored us in the past, so He will in the future.” —David Wilkerson

“You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.” —Jim Stovall

“The Bible was not given to replace the miraculous but to correct abuses.” —Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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