October 10, 2002

This looks good...

The Comic World of C. S. Lewis is Lindvall's topic, and his examination of this renowned apologist ...reveals an unexpected perspective on the primacy of humor as a gateway to God.

"What is funny about us is precisely that we take ourselves too seriously." That quote from theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, aptly selected by Lindvall as a chapter opening, capsulizes the springboard for C. S. Lewis's dive into the comical.

Lewis always cuts to the heart of Christianity. His high esteem for laughter, whether generated by a joke, satire, good food and drink, or a convivial party, reflects his belief that play and pleasure are gifts from God, and in fact, that these are hints of the Kingdom of God.

Lewis observed that humans are stuck between two worlds, a natural one and a supernatural one. God, he said, had set out "to make an organism which is also a spirit; to make that terrible oxymoron a 'spiritual animal.' " The tension between flesh and spirit is the source of our best kind of laughter, because it fundamentally affirms our relationship to God.

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