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March 04, 2016

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Brad Jersak

What an interesting comparison of Lewis with his master, MacDonald!
What CS Lewis’ account seems to lack (dare I say so of this masterpiece?) is on two fronts:

1. The obduracy of the wicked in his account assumes that their desire for the good remains dysfunctional (resistant) even upon beholding the slain Lamb in his glory, as if that vision would have no further effect that my rather lame attempts at sharing the gospel do in this life. How is this possible? For Maximos, it is not possible. But for Lewis in ‘The Great Divorce,’ it works because the damned don’t behold Christ until AFTER they make their way to the horizon. That is, the story omits the ‘coming again in glory’ part of this judgement, mainly so that Lewis can make his point about the process of letting go which creates the torment. That point which does need making (Macrina does it well), but the cost seems too high if Christ is nowhere seen.

2. The obduracy of the wicked in his account allows for complete dehumanization such that nothing of the hypostasis remains. Wright uses this same approach in this annihilationism, but I think the Eastern Fathers are clear: the divine spark and image of God can never be utterly and entirely extinguished. The diamond of the image remains even when the likeness is marred, but the Refiner’s Fire is able to restore that which can be buried but not eradicated, since it was donated by God in the first place.

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