February 10, 2019

WHY CHRIST WAS ULTIMATELY NOT DIFFERENT:

On the Endlessness of the World Story (James V. Schall, S. J., 2/10/19, University Bookman)

[T]o grasp what Tolkien is driving at in "Note H," it is well first to recall the memorable lines at the end of the essay "On Fairy-Stories" itself. Few better lines have ever been written. "But in God's kingdom the presence of the greatest does not depress the small. Redeemed Man is still man. Story, fantasy, still go on, and should go on. The Evangelium has not abrogated legends; it has hallowed them, especially the 'happy ending'." It is the "happy ending" that is both the most hoped for and, in the light of so many of our actual human choices, the most dubious story ending of all.

Tolkien's last words of the essay are as follows: "All tales may come true; and yet, at the last, redeemed, they may be as like and as unlike the form that we give them as Man, finally redeemed, will be like and unlike the fallen [man] that we know." We know the tales that take place amidst our fallenness. We sometimes blame God for creating a world in which we can fail and fall, as if to say that, in the end, we should prefer not to be free. Man "fully redeemed" will be like and unlike ourselves. If redeemed man were necessarily to turn out to be exactly as he was before, there would be no purpose in creating him. If he were absolutely different, he would not be the same person who once lived in this world.

Posted by at February 10, 2019 9:04 AM

  

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