Monday, July 17, 2006

A brick flung at a gramophone

We have been taught to think of the world as something that 'progresses' or 'evolves'. Christian apocalyptic offers us no such hope. It does not even foretell (which would be more tolerable to our habits of thought) a gradual decay. It foretells a sudden violent end imposed from without: an extinguisher popped on to the candle, a brick flung at the gramophone, a curtain rung down on the play - 'Halt!'
- C. S. Lewis, 'The World's Last Night' in Fern-seed and Elephants, 72.


Mister Tim said...

Thinking about this quote again and the photo above, I wonder that the statue provides false hope in the face of Christian eschatology. In some sense, Lewis' quote highlights that there may be no hope for the overall improvement of the world - no hope for the end of violence and warfare and killing; just a continuation of the current turmoil of the world until it ends with a bang and those in Christ then are at the start of something better.

On the other hand, the statue certainly shows the groaning of creation while it is subject to frustration - the longing for something better,

Drew said...

But how then do we act? Are we to wring our hands helplessly?

To quote that Moltman piece:
The person who presses forward to the end of life misses life itself.

So, what hope acts to affirm life now, but still rightly holds on to the abiding hope of a new creation?

byron smith said...

Drew, it is because of the continuity between this creation and the next (despite some radical discontinuity) that hoping for a new creation is also an affirmation of the world now. Not by any means an uncritical acceptance of all that is, indeed, largely the opposite. Hope for the resurrection of the dead and the liberation of creation reveals the importance and value of this body and this world with such a destiny, and this makes me unsatisfied with my life and world as I now find them. It makes me long for personal and global renewal, and sets me free from fear to work, knowing that this is not in vain.