Malacandrian Theology

I have found the following illustration helpful when introducing someone to Reformed metaphysics (AKA: Reformed Theology):

In C.S. Lewis’ wonderful Sci-Fi novel “Out of the Silent Planet,” the main character Ransom had full control over his mental faculties at all times. Of course, he was kidnapped and shipped off to a distant planet by force, but throughout the ordeal, his free-will dignity was never infringed.

What sort of novel would it have been if Ransom had less dignity than the landscape Lewis described? If the “purple mass of plump organ-pipe shrubbery” had just as much affection poured onto it as the main characters? If Ransom could look to the distant moon and know that Lewis cared just as much for it as he did for the affairs of Ransom?

Of course, we know that Lewis put care in the details of his landscapes, but he did not imbibe the landscape with the same sort of dignity that he gave to Ransom. Ransom was given free-will! He could make choices! Things in the story depended on the choices Ransom made! If Ransom wanted his freedom from Weston and Devine, then he had to choose (CHOOSE) to run at the opportune time! Oh yes…Ransom had a profound dignity and a profound freedom of the will!

But, it’s something else all together to claim that Ransom, at some point in the story, could have turned to Lewis and argued with how the story should go. “I should have been imagined a few years younger Lewis…how dare you send a man of my age romping about in the Malacandrian wilderness?!”

It is one thing to speak of having freedom and dignity in our choices…but it is something else all together to claim that we, along with God, live in some higher, more ultimate universe in which we both take part as residents.

That is a blasphemous position, for, as the Apostle tells us in Acts: “In Him we live, move, and have our being!”

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