Thursday, September 15, 2016

Reading

Despite the fact that I am no longer a Christian I enjoy reading C. S. Lewis's nonfiction works.  One of them--Miracles--was over my head.  (Incidentally, I think it's a good Idea to read at least one book that's over your head per year.)  I don't recall much about it, but I remember him saying that our contact with God is like a man being warmed by a fire and not like a wire with electricity running through it, that we weren't so much conduits of the divine as we were warmed at a distance.  I don't recall his justification of this, but it was an interesting compare and contrast.

His book, The Problem of Pain, is much better though.  Lewis says in it that he abhors the notion of hell, but that he believes in it because its existence was taught by Jesus.  He adds the famous caveat that the door to hell is locked from the inside--that the damned souls can get out any time they like. This is a totally absurd notion given what the Bible teaches.  William Lane Craig says that since damned souls continue sinning in Hell that their eternal torment is justified.  This also is ridiculous since the damned soul--according to the Bible--is given the sentence of eternal torment by God.  This means that a finite amount of sins somehow justify infinite punishment.  The Catholic Church has gone so far as to invoke the Butterfly Effect, but the Butterfly Effect is an act of God, and we can't be held culpable for it.  I might wave my hand in Mexico and cause a hurricane in Indonesia, but waving my hand is not immoral.  That's not a good example, but you get the idea.  And yes, the Butterfly Effect is confirmed science.

All that talk of hell is ridiculous, but I digress.  I think most readers do not read enough outside their comfort zones.  I'm reading A History of God now, by Karen Armstrong.  It's full of things I did not previously know.  

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