Friday, April 27, 2012

C. S. Lewis on "the popular idea of Christianity"

"For when you get down to it, is not the popular idea of Christianity simply this: that Jesus Christ was a great moral teacher and that if only we took His advice we might be able to establish a better social order and avoid another war?  Now, mind you, that is quite true.  But it tells us much less than the whole truth about Christianity and it has no practical importance at all.

"It is quite true that if we took Christ's advice we should soon be living in a happier world.  You need not even go as far as Christ.  If we did all that Plato or Aristotle or Confucius told us, we should get on a great deal better than we do.  And so what?  We never have followed the advice of great moral teachers.  Why are we likely to begin now?  Why are we more likely to follow Christ than any of the others?  Because He is the best moral teacher?  But that makes it even less likely that we shall follow Him.  If we cannot take the elementary lessons, is it likely we are going to take the most advanced ones?  If Christianity only means one more bit of good advice, then Christianity is of no importance.  There has been no lack of good advice for the last four thousand years.  A bit more makes no difference."


Bill Dilworth said...

Ah, but Confucius and Plato were heathens, and had no knowledge of the Milleneum Development Goals (pbut) - Jesus is different: she's a Democrat, after all!

Bryan Owen said...

LOL, Bill!

Anonymous said...

C. S. Lewis is one of my heroes. Thanks for sharing his words of wisdom here. God bless you and your ministry.

Anonymous said...

C. S. Lewis is spot on! Thanks for re-printing his words on your blog. God bless you and your ministry. You might like: (see link to the C. S. Lewis Society)
Ecce, quam bonum! (Psalm 133, Psalter, BCP '28)