“Christianity and Literature” in Christian Reflections

Lewis, C.S.

Eerdmans, 1968

pp. 6-7

Lewis makes a case for the fact that much of the New Testament assumes that major human relations (Christ to God, us to Christ) are imitative. Whereas modern criticism regards imitation in literature to be bad and unhappy (creativity, originality, spontaneity all put imitation in the shade), it is the normal way in the New Testament of presenting the art of life itself. Only God, maybe only God the Father, is truly original. All else is derivative and reflective. Saints are not moral or spiritual geniuses. They are imitators. "Our whole destiny seems to lie . . . in being as little as possible ourselves, in acquiring a fragrance that is not our own but borrowed; in becoming clear mirrors filled with the image of a face that is not ours."