Notes: This is an illustration of C.S Lewis’ third talk of the third radio series called ‘What Christians Believe’. Notes below...
This talk became Chapter 2 of Book 2, in the book called ‘Mere Christianity’. Notes below...
You can find the book here: www.amazon.com/Mere-Christianity-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060652926
You can find this reading of Mere Christianity here: www.amazon.com/C-S-Lewis-War-Christianity/dp/1624052185
(0:16) On atheism and simplified religions: “I think he [studying theology] can save himself time by confining his attention to two systems - Hinduism and Christianity. I believe these are the two serious options for an adult mind. Materialism is a philosophy for boys. The purely moral systems like Stoicism and Confucianism are philosophies for aristocrats. Islam is only a Christian heresy, and Buddhism a Hindu heresy: both are simplifications inferior to the things simplified. As for the old Pagan religions, I think we could say that whatever was of value in them survives either in Hinduism or in Christianity or in both…” (Lewis, De Futilitate).
“And if, turning aside from the religious attitude, we speak for a moment as mere sociologists, we must admit that history does not encourage us to expect much envigorating power in a minimal religion. Attempts at such a minimal religion are not new - from Akhenaten and Julian the Apostate down to Lord Herbert of Cherbury and the late H. G. Wells. But where are the saints, the consolations, the ecstacies? The greatest of such attempts was that simplification of Jewish and Christian traditions which we call Islam..." (Lewis, Religion without Dogma).
On simplified religions in Britain: "In every class and every part of the country the visible practice of Christianity has grown very much less in the last fifty years. This is often taken to show that the nation as a whole has passed from a Christian to a secular outlook. But if we judge the nineteenth century from the books it wrote, the outlook of our grandfathers (with a very few exceptions) was quite as secular as our own...one way of putting the truth would be that the religion which has declined was not Christianity. It was a vague Theism with a strong and virile ethical code, which, far from standing over against the "World", was absorbed into the whole fabric of English institutions and sentiment and therefore demanded churchgoing as (at best) a part of loyalty and good manners or (at worst) a proof of respectability...If the various anti-clerical and anti-theistic forces at work in the nineteenth century had had to attack a solid phalanx of radical Christians the story might have been different. But mere "religion" - "morality tinged with emotion", "what a man does with his solitude", "the religion of all good men" - has little power of resistance. It is not good at saying No” (Lewis, ‘The decline of Religion’).
(2:36) "So far from being the final religious refinement, Pantheism is in fact the permanent natural bent of the human mind; the permanent ordinary level below which man sometimes sinks, under the influence of priestcraft and superstition, but above which his own unaided efforts can never raise him for very long. Platonism and Judaism, and Christianity (which has incorporated both Platonism and Judaism) have proved the only things capable of resisting it. It is the attitude into which the human mind automatically falls when left to itself. No wonder we find it congenial. If ‘religion’ means simply what man says about God, and not what God does about man, then Pantheism almost is religion. And ‘religion’ in that sense has, in the long run, only one really formidable opponent-namely Christianity" (Lewis, ‘Miracles’, Chapter 12 - Christianity and ‘Religion’).
(13:23) The commonest question is whether I really "believe in the Devil." Now, if by "the Devil" you mean a power opposite to God and, like God, self-existent from all eternity, the answer is certainly No. There is no uncreated being except God. God has no opposite. No being could attain a "perfect badness" opposite to the perfect goodness of God; for when you have taken away every kind of good thing (intelligence, will, memory, energy, and existence itself) there would be none of him left. The proper question is whether I believe in devils. I do. That is to say, I believe in angels, and I believe that some of these, by the abuse of their free will, have become enemies to God and, as a corollary, to us. These we may call devils. They do not differ in nature from good angels, but their nature is depraved. Devil is the opposite of angel only as Bad Man is the opposite of Good Man. Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of [the archangel] Michael" (Lewis, Introduction to the Screwtape Letters).
The Morse code (at the very end) can be translated by pushing the captions/subtitles button on the video.
29 mar 2018