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Lewis and Inclusionism

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Lewis and Inclusionism

Postby Fairfax » 24 Jan 2010, 03:45

I was reading today about the character of Emeth, in The Last Battle, the character who best examplifies Lewis's beleif in Inclusionism.This is the belief that someone may belong to another faith, but might still be saved if one is ernestly seeking Truth. Christ IS that truth, so Emeth was genuinely seeking Aslan (Christ)even though he had been taught to worship Tash.

I have read that some have problems with Emeth's salvation, since he belonged (I would say superficially) to a false faith. Are there any on this forum who do, and why is that?

I've done a bit of research, and I found one site that was opposed to Lewis and inclusionism. As I expected, they tried (falsely) to protray Emeth's salvation as a "works" salvation, and that he got into heaven by doing a few good works even though he followed a false God. This is untrue! Emeth was not saved by his good works. He was saved because, inspite of what he'd been taught, his heart was in the right place.

Anyone who would still believe that a real-life Emeth would necessarily be barred from heaven in spite of the fact that that his heart was seeking Christ (and in that sense was saved already), would be subscribing to a salvation based solely on club membership. This sort of salvation is based on knowing and beleiving certain facts which are required to get in. It has nothing to do with one's heart. And as such, it has nothing to do with morality either. Those who promote such a salvation beleive God punishes those who lack beleif in certain facts. I emphasize the word "facts", because the word "beleif", in a Biblical context, does not mean what it seems many Christians think that it does.

I just noticed the forum rule that said "no debating". I am sorry if this post offended anyone. I would welcome freindly disagreement, (if it's okay) but please, nothing heated.
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Re: Lewis and Inclusionism

Postby Sven » 24 Jan 2010, 17:24

Welcome, Fairfax.

I moved this thread to the Narnia forum. The fellowship forum is for, erm, fellowship :wink:

If you use the search function, you'll find plenty of discussion already regarding Emeth.
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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Re: Lewis and Inclusionism

Postby Fairfax » 30 Jan 2010, 03:12

I was reading today the oft-repeated verse of John 3:18: "He that beleiveth in him is not condemned: but he that beleiveth not is condemned already, becuase he has not beleived in the name of God's only begotten son."

The key word here is the name. This verse seems to imply that one must know God by the right name, or he won't get inot heaven. Theregore a real-life Emeth would be condemned to hell, for merely getting the names of Tash and Aslan confused, even though he sought Truth.

There are other verses I could point to that would seem to condridict this, such as John 21, just below, which reads: "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

Everyone who doeth truth? Or only those who also beleive in the name of Jesus? Please help me sort this out.
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Re: Lewis and Inclusionism

Postby Matthew Whaley » 31 Jan 2010, 22:03

I think what that verse is saying that if you have believed in something false all your life up to this point and then confronted with the Gospel and reality of Jesus Christ, you are held accountable for rejecting Him if you still hold on to your false beliefs. No one can be held accountable for evidence they have not seen or experienced. As to the verse John 3:18; don't isolate it from the whole chapter. Everything that is said before that verse and afterward should clarify the meaning for you.
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Re: Lewis and Inclusionism

Postby Theophilus » 01 Feb 2010, 19:05

God has promised that anyone who truly seeks him will find him. If he is looking in the wrong place because he has been taught to serve a false God I think that God will find a way to reveal himself to him. Acts 10 tells of a man named Cornelius who was seeking God and God brought him into contact with Peter so Peter could explain the way of salvation to him.
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Re: Lewis and Inclusionism

Postby Fairfax » 02 Feb 2010, 16:53

Are there other places in the Bible to back this up? Emeth, I believe was already in the barn (in heaven) when he met Aslan, so I'm not sure it is the same as with the man in Acts.
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Re: Lewis and Inclusionism

Postby Karen » 02 Feb 2010, 17:40

Fairfax wrote:I was reading today the oft-repeated verse of John 3:18: "He that beleiveth in him is not condemned: but he that beleiveth not is condemned already, becuase he has not beleived in the name of God's only begotten son."

The key word here is the name. This verse seems to imply that one must know God by the right name, or he won't get inot heaven. Theregore a real-life Emeth would be condemned to hell, for merely getting the names of Tash and Aslan confused, even though he sought Truth.


In the culture of Jesus' day (as it is to a certain extent in ours), your name was your identity. Think of all the biblical figures who had their names changed: Abram/Abraham, Sarai/Sarah, Jacob/Israel, Simon/Cephas, etc. These changes denoted a shift in the identity of the person, not merely a change in spelling. So the verse in John is really saying that one must believe in the identity of Jesus: i.e. that he is the way, the truth and the life. A real-life Emeth would not be condemned, because he was indeed seeking that way and that truth. At any rate, that's how I see it. :smile:
I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. -- Jorge Luis Borges
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Re: Lewis and Inclusionism

Postby agingjb » 02 Feb 2010, 20:00

Is "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." relevant?
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Re: Lewis and Inclusionism

Postby Fairfax » 03 Feb 2010, 03:11

Okay, thanks, I think I've got it now.
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Re: Lewis and Inclusionism

Postby Dan65802 » 17 Feb 2010, 21:47

Fairfax wrote:Are there other places in the Bible to back this up? Emeth, I believe was already in the barn (in heaven) when he met Aslan, so I'm not sure it is the same as with the man in Acts.


Remember that this is a "supposal", not an allegory. I'm not sure we can say the stable represents heaven but is rather a strictly Narnian "way station" between old Narnia and True Narnia. It would be better to look at Lewis's direct teaching on the subject rather than make suppositions regarding the supposal. If I remember correctly, Lewis addresses the subject of those who have served false gods, have not heard the gospel but have been good in heart in Mere Christianity. I believe his answer was that he didn't know what their eternal destination would be.

- Dan -
"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." - Martin Luther King
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