C.S. Lewis broadcast second talks on Faith, entitled ‘The Problem of Faith and Works’.
You can find the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Mere-Christiani…
(2:51) “If you are right with God, you will inevitably be right with all your fellow creatures”. I should point out that ‘right’ here does not necessarily mean ‘at peace’ with all your fellow creatures. Being in a right position to others can mean, at times, you are in a position of war with those against God, e.g. David was in a right position to Goliath in his Holy Spirit-inspired anger “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”.
(5:41) The story of Bunyan’s conversion: ‘Bunyan says, “I did set the commandments before me for my way to heaven; which commandments I did also strive to keep, &, as I thought, did keep them pretty well sometimes, and thus I should have comfort; yet now and then should break one, and so afflict my conscience; but then I should repent, and say I was sorry for it, and promised God to do better next time, and there get help again; for then I thought I pleased God as well as any man in England. Thus I continued about a year; all which time our neighbors did take me to be a very godly man, a new and religious man, and did marvel much to see such great and famous alteration in my life and manners; and, indeed, so it was, though I knew not Christ, nor grace, nor faith, nor hope.” But one day, after Bunyan had removed to Bedford, as he was passing down the street, he noticed a few poor women in conversation in a doorway. He drew near, and listened a while to their talk. They were speaking of the new birth, and the work of God’s Spirit in their souls, and their personal experiences of the saving power of God’s grace through Christ. He stood amazed, and realized that they possessed something of which he was entirely ignorant. He then began to perceive that salvation is not from anything that comes from man, or that man can do, but that it is from God, and that to possess it he must have to do with God Himself—that it was something new he must possess in his soul which none but God can give, a forgiveness of sins which none but God can administer. These poor women were basking in the sunshine whilst he, with all his doings, was shivering in the cold.” (C. Knapp)
(6:20) “I think we must introduce into the discussion a distinction between two senses of the word Faith. This may mean (A) a settled intellectual assent. In that sense faith (or ‘belief’) in God hardly differs from faith in the uniformity of Nature [that Nature behaves in the same way from the remotest nebula to the shyest photon] or in the consciousness of other people. This is what, I think, has sometimes been called a ‘notional’ or ‘intellectual’ or ‘carnal’ faith. It may also mean (B) a trust, or confidence, in the God whose existence is thus assented to. This involves an attitude of the will. It is more like our confidence in a friend. It would be generally agreed that Faith in sense A is not a religious state. The devils who ‘believe and tremble’ (Note James 2.19) have Faith-A. A man who curses or ignores God may have Faith-A…”
“I doubt whether religious people have ever supposed that Faith-B follows automatically on the acquisition of Faith-A. It is described as a ‘gift’ (Note: https://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm , https://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/12… ;). As soon as we have Faith-A in the existence of God, we are instructed to ask from God Himself the gift of Faith-B…” (‘Is Theology Important?’ [i.e. Are Theological Proofs of God Important to Faith?])
(11:02) “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,’ but you must have it in you before you can work it out.” Trembling” I notice but not “sweating”, i.e. not doing good works in order to be saved.
(12:16) Similar principle here, in the saying ‘you can give without love, but you cannot love without giving’.
(12:44) “Morality is a mountain which we cannot climb by our own efforts; & if we could we should only perish in the ice and unbreathable air of the summit, lacking those wings with which the rest of the journey has to be accomplished. For it is from there that the real ascent begins. The ropes and axes are ‘done away’ & the rest is a matter of flying (Man and Rabbit).”
