His Final Interview: C.S. Lewis on the Future and Space Travel

Randy Alcorn quoting C.S. Lewis’ last interview and speaking on the glory of God in the universe.

“Shortly before he died November 22, 1963 (yes, the same day as John F. Kennedy), C. S. Lewis granted his final interview to Sherwood Elliot Wirt, of Decision Magazine. It’s a fascinating interview. I found the final two questions and answers interesting:

Wirt: What do you think is going to happen in the next few years of history, Mr. Lewis?

Lewis: I have no way of knowing. My primary field is the past. I travel with my back to the engine, and that makes it difficult when you try to steer. The world might stop in ten minutes; meanwhile, we are to go on doing our duty. The great thing is to be found at one’s post as a child of God, living each day as though it were our last, but planning as though our world might last a hundred years.

We have, of course, the assurance of the New Testament regarding events to come. I find it difficult to keep from laughing when I find people worrying about future destruction of some kind or other. Didn’t they know they were going to die anyway? Apparently not. My wife once asked a young woman friend whether she had ever thought of death, and she replied, “By the time I reach that age science will have done something about it!”

Wirt: Do you think there will be widespread travel in space?

Lewis: I look forward with horror to contact with the other inhabited planets, if there are such. We would only transport to them all of our sin and our acquisitiveness, and establish a new colonialism. I can’t bear to think of it. But if we on earth were to get right with God, of course, all would be changed. Once we find ourselves spiritually awakened, we can go to outer space and take the good things with us. That is quite a different matter.”

-C.S. Lewis, September, 1963

“As a fan of his space trilogy, I especially love Lewis’s final answer in light of the biblical teaching of a new heavens and New Earth, in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13). In such a new universe, with a new outer space, might people build and travel and explore to the glory of God?

The stars of the heavens declare God’s glory (Psalm 19:1), yet how vast and distant they are. God made countless billions of galaxies containing perhaps trillions of nebulae, planets, and moons. Not many in human history have seen more than a few thousand stars, and then only as dots in the sky. If the heavens declare God’s glory now, and if we will spend eternity proclaiming God’s glory, don’t you think exploring the new heavens, and exercising dominion over them, will likely be part of God’s plan?

As a twelve-year-old, I first viewed through a telescope the great galaxy of Andromeda, consisting of hundreds of billions of stars and untold numbers of planets, nearly three million light years from Earth. I was mesmerized. I also wept, not knowing why. I was overwhelmed by greatness on a cosmic scale and felt terribly small and alone. Years later I first heard the gospel. After I became a Christian, I found that gazing through the telescope became an act of delighted worship.

From the night I first saw Andromeda’s galaxy, I’ve wanted to go there. I now think it’s likely I will.

It’s hard for me to believe God made countless cosmic wonders intending that no human eye would ever behold them and that no human should ever set foot on them. The biblical accounts link mankind so closely with the physical universe and link God’s celestial heavens so closely with the manifestation of his glory that I believe he intends us to explore the new universe. The universe will be our backyard, a playground and university always beckoning us to come explore the wealth of our Lord—as one song puts it, the God of wonders beyond our galaxy.”

-Randy Alcorn, 03-05-2012, http://www.epm.org/blog/2012/Mar/5/his-final-interview-cs-lewis-future-and-space-trav

The Mythology of the Magi (3) That “Star”

“With the OT background for the Magi that we examined yesterday, what help can also be found in the OT for the correct interpretation of the star? The supernatural character of this brightness is implied by being described as “his star” (Mt. 2:2). I suggest that this unique shining was the glory of God described so often in the OT as the visible manifestation of God’s presence (e.g., Ex.16:1024:16-1733:2240:34). Or it may have been a glorious angel!

The incarnation of the Son was a manifestation of God’s glory (“the glory of the Lord shone around them” Lk. 2:9; “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory” Jn. 1:14). When we recognize this, it is easy to see how the choice of the word “star” was so appropriate to describe just such a supernatural and visible token seen only by a select number (the shepherds and the Magi). No wonder that “when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (Mt. 2:10).

A variation of this view is that the star was an angel, a view advocated in the patristic comments on this passage, and a view I develop in an academic article on this passage in the Tyndale Bulletin. Stars are often symbolic of angels elsewhere in Scripture (Job 38:7Isa. 14:12Rev. 1:209:1,212:4). That an angel also served to guide in the OT can be seen in the following passages that use language quite similar to Matthew’s (Exo. 14:1923:202332:34). There was, therefore, a wonderful point of contact with the Lukan Nativity because glorious angelic guidance was for both shepherds and the Magi (Luke 2:9-14).

This glory was the glory which the aged Simeon recognized as he held that baby in his arms (Lk. 2:32). This was that glory that shone through the earthly tabernacle of Jesus’ body on the mountain of transfiguration (2 Pet. 1:17John 1:14), and it is that glory with which He shall come in great power (Mt. 25:31). Jewish people refer to the glory of God as the Shekinah – a later Hebrew word whose root idea is the concept of “dwelling.” The supernatural Shekinah inspired the Magi and directed their steps to the young Messiah.

As we have seen from a close reading of Matthew 2, there is indeed a “mythology of the Magi” that embodies questionable ideas about these men. There is also, however, some marvelous theology for us to see in their visit to Jerusalem and Bethlehem so long ago. We just need to look at the passage through the lens of the Hebrew Scriptures to see their real significance.

Download the free ebook, “The First Christmas,” from the Biblical Archaeological Society website. Read the chapter on the star by Dale Allison.

(The previous posts were freely adapted from my book, The Messiah: Revealed, Rejected, Received, which is available from AuthorHouse or on Amazon.com.)”

