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Generosity is the main characteristic of a Christian society. Along with that, Christians should be obedient to God and respectful toward government. The family would become a matter of great importance. Christians would not live luxurious lives while their brothers suffered. These communities would not support parasites not r would they support extravagant lifestyles. The Christian community is happy, joyful, and worry would not run rampant. Christians are courteous and they enjoy working because they see a greater purpose in life. The also live by the golden rule for the most part. Lewis examines this idea but considering it to its fullest extent. He writes, " may repeat 'Do as you would he done by' till I am black in the face, but I cannot really carry it out till I love my neighbour as myself: and I cannot learn to love my neighbour as myself till I learn to love God: and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him" (Lewis). Through this example, he is emphasizing the importance of goodness in all areas of life and how they influence on another in subtle ways. When we live this way, he writes we are admitting we are "driven on to something more inward -- driven on from social matters to religious matters. For the longest way round is the shortest way home" (Lewis). It begins within.
What it does not do is create a type of bargaining that goes on between man and God. Lewis points out, God does not say, "If you keep a lot of rules I'll reward you, and if you don't I'll do the other thing'" (Lewis). We were not wired this way and it would never work because in this type of system there is no love. In addition, Lewis notes that choices would change because they would have stipulations attached to them and we would not be acting on our true nature. We would slowly turn into one of creatures: either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself" (Lewis). For the experience to be real on both sides it needs to be genuine far above anything else.
In Book Four, "Beyond Personality: Or First Steps In The Doctrine Of The Trinity," Lewis does his best to discuss theology without losing the reader. He believes theology is important because Christians need maps at times to know where they are going and they also need to know if they are on the right road to get to where they want to be. "Theology is like the map" (Lewis), writes Lewis. Learning about Christian doctrines is not enough and is "less real and less exciting" (Lewis). The map is significant because it combines the experience of "hundreds of people who really were in touch with God" (Lewis) and to progress, Christians must use the map. Lewis notes how theology if practical in these days, writing. "Everyone reads, everyone hears things discussed. Consequently, if you do not listen to Theology, that will not mean that you have no ideas about God. It will mean that you have a lot of wrong ones -- bad, muddled, out-of-date ideas" (Lewis). We can learn to learn from these people and this is actually what we should do, suggests Lewis. God is a personal God and everything that lives within eventually emerges.
Lewis elaborates on the personal relationship with God by touching on the notion of dimensions. Thinking in three dimensions allows us to comprehend what God is all about. The Christian account of God involves the same principle, states Lewis. The human level is "simple and rather empty" (Lewis). God's leve, however is three Persons while "remaining in One Being" (Lewis). Again, Lewis is pointing out how this religion must be real because this idea is so odd that no one would care to think it up or ask anyone to believe it. Knowing this and accepting it is as real to the Christian as prayer because every Christian knows that "knows that what is prompting him to pray is also God: God, so to speak, inside him" (Lewis). It is a fantastic notion that Christians accept from their experience with God.
From this point, Lewis moves on to prayer, where he deems is critical for any Christian because it brings him closer to God and there is absolutely nothing that will replace this action. With God, we find "a being who is three Persons while remaining one Being" (Lewis) and while we may never fully comprehend what this means we can "get a faint notion of it" (Lewis). Again, it is one of the odd things we could have never imagined if we set out to define or describe God or the universe. God is the goal of every man. God is also the "thing inside him which is pushing him on -- the motive power. God is also the road or bridge along which he is being pushed to that goal" (Lewis). Through living this kind of life, man is being pulled into and caught up in a higher kind of life. By seeking God, we find Him. Lewis writes:
God can show Himself as He really is only to real men. And that means not simply to men who are individually good, but to men who are united together in a body, loving one another, helping one another, showing Him to one another. For that is what God meant humanity to be like" (Lewis)
This passage reveals the heart of Christianity and God as well as the true nature of man. It is all here and all we must do is be open to it. We live in a world that is becoming smaller via modes of communication but somehow it seems we can still be so far from one another. It is only through what God has given us do we stand a chance for finding the kind of happiness he intended.
Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. Philosophy of Life Online. Site Accessed March 26,…[continue]
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