Saturday, January 14, 2012

An Old Book by Lewis

I checked out an old copy of The Great Divorce from the college library here. I liked the surprise of turning to the back page and seeing the first due date: April 14, 1948. If the stamps don't lie, the book has only been checked out 14 times since then. Not one of the library's more popular titles. I'm sure it deserves more attention. I enjoyed the book for all the obvious reasons, it is authored by Lewis, but I don't like theological confusion. I'm confused enough. A literary imagining of the outskirts of heaven and philosophical speculation about time and choice leaves me uncomfortable. Still, I made note of several passages I liked. By all means read Lewis, but even more, the Word of God.
"...both good and evil, when they are full grown, become retrospective. Not only this valley but all this earthly past will have been Heaven to those who are saved. Not only the twilight in that town, but all their life on earth too, will be seen by the damned to have been Hell. That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, 'No future bliss can make up for it,' not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say 'Let me but have this and I'll take the consequences': little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin. Both processes begin even before death."
C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

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