Friday, February 11, 2011

"Put Down Your Gun and We'll Talk"

And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
-- Acts 9:4
Sherwood Wirt: "In your book Surprised by Joy you remark that you were brought into the faith kicking and struggling and resentful, with eyes darting in every direction looking for an escape. You suggest that you were compelled, as it were, to become a Christian. Do you feel that you made a decision at the time of your conversion?"

C.S. Lewis: “I would not put it that way. What I wrote in Surprised by Joy was that ‘before God closed in on me, I was offered what now appears a moment of wholly free choice.’ But I feel my decision was not so important. I was the object rather than the subject in this affair. I was decided upon. I was glad afterwards at the way it came out, but at the moment what I heard was God saying, ‘Put down your gun and we’ll talk.’”

-- from The Final Interview of C.S. Lewis, conducted by Sherwood Wirt
You did not choose me, but I chose you...
-- John 15:16a

. . . Christ Jesus took hold of me
-- Philippians 3:12


cjbooth85 said...

I've never seen this before. I'm just sitting here smiling and just loving brother Jack so much. What a heart and what a way with words.

"I was the object rather than the subject in this affair." That changes the you look at pretty much everything in the whole bible, doesn't it?

Grace, grace, grace!

Fusion! said...

Didn't he eschew the reformed doctrine of predestination?

Andrew said...

It seems that is how my conversion went. Yes, I was grew up in a Chrisitian home, and I felt the call of God on my life when I was 12, however, It was not until I was 25 that God got a hold of me. It was a moment when I was about to walk away from it all. Now I say "I tried to be an atheist once, but the Holy Spirit would not let me."

Jared said...

Fusion!, in a way, no. And in a way, yes.
Lewis is what I think would be called a compatibilist. He believed in both God's election of us to salvation and in the free will of human creatures. He argued that both are true, and that the same way scientists know light is both a particle and a wave but don't know how, the tension of God's sovereignty and human freedom shouldn't trouble us.

I believe he is wrong on that, among other things.
But he certainly describes his conversion experience as having been dragged into the kingdom "kicking and screaming."