Friday, October 8, 2010

CS Lewis' Purgatory was about Sanctification not Justification

Roger Olsen has posted some valid thoughts about the half baked way reformers Calvin, Zwingli and Luther, and along the way wonders if CS Lewis' modified doctrine of Purgatory might provide an answer to his dilema.  This sent a number of folks in a tizzy, not least Michael Patton.  What they both miss, in my humble opinion is that Lewis' doctrine was more concerned not with "are you saved, can you come into heaven?" but with "how can you enjoy heaven if you are not yet fully sanctified?"  Which is a very different question.  I'm not saying Lewis was right about this, but if there is to be some sort of continuity between the fallen sinful human being who dies and the the glorified one in the Father's presence, there must presumably be some process by which they are transformed that maintains their identity.  Few of us believe total sanctification is acheivable this side of death (I certainly don't) but if it is the case that we will suddenly without process be transformed into our new selves at the moment of truth why bother with sanctification now?  The truth is, many of those in the half way reformed traditions are so focussed on justification that discipleship or sanctification gets passed over as a secondary matter to salvation, which is a great pity.

By the way if you have never read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, drop everythng and do it NOW!

Let me know what you think :-)

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