Serving Millennials on the Journey Toward Significant Life
Sign up to receive blog posts via email and receive a free eBook!

Sovereignty // C.S. Lewis

This post is a part of the Sovereignty of God Blog Series going on throughout the months of July and August. You can read about the series and see a schedule of the posts here. You can subscribe to all the posts here.

Today’s post is from C.S. Lewis. He is one of the most influential theologians from the past century and longer. His books Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, and A Grief Observed are 3 books that have greatly influenced me. He is a part of this discussion because for the longest time people have argued over what sovereignty system or camp Lewis puts himself into.

Lucy: “Is he safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

Mrs. Beaver: “That you will, dearie, and make no mistake, if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

Lucy: “Then he isn’t safe.”

Mr. Beaver: “Safe? Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

(The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, 80)

“God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go either wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong; I cannot.

If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.

A world of automata-of creatures that worked like machines-would hardly be worth creating.

The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is that happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other…And for that they must be free.”

(Mere Christianity, 47-48)

  • Share on Tumblr
  • http://blog.jhgagle.com Jonathan

    “‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”

    “Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.”

    I’ve got to add ‘Mere Christianity’ to my reading list. I’ve heard so much about it recently and have never read it. I’ve always loved C.S. Lewis. He has a way of making deep intricate thoughts very simple and easy to read and enjoy without realizing that you’re getting into some pretty deep theology.

  • http://www.aworshipfulheart.typepad.com Jan Owen

    “The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is that happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other…And for that they must be free.” Love that. Love that. Love that.

  • http://ash-nits.blogspot.com ash

    “‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”

    my favorite quote by c.s. lewis….i think that’s all he ever needed to say. there is so much power in that one little statement….

  • http://godsidekurt.com Kurt Brandemihl

    Mr Lewis, you are a bright light and I am proud to call you brother. The way you take a complex thing and make it understandable to simple men like me is truly a gift. I agree with your thoughts on freewill truly being wills that are free and is the only way to have a world in which love and evil exist, I wonder however your thoughts on God’s Foreknowledge…do you think He knows the choices that we make before we make them? Also have you read “The Shack”? If so I wonder what your thoughts are on Young’s take on Sovereignty.

    BTW – How did you get to know a schmuck like Tyler?

    Kurt

    • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

      Well I just begged him to be a part of this.

  • jonathan

    If “God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go either wrong or right,” then how is it not possible to conceive “a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong?”

    This seems contradictory.

    • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

      Well that would be a debate. Some say Jesus could have sinned, others do not.

      • jonathan

        I understood Lewis to mean man. If man, who has free will, can go either right or wrong, then why would it not be possible to have a man live and never go wrong?

      • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

        I thought he answered that in his next paragraph.

  • jonathan

    Not really. He simply states that “free will is what has made evil possible.”

    If we assume the implied alternative–free will is what has made good possible, then it is possible that man, who has free will, can be either good or evil. Therefore, would it not be just as reasonable to conceive that man can be good for the whole of his existence, as it is to conceive that man can be evil for the whole of his existence, assuming that free will brings forth both that which is right and that which is wrong?

    Reason says, “yes.” But the fact of the matter, as we know, is that no man is good. Why?

  • http://commentingninja.com Jim

    Jack,
    Great post, would love to grab some Stumptown next time you are in PDX.

  • Pingback: Sovereignty of God Blog Series « Man of Depravity()

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. © 2014 by Tyler Braun. Designed and coded by Paul Bae...