Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Difference

But of course the doctrine of Creation leaves Nature full of manifestations which show the presence of God, and created energies which serve Him. The light is His garment, the thing we partially see Him through, the thunder can be His voice. He dwells in the dark thundercloud, the eruption of a volcano comes in answer to His touch. The world is full of his emissaries and executors. He makes winds His messengers and flames His servants, rides upon cherubim, commands the army of angels.

All this is of course in one way very close to Paganism. Thor and Zeus also spoke in the thunder; Hermes or Iris was the messenger of the gods. But the difference, though subtle, is momentous, between hearing in the thunder the voice of God or the voice of a god. As we have seen even in the creation-myths, gods have beginnings. Most of them have fathers and mothers; often we know their birth places. There is no question of self-existence or the timeless. Being is imposed upon them, as upon us, by preceding causes. They are, like us, creatures or products; though they are luckier than we in being stronger, more beautiful, and exempt from death. They are, like us, actors in the cosmic drama, not its authors.
~C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms, "Nature" (1958)

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