“The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.”

“The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.” February 16, 2020

 

A temple in President Kimball''s home territory
The Gila Valley Arizona Temple     (LDS Media Library)

 

We and our visiting friends attended church this morning and then had lunch today with friends who live here in Phoenix and dinner with family who live in Mesa.  It was, in other words, a very good day.

 

My wife and I have lately been reading a passage every night from a volume that we acquired a few weeks ago at a book exchange party:  A Year with C. S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works.  Here are a couple of passages that we’ve read quite recently:

 

Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection.  If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water.  If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them.  They are not a sort of prize which God could, if he chose, just hand out to anyone.  They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality.  If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry.  Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever?  Once a man is separated from God, what can he do but wither and die?  (p. 47, reading from Mere Christianity for 11 February)

 

Now the whole offer which Christianity makes is this: that we can, if we let God have His way, come to share in the life of Christ.  If we do, we shall then be sharing a life which was begotten, not made, which always has existed and always will exist.  Christ is the Son of God.  If we share in this kind of life we also shall be sons of God.  We shall love the Father as He does and the Holy Ghost will arise in us.  He came to this world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has — by what I call “good infection”.  Every Christian is to become a little Christ.  The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.   (p. 48, reading from Mere Christianity for 12 February)

 

Do you hear the echoes of the ancient doctrine of theosis in what Lewis wrote in the second quoted paragraph above?  “He came to this world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has.”  I’m certain that Lewis himself was aware of it.

 

“If the Word became a man, It was so men may become gods.”  (Irenaeus of Lyon [ca. AD 130-200], Against Heresies, bk. 5, preface.)

“The Word of God became a man so that you might learn from a man how to become a god.”  (Clement of Alexandria [A.D. 150-215], Exhortation to the Greeks, 1.)

“The Word was made flesh in order that we might be enabled to be made gods.”  “He became man that we might be made divine.”  (Athanasius of Alexandria [ca. A.D. 296-373], Against the Aryans, 1.39, 3.34, On the Incarnation, 54)

 

Posted from Phoenix, Arizona

 

 


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