Book Review: Mere Christianity (Book 4, Chapter 11: The New Men)

Book 4, Chapter 11: The New Men

Lewis explains once again that Christ’s plan is to transform all of us into His sons and daughters. He wants to change our very nature from mere creatures to “gods”. He talks a bit about Evolution to show that this transformation will be a kind of development from a lower form of life to a higher form of life. But unlike Evolution, it won’t involve a natural process. Rather, it will come to Nature from “outside”. Moreover, people can refuse it. He says that, actually, these New Men and Women are already among us today. Because the transformation has already occurred and is still happening. It started with Jesus and His resurrection and continues to this day. These New Men and Women are perhaps Modern Saints.

Lewis also writes about the great paradox of Christianity: Jesus taught us that we can only find our true self if we lose it or give it up for His sake. When we surrender every bit of our selves to Him, He takes over us and His thoughts and Will will become ours. Then we will discover our true personality in Him.

I wonder, why do we find our true self when we forget all about it and give it up for His sake? How does it happen? How do we find our true self in Jesus? Maybe this is the reason: God created us, so He knows each one of us perfectly well. He knows us intimately. In fact, there’s nothing about us He doesn’t know about. He knows our peculiarities and what makes us special and unique because He Himself planted those traits in us. Therefore, our real identity resides in Him. The more we get to know Him; the more we get to know His will and think His thoughts, the more will we begin to get an idea of who we really are. Because when we are close to Him, we see ourselves the way He sees us. Whereas when we are far from Him; when we are outside His grace and dwell outside His will; when we go about our own individual ways apart from Him, we will be at the mercy of our nature as mere creatures — we will be determined by our impulses and desires and lusts and whims, and we will lose ourselves in our emotions and moods.

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