-Dr. William Varner, Complements of: http://dribex.tumblr.com/post/14061797845/the-mythology-of-the-magi-3-that-star

Playing Football for God’s Glory

“I don’t know enough about the technicalities of playing quarterback in the NFL to discuss whether Tebow can make it. And I’m not interested enough to learn. But he is a brother in Christ who seems to “get it” on two important fronts: 1) his relationship to Jesus is more important than football at any level; and 2) how to be humble in public.In a hilariously tongue-in-cheek columnabout how Tebow is a colossal failure because “all he can do is win football games,” we catch this profile of the man that every Christian should aspire to be:

You can see why Elway’s unconvinced. Tim Tebow can’t do it the normal way. Tim Tebow can’t get through an interview without mentioning his faith. Or giving credit to his teammates. Tim Tebow never sounds full of Tim Tebow.

He doesn’t even get mad when people say nasty things about him. When people say Tim Tebow needs to improve, Tim Tebow says he needs to improve. Who does that?

Nothing seems to rattle him. He smiles and doesn’t sulk. When Tim Tebow is bummed, he doesn’t pull down the blinds, blast the Fleetwood Mac and drink red wine out of a Mason jar, like everybody else does. He’s a total weirdo.

Whether he makes it in the NFL or not, Tebow has thus far shown a grace-filled balance of having a good reputation with unbelievers and yet being stubbornly different for the sake of Christ. And this at the same time that other young men his age—yes, even Christian young men—seem to have no higher goal than reaching the next level of CoD.”

-Andy Snider, http://theologyislife.com/2011/12/06/the-important-thing-about-tebow/

The Benefit of Storms

Your trials may be many and great. Your cross may be very heavy. But the business of your soul is all conducted according to an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure. All things are working together for your good. Your sorrows are only purifying your soul for glory; your bereavements are only fashioning you as a polished stone for the temple above, made without hands. From whatever quarter the storms blow, they only drive you nearer to heaven! Whatever weather you may go through it is only ripening you for the garner of God. Your best things are quite safe.

-J.C. Ryle, Tract: Never Perish
http://jcrylequotes.com/2011/11/21/the-benefit-of-storms/

The Glory of a Particular Death

“For in the cross of Christ, as a splendid theater, the incomparable goodness of God is set before the whole world. The glory of God shines, indeed, in all creatures on high and below, but never more brightly than in the cross….”

“If it be objected that nothing could be less glorious than Christ’s death…I reply that in that death we see a boundless glory which is concealed from the ungodly.”

-John Calvin, Commentary on the Gospel According to St. John, 68 {Jn 13:31}, 135 {John 17:1}

“But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” -Romans 3:21-26

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romasn 5:8

God’s Glory

“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.”

“You will certainly carry out God’s purpose, however you act, but it  makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.”

-C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, 46, 111.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2011/10/06/the-objectivity-of-glorifying-god/

All to Bring You Glory

A morning sun
Paints the day,
The waiting shore
Welcomes the waves,
The wind and trees
New songs create.
All to bring You glory.
 
The Autumn cool
Turns the leaves,
The river runs 
To join the sea,
The lily blooms,
The sparrow sings.
All to bring You glory.
 
A promise kept
To Abraham,
A sea that turned
Into dry land,
The prophet’s word
Revealed Your plan,
All to bring You glory.
 
Across the world
The nations sing,
By mercy healed,
By grace set free.
All for You,
Beautiful King.
All to bring You glory
 
So, how much more can I
Tell of who You are.
Jealously You sought me out
And won my heart.
And now by love, redeemed,
I tell my story
All to bring You glory.
 
-Ronnie Freeman & Sue C. Smith
2010 New Spring, Lehajoes Music, Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Publishing, CCTB Music.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MW0d03aOo8s

In the Cross Alone I Glory

In the cross alone I glory
Recognition laying down
Greatest treasures count as worthless
Standing next to Heaven’s crowns
Standing next to Heaven’s crowns

In the cross alone I glory
Ever reaching for the prize
Pressing on and laying hold of
That for which my savior died
That for which my savior died

In the cross alone I glory
Nothing of my own to give
Only that which Christ has offered
For my soul that I may live
For my soul that I may live

In the cross alone I glory
Holding fast the word of life
Toiling not in vain but being
Poured out as a sacrifice
Poured out as a sacrifice

Never will I seek the glory
That was never meant for me
Always heavenward refl ecting
All to Jesus to receive
All to Jesus to receive
All to Jesus to receive

-Brian Petak, Galatians 6:14, Phil. 3:3
Copyright © 2005 worshiptogether.com
Songs/ASCAP (adm. by EMI CMG Publishing)

Christ’s Glory Transforms

“A constant view of the glory of Christ will revive our souls and cause our spiritual lives to flourish and thrive. The more we behold the glory of Christ by aith now, the more spiritual and the more heavenly will be the state of our souls. The reason why spiritual life in our soul decays and withers is because we fill our minds with other things….But when the mind is filled with thoughts of Christ and his glory, these things will be expelled…. This is how our spiritual life will be revived.”

-John Owen, The Glory of Christ: Abridged and Made Easy to Read by R. J. K. Law, 167

Sin

“The gates of Heaven are broad enough to receive the worst of sinners, but too narrow to admit the smallest grain of unforsaken sin.”

J. C. Ryle, The Christian Race, 131

“Anything that is hurtful to your soul must be laid aside if you would see and live in the glory of Christ as He intends.”

“He’ll take any sinner, but you have to be willing to leave your sin.”

-Rick Holland, Uneclipsing the Son, 137