The original broadcast had the following words italicised which add to understanding (shown in CAPS): “if one COULD understand it now, it would only do one harm”, “because it MAY be a help”, “I mean REALLY discovered”, “will soon learn to SAY that we have nothing to offer to God that isn’t already His own”, “it MUST follow that you are trying to obey Him”, “wouldn’t BE good actions but only commercial speculations”, “or trust IN HIM, but only intellectual acceptance of some theory ABOUT Him.”SHOW LESS
C.S. Lewis as an atheist used to ask himself ‘How on earth can faith or belief be a virtue? What is there moral or immoral about believing or not believing a set of statements?’ Now as a Christian he explains what a good many people do not see about faith…During WWII C.S. Lewis broadcast two talks on Faith entitled ‘Faith as a Virtue’ and ‘The Problem of Faith and Works’. These were cut down from their original scripts for the radio broadcasts, but the original talks ended up being printed in full and expanded in the book version of the talks which later became the book ‘Mere Christianity’.(0:35) C.S. Lewis talks about four kinds of faith.Faith A1 – Simply belief – accepting or regarding as true the doctrines of Christianity.Faith A2 – The art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.Faith B1 – Trust that Christ will somehow share with you the perfect human obedience which He carried out from His birth to His crucifixion: that Christ will make you more like Himself and, in a sense, make good your deficiencies.Faith C1 – Adherence to God, and His Christ, that is no longer proportioned to every fluctuation of the apparent evidence.The first three types are covered in the book ‘Mere Christianity’. The last one in Lewis’ other essays.(1:23) More on reason and authority here: https://youtu.be/k2xY2k26HFo. See also comment section on this video.(4:57) “Blessed is he who is not offended/tripped up because of Me.” https://www.biblehub.com/matthew/11-6…(5:19) “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” https://biblehub.com/2_corinthians/6-… (Exception: 1 Corinthians 7:12). This is the Old Testament picture of an ox yoked to a donkey rather than to another ox, i.e. the combination of different species in work creates special pressures on each creature. This principle applies to the unequal pairing of believers with unbelievers in marriage relationships.“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds” https://biblehub.com/colossians/3-9.htm“Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.” https://biblehub.com/james/4-16.htmAlso 2 Corinthians 10:17 “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord” https://biblehub.com/jeremiah/9-24.htm“Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need” https://biblehub.com/ephesians/4-28.htm(10:08) https://biblehub.com/niv/luke/4.htm, https://biblehub.com/niv/matthew/4.htm “The more opportune” mentioned here being the leadup to and carrying out of the crucifixion where Christ would be tested with the same three temptations as in the desert at the start of His ministry.The original broadcast had the following words italicised which add to our understanding: “and leaves HIM unsupported in the water”, “if Christianity were NOT true”, “any real new REASONS”, “the fact that you HAVE moods”, “simply DRIFT away?”, “give ME sixpence to buy YOU a birthday present”.The bombing sounds were actually recorded during the London blitz. The closing music is based on the credits of the Churchill film ‘The Darkest Hour’.
The following is excerpted from a speech given by association Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at the October 2019 dedication ceremony for a new chapel at Hillsdale College.
…Although a chapel is a place for many activities, it also serves as a statement about the importance of those activities. The construction of a college chapel, in particular, is a public declaration that faith and reason are mutually reinforcing. And in 2019, the construction of a chapel is a bold act of leadership at a crucial time in our nation’s history. So I would like to underscore briefly the broader significance of the decision that Hillsdale College has made in building Christ Chapel.
Beginning in the early 1900s, many elite private colleges and universities began to face questions about the continuing relevance of religious instruction on campus. These questions would have surprised the founders of those schools, many of which were created in part for the express purpose of providing religious instruction. But as time went on and as schools moved away from their religious roots, the relevance of religion to higher education was increasingly questioned, and campus chapels, in particular, came to be viewed as relics of a bygone era.
With the completion of Christ Chapel, Hillsdale College has staked out its position in this debate, and its decision serves as an example for all of us. The construction of so grand a chapel in 2019 does not happen by accident or as an afterthought. Christ Chapel reflects the College’s conviction that a vibrant intellectual environment and a strong democratic society are fostered, not hindered, by a recognition of the Divine. Hillsdale College affirms, with the writer of Proverbs, that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”
By constructing this Chapel, the College upholds the continued importance of its Christian roots, even as it respects the rights of each person to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. Our country was founded on the view that a correct understanding of the nature of God and the human person is critical to preserving the liberty that we so enjoy.
John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” He recognized that the preservation of liberty is not guaranteed. Without the guardrails supplied by religious conviction, popular sovereignty can devolve into mob rule, unmoored from any conception of objective truth.
As I think about our political culture today, I am reminded of Ronald Reagan’s warning that, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it, and then hand it on to them . . . [to] do the same.”
Each generation is responsible both to itself and to succeeding generations for preserving and promoting the blessings of liberty. Faith in God, more than anything else, fuels the strength of character and self-discipline needed to discharge ably that responsibility. That is why I am so encouraged by the construction of Christ Chapel…
The full speech can be heard in the video below.