Patricia Hofer

CS Lewis’ description of “putting on Christ”

CS Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity: “Reality, in fact, is usually something you could not have guessed. That is one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It is a religion you could not have guessed.” (The Invasion” 32-33)

If our bodies and natural temperaments are the “wretched machines” that we are forced to travel around in (Mere Christianity, 167), then it seems clear to me that the soul in each of us is the driver. Why then, if this is the reality, are we always of two minds on the road of life? “Turn here? No, there.” “Right lane? No left lane.” “Speed ahead. No, back up.” It doesn’t take long for most of us to learn that our souls are in conflict. What drives us is often what we want to do, not what we ought to do. For me, as complex as this might at first appear to you, this is the reality that is Christianity. To bear the “image” of Christ, as Paul describes it, is in Lewis’ words “putting on Christ.” Lewis then writes: “What I want to make clear is that this is not one among many jobs a Christian has to do; and it is not a sort of special exercise for the top class. It is the whole of Christianity. Christianity offers nothing else at all.” (Mere Christianity, 152). (from Driving into the Dawn, chapter 45)

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