SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

November 8, 2013

Column: Beyond Narnia: the staying power of C.S. Lewis

(Continued)

Perhaps, it’s more appropriate to view Lewis’ heavenly life as a kind of eternal play — a great dance, to cite his metaphor — rather than, as the Requiem Mass (and all manner of funeral services) would have it, as “eternal rest.” Just as dancing requires bodies, so also heaven’s play must not be viewed as a ghostly minuet of discarnate minds. What we long for in our heart of hearts is not simply a deeper union with our Maker, but the full restoration of our being.

So, our inherent desire for eternal life demands not just the perfection of our intellects but also the fulfillment of our sensuous and imaginative natures. And for this reason, Lewis’ great achievement as a writer was not merely constructing arguments for Christian truth; he also provided literary images that help us imagine what may be in store for us if we remain faithful to our calling as divine image-bearers.

That, in and of itself, is still worth the read.

David Aiken is a professor of philosophy at Gordon College. He and his family live in Beverly.

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