Meditations with C. S. Lewis: The Power of Existence
C. S. Lewis, best known as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, was also one of the most profound thinkers of twentieth century Christianity. Along with J. R. R. Tolkien, he has inspired millions of people, include all of the authors at Lantern Hollow Press. On Sundays we would like to take a moment to offer up a little Lewis for your consideration.
A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word “darkness” on the walls of his cell.
–The Problem of Pain
There are times when, as Andrew Peterson puts it, “the crying fields are frozen, by the silence of God.” In those times, pain and doubt can be overwhelming. Then the world piles on it’s hate, it’s screaming denunciation of God’s very existence, and we feel as if we should simply fade away into the nothingness of the dark night of the soul. It may seem a relief to give in, to agree with the cacophony of voices shouting down both reason and belief in favor of the deification of humanity itself through scientism.*
There is more than one level of irony in this. To give in and reject God (as Lewis once did himself) would be to betray the very foundation of science and human thought in exchange for a momentary reprieve from despair and the hard work associated with belief. We turn off our reason and refuse to think through certain issues–like the ultimate foundation of thought or the difficulties of naturalistic macro evolution–in order to accept a naturalistic universe that we suppose will mean both freedom and comfort at once. In that acceptance, we also doom ourselves to a life that, by definition, can have no transcendent meaning. Only those who simply turn off their brains and refuse to accept the logical consequences can look into that abyss and not despair. We can delay that moment, but we can never entirely avoid it.
The good news is that God is God: “I AM who I AM,” the first and the last, the greatest creative power of the multiverse. His existence is established far beyond either the fleeting emotional states or weak intellectual machinations of feeble creatures whose entire lives are less than a proverbial blink of His eye.
It is on that existence that our faith, our reason, and our ultimate meaning rests. There could be no stronger foundation.
*As I’ve mentioned before, I define “scientism” as something very different from “science.” The latter is the intelligent, reasonable pursuit of knowledge of the natural world through experimentation. The former is a philosophical position dedicated to the worship of humanity by using “science” to award it god-like power and authority.