Mere Christianity: BIG Enough

Last week, in our study of CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity, we saw how God relates to us. We were created by Him. He gave us everything from our breath to our brains. He gives us the ability to think and to choose, then lets us. We live, as Christians, filled with and functioning under His power.

And that is precisely what Christianity is about. The world is a great sculptor’s shop. We are the statues and there is a rumor going round the shop that some of us are some day going to come to life. (Lewis, 140)

As I read back through my notes on the last chapter and then pored over this week’s chapter, the dominant thought in my mind was just how BIG God is. Think about it. God created everything. There are particles of matter so small that scientists haven’t even been able to name them all yet. The construction of the ear is so intricate with a tiny, thin membrane and three bones that work together with nerves and synapses to create sound and translate it into a medium our brains can understand and articulate. How huge must the God be Who could and did accomplish this?

All of these are thoughts that have meandered through my mind countless times over the years. But this week, CS Lewis threw me into a train of thought that I’d never really pondered.

GOD IS OVER TIME.

Seriously, this chapter is so profound that I didn’t even want to cheapen it by writing a post about it. I just wished that the chapter was short enough that I could post it instead of my ramblings. But alas, it’s too long, so you’re stuck with me. But I’ll refer to a quote from him.

If you picture Time as a straight line along which we have to travel, then you must picture God as the whole page on which the line is drawn. We come to the parts of the line one by one: we have to leave A behind before we get to B, and cannot reach C until we leave B behind. God, from above or outside or all around, contains the whole line, and sees it all. (Lewis, 147)

This has never occurred to me. Whenever I’ve thought about God in relation to time, I thought of time like our time with past, present, and future, in that order. But instead, Lewis says that God is God in the past, present, and future all at once. (Which incidentally, explains how God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He’s all three at once!) But I can’t explain it as well as Lewis, so I’ll refer to another passage and then leave you to think and discuss.

Suppose God is outside and above the Time-line. In that case, what we call “tomorrow” is visible to Him in just the same way as what we call “today.” All the days are “Now” for Him. He does not remember you doing things yesterday; He simply sees you doing them, because, though you have lost yesterday, He has not. He does not “foresee” you doing things tomorrow; He simply sees you doing them: because, though tomorrow is not yet here for you, it is for Him. (Lewis, 148-149)

Now, I’m quite sure there are people who just read that and said, “What?! That makes no sense!” or “That’s a bunch of garbage!” And even Lewis qualified this chapter as saying that though it’s his belief, he understands that some won’t understand or accept it and that happily, believing this theory is not a prerequisite to being a Christian. But when I read it, it at first perplexed me and then awed me. And when I began to think about the things that this theory would remedy, it just made a lot of sense to me.

Whether you believe Lewis’ theory about God and Time or not, the fact remains that God is BIG—so much bigger than we ever give Him credit for. And as I close, I’m reminded of the Chris Rice song from several years ago that says:

When I imagine the size of the universe

And I wonder what’s out past the edges

Then I discover inside me a space as big

And believe that I’m meant to be

Filled up with more than just questions

So, God if You’re there I wish You’d show me

And God if You care then I need You to know me

I hope You don’t mind me asking the questions

But I figure You’re big enough…

‘Cause I am not big enough

This post is part of a weekly discussion that my friend and co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen and I are having with our readers about CS Lewis’ classic book, “Mere Christianity.” Whether you’ve read the book or not, we invite you to read along and join in the discussion. If you’ve written a post to add to the discussion, please feel free to add it to the widget below. And please drop by my co-facilitator’s site, Connecting to Impact and see what insights he has on today’s discussion.

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Comments

  1. Yes, a big and most awesome God. Good post, Sarah.

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    Thanks, Nance! :)

  3. God is not a product of time. Time is a product of God.

    God is eternal. He is forever constant. He is always faithful… Time nor anything else of this world can diminish God.

  4. Sarah Salter says:

    I like the way you put that, Dusty! Thanks!

  5. I loved this chapter. I truly didn’t believe God was limited by time, but I realize that I’ve acted like He is.

  6. Sarah Salter says:

    Helen, I didn’t really believe He was limited… I just never really gave it much thought. Like when you’re little and you say, “Why?” And your parents/teacher/pastor responds, “Because.” And you just smiled, accepted it, and skipped along on your merry way. Well, I’ve been skipping along on my merry way, but Lewis made me stop and think and learn and understand.

  7. I know what you mean, Sarah. This chapter gave us something to think about! :-)

  8. God is over time and outside time. It’s a very difficult concept for us to comprehend,and Lewis, I think, does his best to draw some simple analogies.

  9. Sarah Salter says:

    Glynn, I think Lewis did a fantastic job with his analogies! I would have been lost without them. Seriously. Thanks for coming by! :)

  10. I’m with you, Sarah. It’s perplexing and then awe-inspiring. You really have to apply your heart and mind to it, but it’s so amazing and powerful. Great points! Thanks.

  11. Sarah Salter says:

    Thanks for coming by, Jason! And for agreeing with me. That’s a bonus! 😉

  12. God is really great sarah!
    Its a wonderful post

  13. When you finish Mere Christianity (I’m several chapters behind you on my second or third reading) those of you who appreciate C.S. Lewis and don’t have time to read his Collected Letters may enjoy a distillation of them at http://hisscribedownloads.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-05-25T16%3A41%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=7. There are TWO articles about the Letters on that page, “C.S. LEWIS: SIXTY YEARS OF LETTERS – A THEMATIC OVERVIEW” and below that, “THE PASSIONS OF C.S. LEWIS AS SEEN IN HIS COLLECTED LETTERS.”

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