And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)
Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Reflections: Nov 22 1963 and 2013
Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the murder of JFK. I have walked Dealy plaza, visited Parkland Memorial Hospital, and have sat in the Texas theatre. Each place has an air of haunting history within its existence. Many wonder what would have been had Kennedy not been killed and America kept its innocence.
Also On that same day, one of my few heroes died. His death did not make front page news, as is understandable given the circumstances. But that same day, Clive Staples “Jack” Lewis entered the gates of heaven, and I am sure was surprised by joy beyond even his imagination.
Lewis, a former atheist turned Christian apologist had an air of thinking about him that is still revolutionary. Like Jonathan Edwards, Martyn Luther, and Charles Spurgeon, Lewis had a way of seeing God that has led others to embrace the truth of God despite the venomous perversions of false representations. Logic and wonder are often what sets Lewis apart from his peers.
It is well known that Lewis would not have come to Christ had it not been for the influence of J R R Tolkien. Yet it is Lewis, who taking the lead after Tolkien had opened the wicket gate of Christianity, inspired further thinking that led to such tomes as the Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and thus a genre of stories bidding imagination. None the least is the Narnia series.
What Lewis inspired in fantasy type novels had been stirred in his own mind by the writings of Rev. George MacDonald; especially his book Phantasies. Lewis and Tolkien had a purpose in their writing, which is often lacking in today’s dollar driven market. The purpose of a Lewis fantasy was teaching through shadows and kinds a greater truth. Perhaps Lewis best book using metaphor would be The Screwtape Letters.
Let it suffice to say, Lewis has shaped our culture today. It would do us good on this fiftieth anniversary of his home going to reflect on the message of Christ within his writings. For his longing for joy previous to conversion found him running from God only to discover that joy can only be found at the pure undefiled source, God himself.
Lewis was about the things of God and how life as we know it is a mere shadow of what is to come. That being said, I believe that reading Peter Kreeft’s book, Between Heaven and Hell is an excellent way to gain an introduction to the ramifications of November 22, 1963. Not only did that day see the end of the earthly life of JFK, and C S Lewis, but also Aldous Huxley. This book does a wonderful job of helping the reader see how Lewis’ understanding of God rivals the thinking of worldly philosophies. The book is challenging of our complacencies and it too opens a wicket gate for belief.