Patricia Hofer

Christianity supports continuing individuality.

In MERE CHRISTIANITY, “Counting the Cost,” CS Lewis uses an analogy that he acknowledges is borrowed from George MacDonald. When we are willing to let the Lord take over our hearts, he will “rebuild that house.” In fact, he will start “knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense.” And, according to Lewis, the Lord will surprise us by “building quite a different house” from the one we expected or planned for….

One challenge that may hinder people’s acceptance of such an interior change is that denominational practice has come to imply that this remodeling of our souls is a cookie cutter process that will evidence itself on the outside in the same way for all of us. … But, as Lewis writes in his chapter “The Cardinal Virtues”:  “An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons—marriage, or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken a wrong turning.” Since each interior remodeling job is unique, each Christian will respond to the Lord in his or her own way. That’s because, as Lewis explains, what is intemperate behavior in one person may not be in another and people can be “intemperate about lots of other things.” …In “The Three Personal God,” Lewis explains that “it is only the Christians who have any idea of how human souls can be taken into the life of God and yet remain themselves—in fact, be very much more themselves than they were before.”  [Taken from Power of Yielding, 191-193. As I now see it, after many years into my own remodeling experience, this continuing individuality is what separates Christian believing from other religions.]

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