Monday, November 11, 2013

"Something more serious than theological error... a less technical term is dishonesty"

Several years ago (1982), Peter Kreeft imagined a scene that would have occurred several years before that.

As the promo for the book--Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley"  --teases:

On November 22, 1963, three great men died within a few hours of each other: C.S. Lewis, John F. Kennedy, Aldous Huxley.  All three believed, in different ways, that death is not the end of human life.  Suppose they were right, and suppose they met after death.  How might that conversation go?   

Here's a scene towards the end of the book, and most of the epilogue:

 Lewis: ..something much more serious than mere logical fallacy or theological error.
Kennedy: What?
Lewis: A spiritual disease..
Kennedy: Careful now!  Remember Jesus' advice, "judge not, that you be not judged."
Lewis: I judge myself first of all.  I happen to know something about this disease because I have had it.
I too am a son of Adam.
Kennedy: What's the disease?
Lewis:  Some theologians call it vincible ignorance.  A less technical term is dishonesty.  I mean deliberately looking away or changing the truth when it threatens you,

[From the Epilogue]:

.....The rarest word to hear from a writer are the words, "I was wrong," especially when the subject is religion. But these are the words everyone must speak before God when we meet him.  No one  has God cased.  "Eye has not seen, ear had not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared for them that love him."  Since we all must meet the Light and confess where we were wrong, we'd better get some practice in now, before we meet the Light for the last time.

When we meet him now, whenever new light shines on old minds, those minds must break to grow.,  The new wine bursts the old wineskins and requires new wineskins. The new wine is Christ, and the old wineskins are the old earth  (which was burst at the Incarnation) and our old self (which is burst at the new birth).  In that bursting, that spiritual incursion into our being, that "spiritual marriage," that he came.  It was for that that we were created.  Perhaps it was that for which the universe was created.  And it is for that that he continually arranges all the events of the universe and of all human lives by his providence--even events as unlikely as logical arguments  full text here

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