Sunday, 18 November 2012

The most embarrassing verse in the Bible?

"Say what you like,” we shall be told, “the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else.”

C.S. Lewis, The World's Last Night: And Other Essays, p.97

C.S. Lewis is embarrassed of Jesus?  I was sure the quote was taken out of context, so I looked it up... No such luck.  Lewis goes on to explain how he solves the problem: With the assertion that Jesus probably really did not know how or when the "world would end". He continues:

"Yet how teasing, also, that within fourteen words of it should come the statement “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” The one exhibition of error and the one confession of ignorance grow side by side... The facts, then, are these: that Jesus professed himself (in some sense) ignorant, and within a moment showed that he really was so. To believe in the Incarnation, to believe that he is God, makes it hard to understand how he could be ignorant; but also makes it certain that, if he said he could be ignorant, then ignorant he could really be. For a God who can be ignorant is less baffling than a God who falsely professes ignorance."

I found the above from a post here. It concludes very sensibly:  
It seems appropriate to me to be embarrassed about what C.S. Lewis said, not about what Jesus said. 
You'll have to be at church this morning to find out why I agree with that (we are in Mark 13:3-37)! And why that matters. 

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