C.S. Lewis on Predestination

What does C.S. Lewis think about the controversial theme of predestination? With his characteristic wit, he brings a refreshing perspective to the issue.

“On Calvinism, both the statement that our final destination is already settled and the view that it still may be either Heaven or hell, seem to me to imply the ultimate reality of Time, which I don’t believe in. The controversy is one I can’t join on either side for I think that in the real (timeless) world it is meaningless…All that Calvinist question — Free-Will and Predestination, is to my mind undiscussable, insoluble. Of course (say us) if a man repents God will accept him. Ah yes, (say they) but the fact of his repenting shows that God has already moved him to do so. This at any rate leaves us with the fact that in any concrete case the question never arrives as a practical one. But I suspect it is really a meaningless question. The difference between Freedom and Necessity is fairly clear on the bodily level: we know the difference between making our teeth chatter on purpose and just finding them chattering with cold. It begins to be less clear when we talk of human love (leaving out the erotic kind). ‘Do I like him because I choose or because I must?’ — there are cases where this has an answer, but others where it seems to me to mean nothing. When we carry it up to relations between God and Man, has the distinction perhaps become nonsensical? After all, when we are most free, it is only with a freedom God has given us: and when our will is most influenced by Grace, it is still our will. And if what our will does is not ‘voluntary’, and if ‘voluntary’ does not mean ‘free’, what are we talking about? I’d leave it all alone.”

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2 comments

  1. Great words indeed. A lot of the arguments presented on the subject are invalid due the type of circular thinking Lewis points out here. I am not belittling the subject, as it is truly a Bible subject, but sometimes it is labored to a degree that was never intended by God.

    I really enjoyed this post. if you would, I would really appreciate if you would read my recent post regarding the events of Matthew 27:52 and share your thoughts.
    http://justinwalley.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/matthew-2752/

    I really appreciate this entry and will be following your blog!

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