C.S. Lewis on the Importance of Looking Backwards to Move Forward with Wisdom
Image from Into the Wardrobe:: a C.S. Lewis web site started by John Visser. (It is worth checking out.)
I’ve been reading Making the Best Of It by John Stackhouse, where he examines the works of C.S. Lewis, Reinhold Niebuhr and Dietrich Bonhoeffer for example and direction in how the church and culture should interact. It is one of the books I have been reading for our current Faith and Politics Series.
In the section on Lewis he gives this great quote where Lewis is reminding us of the importance of looking to the past, so we can move forward with more wisdom. He says,
“We need intimate knowledge of the past. Not that the past has any magic about it, but because we cannot study the future, and yet need something to set against the present, to remind us that the basic assumptions have been quite different in different periods and that much which seems certain to the uneducated is merely temporary fashion. A man who has lived in many places is not likely to be deceived by the local errors of his native village: the scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some degree immune from the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of his own age.”
This quote reminded me of the importance of reading older theologians along with present ones. If you notice on my new blog here, I have a list of great theologians to check out, if you scroll down and look to the row of the far right. So which theologians of the past do you enjoy reading?