Several months ago a reader of this blog wrote me a gracious email encouraging me in my work and mission. He added that he had read C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity again and as a result of this reading he had come to realize that the posture Lewis was teaching from was one that he rarely saw these days.
My friend further noted that as he read Lewis he realized the numerous times he acknowledged that his own explanation might be inadequate, thus it might not help everyone who read his work. Lewis openly stated that people should not be bothered by either of these problems because it is the reality of the thing that he wrote about that really mattered much more than the clarity of human understanding.
My friend suggests, rightly I believe, that C. S. Lewis always seemed willing to do what many people seem unable to handle psychologically.
- Admit his personal limitations.
- Humbly put forth his best explanations and understandings in an attempt to help readers.
- Leave the reader free to treat the author as a peer who is simply trying to help. His attitude seemed to be: “Take what you find useful and leave what you don't.”
- He goes so far as to make you (the reader) actually feel comfortable if you disagree with him.]
The irony here is that this seems like a really weak selling point to many people today. My friend says that in reality this is the only honest sell and the one that I think will reach people in a way that frees them to have real ownership of their own beliefs rather than having caved into dogmatic pressure only to find later that they have to rethink almost everything.
My friend thanked me for seeking to be transparent. I honestly hope this is the case. I know that I write these blog posts for several reasons:
- To express my own fears, doubts, questions, joys, humanness and growth.
- To encourage you, the reader, to seek God not my wisdom or particular insights.
- To help you think, often “outside the box,” so that your ideas will truly be your ideas as best you understand and process the revealed Word in Jesus Christ.
- To exalt Jesus above all others and to prayerfully seek first the kingdom of God with you as my brothers and sisters.
At the end of the day I urge everyone I teach, whether in my personal or teaching ministry, or by my writing in various places, to take and use what you find useful and simply leave the rest alone. Some of what I say has no bearing on anyone else at all. Some of what I say might actually help a few fellow-travelers along the way. If so then I am gratified and pleased.