Wednesday, May 6, 2015

C.S. Lewis on Evil and its Remedy

On Evil:
"We have all often spoken--Ransom himself had often spoken--of a devilish smile. Now he realized that he had never taken the words seriously. The smile was not bitter, nor raging, nor, in an ordinary sense, sinister; it was not even mocking. It seemed to summon Ransom, with horrible naïveté of welcome, into the world of its own pleasures, as if all men were at one in those pleasures, as if they were the most natural thing in the world and no dispute could ever have occurred about them. It was not furtive, nor ashamed, it had nothing of the conspirator in it. It did not defy goodness, it ignored it to the point of annihilation." 
 ...and its remedy:
"It is not from the making a story that I shrink back, O Stranger," she answered, 'but from this one story that you have put into my head. I can make myself stories about my children or the King. I can make it that the fish fly and the land beasts swim. But if I try to make the story about living on the Fixed Island I do not know how to make it about Maleldil. For if I make it that He has changed His command, that will not go. And if I make it that we are living there against His command, that is like making the sky all black and the water so that we cannot drink it and the air so that we cannot breathe it. But also, I do not see what is the pleasure of trying to make these things."
Making the story "about Maleldil"--I take it that that is what Paul meant by "anything without faith is sin" (Rom 14:23).

Quotations from C.S. Lewis, Perelandra (New York: Macmillan, 1944), pp. 110, 112

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