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Friday, April 25, 2008

Master Mentor #34

This is the final post in Mere Christianity. I am planning to jump directly (in the next 5 minutes) into Screwtape Letters as I work to fulfill my requirement for my church history class. I will however be holding those posts off and posting 2 or 3 a day so that they don't become so overwhelming that that's all that's going on here on my blog (for those of you who are my faithful readers but have been enduring the "CS Lewis-athon" that I have been working on lately.

So, look for Screwtape Letters postings beginning maybe tonight but coming rather at the pace of two or three a day rather than 8 or 10 a day.

Now... enjoy Master Mentor #34...
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Chapter 33 (Book 4, Chapter 11)
As I wrap up Mere Christianity today, I think one of the things that I appreciated about CS’s writing in this book is that he never quoted a Scripture. Now, that might sound strange. But I’ve read so many books, good books defending the Christian life, but rather than arguing and presenting a solid case, the author threw out some half-baked notions (most of which were fully true… but not very well presented) and then they grabbed a Bible, Logos program or some other Bible software program and pulled out some Scripture to “back up” what the author already knew to be true.
Now, I’m not saying that the Bible can’t defend itself or that we shouldn’t go to the Bible for answers… especially to questions that are difficult. But in Mere Christianity, CS argued consistently, and forcefully in my opinion, in the direction of a life and relationship with Christ and God Almighty but without “beating people over the head” with the Bible or this verse or that verse. I kept waiting for it. I kept waiting for him to break out the Bible, quote some passages and point out what the Scriptures say but he didn’t do that.
Interesting.
In this final chapter, CS lays out what he sees as the “new man” who is already walking the earth. This man (or woman… at least I assume that CS is using the word “man” in the generic person sense) is someone who has been radically changed in a new direction by the powerful example and sacrifice of Christ. And this man has been completely swallowed up in Christ and has found his new identity in Him and Him alone.
This has been a good book. I think the last couple of chapters would have been easy to skip. But I’m glad that I didn’t. Like most of the chapters in this book, CS saved some of his best stuff for the last couple of sentences.

Jim

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