Tash Talking: Musings on Universalism
This summer our church is doing a series called "Theological Cliffs" whereby we delve into some of the more controversial doctrines of famous theologians like CS Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Simone Weill, and others. The Lewis controversy resides in his doctrine of salvation, specifically the question of "What must a person do to be saved?" In particular, Lewis' position is provocative to evangelicals because of some veiled hints in "The Great Divorce" that everyone might be saved, and because of the following quote from "The Last Battle" in his "Chronicles of Narnia" series.
In this story, a soldier goes through something analagous to the doorway of death. The soldier has served a god named Tash all his life, and he comes upon the great Lion named Aslan, who represents Christ...
"in a naorrow place between two rocks there came to me a great lion. the speed of him like an ostrich, and the size of him was an elepnat's; his har was like pure gold and the brightness of his eyes, like god that is liquid in the furnace. In beauty he surpassed anything that was in the world, even as the rose in bloom surpasses the dust in the desert. Then I fell at his feet and though, surely this is the hour of death, for the lion (who is worhty of all honor) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the lion and die than to be kind of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, "Son, thou are welcome." But I said, "Alas, Lord I am no son of Thine but the servant of Tash." He answered, "Child, all the service thou has done to Tash, I account as service done to me." Then by reason of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, "Lord is it ture, as the Ape said, the thous and Tash are one?" The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, "It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services that thous hast done to him, for I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is note vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man do a cruelty in my name, than though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed accepted. Dost Thou understand child?" I said, "Lord Thous knowest how much I understand." But I also said (for the truth constrained me), "Yes I have been seeking Tash all my days."
"Beloved" said the Glorous One, "unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly, for all find what they truly seek."
1. What is Lewis saying? Is he really teaching universalism?
2. What are the implications of what he's saying when it comes to evangelism?
3. Can what he's saying be correlated to what Jesus said in John 14:6.