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February 24, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

The Absolute Best CS Lewis Quotes from “God in the Dock”

I’ve just finished reading large chunks of “God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics.” How does this compare to other CS Lewis works. Well I found it a tougher read and the essays seemed less themeatically similar–as “In the Dock contains 49 essays subdivided into 3 sections.

My two favorite essays by far were Miracles and God in the Dock. They seemed to speak to incredibly relevant issues to the Christian live and provide perspective on faith. Four additional essays which bear reading (and probably re-reading): Dogma and the Universe, Religion without Dogma?, The Grand Miracle, and We Have No Right to Happiness. Although, I think you’ll find that greater than 50% of these essays are useful theologically.

Overall…I think this helps you see the bigger pictures of life–that stepping back or taking a wide angle look at life or history (rather than any particular minute second of time).

My favorite CS Lewis In the Dock Quotes.
(Feel free to use one of these quote in your blog, and if you use any of the following, please link back to this quote list. I greatly appreciate your kindness for my work & effort as well as helping your readers learn more about CS Lewis):

“The miracles in fact are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see. Of that larger script part is already visible, part still unsolved. In other words, some of the miracles do locally what God has already done universally: other do locally what He has not yet done, but will do. In that sense, and from our human point of view, some are reminders and other prophesies.” (CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.29) ***this is a part of a massive quote in “Miracles”

“The magic is not in the medicine but in the patients body. What the doctor does is stimulate Nature’s functions in the body, or to remove hinderances. In a sense, though we speak of healing a cut, every cut heals itself; no dressing will make skin grow over a cut on a corpse.” (CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.30).

“Behind every spermatozozoon lies the whole history of the universe: locked within it is no small part of the world’s future.” (CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.31).

“From the very nature of the case the laws of degradation and disorganization which we find in matter at present, cannot be the ultimate and eternal nature of things. If they were, there would have been nothing to degrade and disorganize. Humpty Dumpty can’t fall off a wall that never existed.” (CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.34).

“To think that this was a fable, a product of our brains as they are a product of matter, would be to believe that this vast symphonic slendour had come out of something much smaller and emptier than itself. It is not so.”
(CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.37).

“If anything emerges clearly from modern physics, it is that nature is not everlasting. The universe had a beginning, and will have an end.”
(CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.39).

“We are inveterate poets. Our imaginations awake. Instead of mere quantity, we now have a quality–the sublime. Unless this were so, the merely arithmetical greatness of the galaxy would be no more impressive than the figures in the telephone directory. It is thus, in a sense, from ourselves that the material universe derives its power to over-awe us. To a mind which did not share our emotions, and lacked our imaginative energies, the argument from size would be sheerly meaningless. Men look on the starry heavens with reverence: monkeys do not.”
(CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.41).

“We are in no position to draw up maps of God’s psychology, and prescribe limits to His interests. We would not do so even for a man whom we knew to be greater than ourselves. The doctrines that God is love and that he delights in men, are positive doctrines, not limiting doctrines.”
(CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.43).

“It is religion itself–prayer and sacrament and repentance and adoration–which is here, in the long run, our solve avenue to the real.”
(CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.47).

“If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”
(CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.52).

“All of these things tend–just as money tends–to make you feel independent of God, because if you have them you are happy already and contented in this life.” [at least for the moment]
(CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.52).

“Science when it becomes perfect, will have explained the connection between each link in the chain and the link before it. But the actual existence of the chain will remain wholly unaccountable. We learn more and more about the pattern. We learn nothing about that which ‘feeds’ real events into the pattern. If it not God, we must at least call it Destiny–the immaterial, ultimate, one-way pressure which keeps the universe on the move.”
(CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.78-79).

“In Hamlet a branch breaks and Ophelia is drowned. Did she die because the branch broke or because Shakespere wanted her to die at that point in the play?…The alternative suggested by the question is not a real alternative at all–once you have grasped that Shakespere is making the whole play.”
(CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.79).

“There are also all sorts of things in our spiritual life where a thing has to be killed, and broken, in order that it may then become bright, and strong, and splendid.”
(CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.82). ***this quote is embedded in a particularly interesting metaphor of descent & ascent.

“Even in human society, though, one sees how this inequality furnishes an opportunity for every kind of tyranny and servility. Yet, on the other hand, one also sees that it fournishes an opportunity for some of the best things we can think of–humility and kindness, and the immense pleasure of admiration.”
(CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.85).

“Everyone, everything is hopelessly indebted to everyone and everything else.”
(CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.85-86).

“I believe that God really has dived down into the bottom of creation, and has come up bringing the whole redeemed nature on His shoulder.”
(CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.87).

“There is, of course, this difference, that in the natural spring the crocus cannot choose whether it will respond or not. We can. We have the power either of withstanding the spring, and sinking back into the cosmic winter, or of going on into those ‘high mid-summer pomps’ in which Our Leader, the Son of man, already dwells, and to which He is calling us. It remains with us to follow or not, to die in this winter, or to go on into that spring and that summer.”
(CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p.88).

If you’re interested in more quotes from CS Lewis, I have a couple from “Miracles” which is also quite good (although some of that overlaps with God in the Dock). Opps here is a sampling of my insightful Christian quotes posts which include a handful of Christian philosophers, theologians, and writers. Feel free to add your own quotes from God in the Dock or other works from CS Lewis in the comments. Or just comment on your favorite quote above. Thanks for reading (feel free to share on Facebook).

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