Monday, February 23, 2009

'Our grandfather, who art in Heaven' Lewis on Love

' love in this context most of us mean kindness, the desire to see others than the self happy; not happy in this way or that way, just happy. What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like 'what does it matter as long as they're happy?' We want not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in Heaven, a smiling benevolence who, as they say 'liked to see the young people enjoying themselves' and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be said at the end of each day 'a good time was had by all.' Not many people, i admit would form a theology in precisely those terms, but a conception not very different lurks at the back of many people's minds. I do not claim to be an exception, i would very much like to live in a universe governed on such lines. But since it is abundantly clear i don't, and since i have reason to believe nevertheless than God is love, i conclude that my concept of love needs correction.'
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, Pp 31-32
A voice from a different time can be like a breath of fresh air, and that's what i'm finding Clive Staples to be at the moment. So far, The Problem of Pain is about the best book i've read on the love of God. He reminds me a bit of Tozer in his slightly 'mystical' tone, but it is good for the heart and the mind. The love of God is a deep, rich, terrible thing. We, as Lewis later points out, might often wish that God would treat us differently, that He might let us alone, as an artist would treat a sketch for a child rather than his life's finest work which he labours over, works over and scrapes over. In that case though, we are not asking for more love from God, but less.

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