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When Christianity begins to talk

Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness. It therefore has nothing (as far as I know) to say to people who do not know they have done anything to repent of and who do not feel that they need any forgiveness. It is after you have realized that there is a real Moral Law, and a Power behind the law, and that you have broken that law and put yourself wrong with that Power—it is after all this, and not a moment sooner, that Christianity begins to talk. When you know you are sick, you will listen to the doctor. When you have realised that our position is nearly desperate you will begin to understand what the Christians are talking about.

—C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


I think I must disagree with the good Professor at this point. I think it is often through the "talk" of Christians that God begins (through the Holy Ghost, of course) to convict people (yes, including those who claim not to know they've done anything wrong) of sin, and righteousness, and judgment.
You might agree with him more in context—this quote is part of Lewis' explanation of what he'd written prior to it (about our desperate state):
When I chose to get to my real subject in this roundabout way, I was not trying to play any trick on you. I had a different reason. My reason was that Christianity simply does not make sense until you have faced the sort of facts I have been describing. Christianity tells people to repent. . .


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"I quite envy the fact that you have half a pony and are learning to ride." - CS Lewis, 'Letters to Children'

that's helpful


thankyou! this was enlightening. perhaps I shall have to read Lewis' book again.
How very true. It's almost useless talking to any person about Christianity if they either don't 'believe in' sin or somehow think it's all God's fault for 'making us bad and then blaming us for it'. I can't believe how much time and breath I've wasted on people pretending to be genuinely interested in Christianity when they won't accept the first and most important step - to recognise and take responsibility for one's own sin.
And passages like this are just the reason why that book is on my To reRead list.

Thanks for sharing.