Monday, 30 November 2009

C. S. Lewis to a Roman Catholic on the Development of Doctrine

C.S. Lewis, writing to a Roman Catholic, "The real reason I cannot be in communion with you is ... that to accept your Church means not to accept a given body of doctrine but to accept in advance any doctrine that your Church hereafter produces."

I have no reference for this quote, and while I don't particularly want to be responsible for disseminating a C. S. Lewis quote that isn't a C.S. Lewis quote (see previous post on the Luther quote that wasn't), it has been sitting on my desktop for weeks now and I can no longer resist posting it. What a classic!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The quote is apparently from an essay of Lewis called "Christian Reunion." The quote is discussed by Roman Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong at http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/03/cs-lewiss-views-on-christian-unity-and.html .

Mark Henderson said...

Thank you for that information.

Phil said...

A late comment: today, this criticism is equally stinging to the Enthusiast ELCA (American), and needs to be leveled against them as well.

acroamaticus said...

Sadly, yes. As you say, they are an officially now an enthusiast body, having exhanged the Word of God for the 'wisdom' of man. It is a great tragedy when one considers the the heritage they have squandered, going back to Reu and the Fritschel brothers in the old Iowa Synod and as far back as Krauth in the old General Council in the East. I imagine one day theological analysis of their devolution will be written - it will contain some salutary lessons. Meanwhile, we can support and pray for the orthodox folk in the ELCA left wondering what to do.

Phil said...

Luther Reed, as well.

Pondering Lewis's comment, what he is describing is true of each and every form of Enthusiasm, which can also be described as any party which establishes a functional "Magisterium" to sit in judgment over the Word of God. No church body is immune. I would think that the condemnations of the Confessions against the papists also apply to Enthusiasts of all stripes in this regard (advocates of higher criticism, proponents of papal or individualistic special revelation, and probably others which I am not able to notice).

acroamaticus said...

And Theodore Schmauk...another great scholar and churchman in the General Council, not to mention all the unknown & unremembered pastors of the Iowa Synod, General Council, and later ALC & LCA who preached the Gospel purely and administered the sacraments rightly and cared for their people unstintingly.

No, I dare say even Missouri is not immune these days, such are the times in which we live. Our LCA certainly has its challenges.