Monday, December 10, 2007

The Incarnate Infinite

HarperCollins, which publishes many of C.S. Lewis's books, has established a blog that "offers original work on and about C. S. Lewis from scholars who have written far and wide about his stories, his theology, and his world." One of the first posts is by David Downing, who has written several books and articles about CSL and his books. The post is very appropriate to the season and is titled "Word Pictures for the Word Made Flesh." An excerpt:
The very idea that that an infinite, eternal God could descend into frail human flesh was an idea that astonished Lewis and one he often meditated upon. He remarked in Mere Christianity that this was even more a miracle than if a human should descend into the form of a slug (bk. 4, chap 4.) The cycle of descent and re-ascent, God become human in order that humans might become the children of God, was one that Lewis returned to often in his imagination. In one of his most extended comparisons, Lewis compares Christ to a pearl-diver, a passage so elaborate that it borders on allegory:
One may think of a diver, first reducing himself to nakedness, then glancing in mid-air, then gone with a splash, vanishing rushing down through green and warm water into black and cold water, down through increasing pressure into the deathlike region of ooze and slime and old decay; then up again, back to colour and light, his lungs almost bursting, till suddenly he breaks the surface again, holding in his hand the dripping, precious thing he went down to recover. He and it are both coloured now that they have come up into the light: down below, where it lay colorless in the dark, he lost his color too (Miracles, chap. 14).
In a similar vein, Lewis visualizes the Incarnate Infinite as a strong man called upon to lift a great burden. First he must stoop down very low, almost disappearing under the load, until at last he finds his grip and rises up again, straightening his back and balancing the whole weight upon his shoulders in order to carry it. (more)
If you are interested in Lewis and his work, this is probably a good site to bookmark.

Thanks to Further Up and Further In for the reference. blog

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