Dear Mr. Lewis:
As I stated in my last post, I’m reading your amazing “Letters to Malcolm”. Today I wanted to focus on a passage that I am just awed by. I don’t have any disagreements here. I don’t even have to much in the way of questions. It’s worth noticing, though, that you were so amazingly ahead of your time. Folks like Irwin McManus and John Eldridge, and countless others have reacted to the stereotype that being in Christ means we lose our individually. Well before these guys were born, you had some pretty amazing things to say about this subject. As you know, on page 10, you write:
“It takes all sorts to make a world– or a church. This may be even truer of a church. If grace perfects nature it must expand all our natures into the full richness of the diversity which God intended when He made them, and Heaven will display far more variety than Hell.”
Maybe my favorite part of that passage is the last part: heaven will display far more variety than Hell. It’s so radical to claim that. I think we all spend our lives thinking that Evil is so much more interesting than Good. I wonder if this is because we think to be Good is to follow the rules and to be Evil is to ignore them. It almost goes without saying that there are many more ways to break a rule than to follow it.
I wonder if the reason for your disagreement with this ordinary understanding is based in the early part of the quote. What if being Good isn’t so much about following the rules as it is in discovering who we were meant to be? Who we were meant to be won’t be rule breakers– (atleast, not breakers of God’s rules.) So following the important rules certainly will be accomplished, but that’s such a small point along the way, the following of the rules. We could have so much more.
I hope I’m not being anachronistic here, and projecting todays values on to your thoughts from decades ago. If I’ve got it wrong I hope you, or somebody else will help me get it right.
Yours in Christ,
Jeff, a wanna-be inkling.