C.S. Lewis’s Argument from Nostalgia
For my post this week, I pass along Matt’s wonderful entry from his blog Well Spent Journey. What is really crazy about this is that one of our youth came over this fine Labor Day to help us do some work in our new house. While in the grocery store to pick up some things for lunch, we shared a deja vu moment. It was very odd, only to be followed by my reading this!
The fact is, only God can fill all of our needs (read Matthew 6:25-34). If each of our other longings can be filled by things on this earth, yet we have this longing that is never fully met here, does that not speak to something or Someone beyond this earth? A God who created us for intimate fellowship with Him fits this perfectly.
Go read Matt’s thoughts and quotes from C.S. Lewis, one of the greatest non-theologian theologians of the 20th Century!
(or, “Why you sometimes feel like you can remember something, sometimes, from even before your childhood”)
C.S. Lewis often wrote about (and alluded to) the sense of “nostalgia” that comes with beholding a beautiful landscape.
I’ve always thought that the Christian argument from beauty/awe/nostalgia is one of the most difficult to convincingly express, yet one of the most powerful when properly understood. It shares some commonality with the Argument from Religious Experience, in that it relies on personal revelation rather than hard evidence (historical & scientific data) or soft evidence (formal philosophical arguments).
Rather than relying upon another person’s (oftentimes unreliable) testimony, however, the argument from nostalgia encourages self-reflection by identifying a peculiar sensation – almost like déjà vu, or a lost memory, or a half-forgotten dream – that seems to be shared by most people. C.S. Lewis described this sensation as follows:
“In speaking of this desire…
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