Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Rule of Love

The rule for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbour; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, not to please God and obey the law of charity, but to shoe him what a fine forgiving chap you are, and to put him in your debt, and then sit down to wait for his 'gratitude', you will probably be disappointed. (People are not fools: they have a very quick eye for anything like showing off, or patronage.) But whenever we do good to another self, just because it is a self, made (like us) by God, and desiring its own happiness as we desire ours, we shall have learned to love it a little more or, at least, to dislike it less.

- from Mere Christianity 1905 George MacDonald, whose writings greatly influenced Lewis, dies at age eighty. 

1956 Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold is published by Geoffrey Bles, London 


Monday, September 8, 2014

Decision Making

Decision making is an art, which requires the decision maker to combine experience and education to act.

Learning as a Necessary Weapon

If all the world were Christian, it might not matter if all the world were were uneducated. But, as it is, a cultural life will exist outside the Church whether it exists inside or not. To be ignorant and simple now - not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground - would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered. The cool intellect must work not only against cool intellect on the other side, but against the muddy heathen mysticisms which deny intellect altogether. Most of all, perhaps, we need intimate knowledge of the past. Not that the past has any magic about it, but because we cannot study the future, and yet need something to set against the present, to remind us that the basic assumptions have been quite different in different periods and that much seems certain to the uneducated is merely temporary fashion. A man who has lived in many places is not likely to be deceived by the local error of his native village; the scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some degree immune from the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of his own age.

- from "Learning in War-Time " (The Weight of Glory)

1947 Lewis appears on the cover of Time magazine, with the caption "Oxford's C.S. Lewis, His Heresy: Christianity"

1958 Reflection on the Psalms is published by Geoffrey Bles, London.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Learning as Vocation

A man's upbringing, his talents, his circumstances, are usually a tolerable index of his vocation. If our parents have sent us to Oxford, if our country allows us to remain there, this is prima facie evidence that the life which we, at any rate, can best lead to the glory of God at present is the learned life. By leading that life to the glory of God I do not, of course, mean any attempt to make our intellectual inquiries work out to edifying conclusions. That would be, as Bacon says, to offer to the author of truth the unclean sacrifice of a lie. I mean the pursuit of knowledge and beauty, in a sense, for their own sake, but in a sense which does not exclude their being for God's sake. An appetite for these things exists in the human mind, and God makes no appetite in vain. We can therefore pursue knowledge as such, beauty as such, in the sure confidence that by doing we are either advancing to the vision of God ourselves or indirectly helping others to do so. Humility, no less than the appetite, encourages us to concentrate simply on the knowledge or the beauty, not too much concerning ourselves with their ultimate relevance to the vision of God. That relevance may not be intended for us but for our betters - for men who come after and find the spiritual significance of what we dug out in blind and humble obedience to out vocation...The intellectual life is not the only road to God, nor the safest, but we find it to be a road, and it may be a the appointed for us.

- from "Learning in War-Time" (The Weight of Glory) #CSLewis

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Claims of Religion: Do All to the Glory of God

It is for a very different reason that religion cannot occupy the whole of life in the sense of excluding all our natural activities. For, of course, in some sense, it must occupy the whole of life. There is no question of a compromise between the claims of God and the claims of culture, or politics, or anything else. God's claim is infinite and inexorable. You can refuse it, or you can begin to try to grant it. There is no middle way. Yet in spite of this it is clear that Christianity does not exclude any of the ordinary human activities. St. Paul tells people to get on with their jobs. He even assumes that Christians may go to dinner parties, and, what is more, dinner parties given by pagans. Our Lord attends a wedding and provides miraculous wine. Under the aegis of His Church, and in the most Christians ages, learning and the arts flourish. The solution of this paradox is, of course, well known to you. "Whether ye eat or drink or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

All of our merely natural activities will be accepted, if they are offered to God, even the humblest, and all of them, even the noblest, will be sinful I'd they are not. Christianity, does not simply replace our natural life and substitute a new one; it is rather a new organisation which exploits, so its own supernatural ends, these natural materials.

- from "Learning in War-Time" (The Weight of Glory) #CSLewis

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gunfight Rule #1

Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns
 Bring all your friends who have guns.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

17 August 1942

Just prior to dawn, the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion under Lt. Col. Evans F. Carlson landed on Makin island from the submarines NAUTILUS and ARGONAUT. The next day the Marines left the island after destroying a seaplane base, two radio stations, a supply warehouse, and killing about 100 Japanese soldiers.