Sunday, September 16, 2007

C.S. Lewis quote-of-the-week

"Jesus told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned, the person chiefly offended in all offenses. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin. In the mouth of any speaker who is not God, these words would imply what I can only regard as a silliness or conceit unrivaled by any other character in history...Christ says that He is 'humble and meek' and we believe Him; not noticing that, if He were merely a man, humility and meekness are the very last characteristics we could attribute to some of His sayings."

--Mere Christianity, book 2, chapter 3)

Among other things, this reminds me of Dallas Willard's comment that theological liberals often refer to Christ as (merely/mostly) a great teacher, but then they dismiss many of his miracles and great teachings. (Willard then argues that theological conservatives are, in response, allergic to references of Christ as teacher. The bottom line ends up that few takes his teachings all that seriously, rationalizing some of the tougher ones and dismissing others as "pretty words".)

Most important, Christ's claim to forgive sins was/is a key reference to His deity-- one that many of the other Jews of his time found blasphemous. And they would have been correct, except that He was correct...


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