Dorothy Sayers was a really interesting lady. Perhaps best known for her fiction writing, she also wrote on matters of theology with a whimsical and winsome demeanor. I’ve read a bit of her work this past week, and really enjoyed it.
In my reading I came across this paragraph. In it, Sayers is talking about human sin, and the Christian need for clarity on this topic. The less popular the subject becomes, the more important it is for us to be clear about it. Even though she was writing to a thoroughly modern culture and we are living in a post-modern age, the truth of her claim is still important and useful to us.
Read the quote, and we can discuss…
“The final tendency of the modern philosophies—hailed in their day as a release from the burden of sinfulness—has been to bind man hard and fast in the chains of an iron determinism. The influences of heredity and environment, of glandular makeup and the control exercised by the unconscious, of economic necessity and the mechanics of biological development, have all been invoked to assure man that he is not responsible for his misfortunes and therefore not to be held guilty. Evil has been represented as something imposed upon him from without, not made by him from within. The dreadful conclusion follows inevitably, that as he is not responsible for evil, he cannot alter it; even though evolution and progress may offer some alleviation in the future, there is no hope for you and me, here and now. I well remember how an aunt of mine, brought up in an old-fashioned liberalism, protested angrily against having continually to call herself a miserable sinner when reciting the Litany. Today, if we could really be persuaded that we are miserable sinners—that the trouble is not outside us but inside us, and that therefore, by the grace of God, we can do something to put it right—we should receive that message as the most hopeful and heartening thing that can be imagined.” Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos? Continue reading
Friday with Screwtape 10 (series)
This will be the last in post in the Screwtape series. Ten weeks is good enough I think. Read this book if you haven’t. It is a good read, and very thoughtful.
As a preliminary to detaching him from the Enemy, you wanted to detach him from himself, and had made some progress in doing so. Now, all is undone.
Friday with Screwtape 9 (series)
In speaking of the “troughs and peaks” of the spiritual life, Screwtape explains to Wormwood how God uses the troughs more than the peaks to draw men to Himself in relationship. At this point in the letter, Screwtape has diverged slightly to explain how the goals of God for humanity and the goals of Satan differ.
To us a human is primarily food; our aim is the absorption of its will into ours, the increase of our own area of selfhood at its expense. But the obedience which the Enemy demands of men is quite a different thing. One must face the fact that Continue reading
Friday with Screwtape 8 (series)
Given the last ten years, with its war and conflict, the often vitriolic rhetoric, the words of Lewis through the mouth of the loathsome Screwtape are still appropriate for us to consider.
As regards his more general attitude to the war, you must not rely too much on those feelings of hatred which the humans are so fond of discussing in Christian, or anti-Christian, periodicals. In his anguish, the patient can, of course, be encouraged to revenge himself by some vindictive feelings directed towards the German leaders, and that is good so far as it goes. Continue reading
Friday with Screwtape 7 (series)
That Screwtape is a really devilish fellow. I almost admire his savvy, if it weren’t turned against me on daily basis.
Today, Screwtape is talking about using distraction and false thinking to blind a “patient” to the fact that he is entering a state of sin. Continue reading
A little something from Dan Wallace. Interesting perspective on persecution, and far removed from us.
Ignatius on the Hatred of Christians.
Friday with Screwtape 6 (series)
“I am delighted to hear that your patient’s age and profession make it possible, but by no means certain, that he will be called up for military service. We want him to be in the maximum uncertainty, so that his mind will be filled with contradictory pictures of the future, every one of which arouses hope or fear. There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the Enemy. He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.”
Friday with Screwtape 5 (series)
In this letter to his devilish nephew, Screwtape has decided to comment on the conditions for corruption presented by the war we know as War World II. At the time of its writing, the war was fully engaged. Believe it or not, Screwtape is concerned about the effects of the war as it will likely turn more people toward God. Continue reading
This week, I thought I would give you some of my favorite G.K. Chesterton quotes. The guy was one of those writers who is endlessly quotable. He was a British thinker and author who died in 1936, a Catholic, and a significant influence on the thinking of C.S. Lewis. He wrote some deeply theological things, but he was very humorous too. His book, Orthodoxy, is one of my favorites.
On this Friday in Chesterton Week…