Before getting too deeply involved in a debate, it’s good to assess just how much you really know about the topic. There are times when the ignorance of an opponent leads you only to pity. At other times you hope he shows some pity to you.
In a letter dated May 15, 1952, C. S. Lewis seeks to impress upon his correspondent, Genia Goelz, that her salvation is dependent completely upon grace. With a quote from David Cecil’s book, Lord M.: Or the Later Life of Lord Melbourne, whose hero, Lord Melbourne, loves to defend the indefensible, Lewis writes,
“Of course none of us have ‘any right’ at the altar. You might as well talk of a non-existent person ‘having a right’ to be created. It is not our right but God’s free bounty. An English peer said, ‘I like the order of the Garter because it has no dam’ nonsense about merit.’ Nor has Grace. And we must keep on remembering that as a cure for Pride.”1
Merit certainly has merit in some places. Salvation is just not one of those places. Thank God.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” – Ephesians 2:4-5.
- Walter Hooper, ed., The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963, Vol. III (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2007), 191. Italics in original.