Posts tagged ‘Mere Christianity’
This continues my last post.
I raise my hand for the next blow: Aslan is not the good guy in a drama of good and evil fighting one another on equal terms. Such a view is called dualism, to which, in order to refute it, Lewis devoted several pages in his Mere Christianity.
There he mentions that he personally thought dualism to be a very manly and sensible creed, but he realized there was a catch in it. The catch is this. If the universe exists of two independent powers of good and evil, who then is the judge between them that decides which one is good and which one evil? Human beings, perhaps? But we are dependant on them and cannot therefore be their judge. You cannot judge a thing from “below.” If fish could talk, they would judge all fishermen to be evil and all human beings of other professions good, but that would hardly be a judgment with which we agreed. Clearly the Judge of these two forces has to be on a higher plane than either of them, and both have to be accountable to Him.
That, however, would lead us away from dualism and into the world of monotheism. Changing the analogy, we can picture the universe of dualism like two boxers fighting each other—but without a referee. And if there is no referee, each boxer can decide for himself what is and is not fair play. Each one can therefore consider himself being the good guy fighting the bad guy. And then we can just as well drop the whole idea of good and evil, and with it, drop the idea of two truly opposite forces fighting at all.
It follows that Aslan and the evil Witch are not equal opponents. The Witch is nothing more than a pathetic rebel against the sovereign Lion, merely one of his creatures who chose wrong over right.
This is well illustrated by an incident in The Magician’s Nephew. There, the Witch flings an iron bar at Aslan’s head, but it has no effect on him whatsoever. It strikes him between the eyes, glances off and falls with a thud into the grass, and the Lion keeps on walking—“neither faster nor slower than before.”
However, only because Aslan is not a “boxer” in a dualistic universe, it does not follow that he is “everything,” as pantheists would have it. He is not both the cancer and the healer, both life and death, creator and destroyer.
When Digory’s mother lies sick in bed, Aslan has “great shining tears” in his eyes. A pantheist would tell Aslan, “If you could but see it from God’s perspective, you would know that the sickness, too, is God.” But Aslan is God, and yet he cries. That is profound. Apparently he endowed some of his creatures with such a power of choice that their choices can grieve him, and yet he is not angry at God (meaning himself) for having “allowed” such evil to exist.