Book Review: Mere Christianity (Book 4, Chapter 1: Making and Begetting)

Book 4: Beyond Personality: or First Steps in the Doctrine of the Trinity
Chapter 1: Making and Begetting

Lewis talks about Christian theology and its central doctrines: that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He saved us from our sins, and that we, too, can become “Sons (and Daughters) of God” if we believe in and follow Him.

Lewis explains that it is important to study Christian theology (“the science of God”) — that is to say, it is important to study the doctrines of Christianity — because we want to have an accurate understanding of who God is (that is, what His nature is and what He expects from us). Lewis compares God and the study of Christian theology to a map and the place it represents. The map (theology) is important because without it we can’t really have an accurate picture of the place (God’s nature, etc.) it represents, and as a result we will be “lost”. One of the central doctrines about God in Christian theology is that God is begotten and not made. God the Father begot Jesus; therefore, Jesus must be God. God created us; therefore, we are merely creatures, not gods. We don’t share the same nature that God has. But He promised us that we will someday share in His “Spiritual Life” (His “Divine Life”) if we follow Him. In other words, we too will become “Sons (and Daughters) of God” if we follow and thereby “attach” our selves to Jesus.

This is the first time that I actually understood the doctrine of becoming “Sons of God” through Christ, and I am blown away! In theological language, it sounded to me to be very mysterious and vague, but Lewis explained it in very simple terms. His distinction between being “begotten” and being “created”, and his analogy of the sculptor (God) and the statue (Man) are very helpful. To think that we, too, are invited by God to actually become His Sons and Daughters! To think that He is giving us the opportunity to share in His Spiritual Life, His Divine Life, the very Life within (or of) God! It is such an amazing and profound realization!

This quote stuck with me:

“And that is precisely what Christianity is about. The world is a great sculptor’s shop. We are the statues and there is a rumour going round the shop that some of us are some day going to come to life.”


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