You Can’t Handle The Truth

The new sermon series at church is going to be “You Can’t Handle the Truth,” focusing on Daniel. That’s a nice convergence for me after just seeing the Max McLean production of The Great Divorce and just finishing Till We Have Faces. Of all Lewis’s works, those may be the two where that lesson is strongest.  It is in fact a common theme of Lewis’s throughout his works, that there are truths we do not wish to be true, but refusing to accept them keeps us from God.  If that seems unkind or condemning on his part, know that his works are often autobiographical, and the excuses he puts into the mouths of characters are ones he has used himself. 

James’s comment about the holy being both dark and light is like that for me.  I am not attracted to the earthy, hidden, primitive parts of Christianity like eating the god or imagining the witness of the dead watching us. Even singing as a necessity I think I might rebel against, as I would prefer that music just be an entertainment. I would stay with the idea portion of the faith if I could, of things to contemplate and discuss.  But Lewis taught me decades ago to beware of that as a thin, incomplete faith – we are not wired as cerebrally as we pretend, and mystery is a tunnel, not a swamp.

3 thoughts on “You Can’t Handle The Truth”

  1. this was the ritual, that commemorates the Lords sacrifice, it’s kind of essential to the fulfilled covenant, as cs lewis might say but faith is the evidence of things not seen,

  2. Great post. Got me to thinking how finite I really am. I had tried to make my belief based on knowledge and that was empty. It turns out to be about relationship that comes from worship and accepting that we are not equipped to know all about such things as eternity, unconditional love or sovereign but gracious God. But at least I can know something about them and grow in faith. He tells us what we need to know, but not everything we want to know.


  3. One of my favourites, of someone not getting the truth he wanted:

    The Emperor Wu thereupon asked Bodhidharma again, ‘What is the first principle of the holy doctorine?’ ‘Vast emptiness, and there is nothing in it to be called holy, sire!’ answered Dharma. ‘Who is it then that is now confronting me?’ ‘I know not, sire!’

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