I often wonder what a conversations might look like between great thinkers of different era’s. In today’s post I wonder how a great Christian thinker of the early twentieth century (C.S. Lewis) might answer a great antagonistic and skeptical thinker of the early twenty first century (Stephen Hawking).
The subject is heaven. The question is, is a belief in the Biblical concept of Heaven ridiculous?
Moderator: Dr. Hawking, why don’t you believe in heaven?
Stephen Hawking: “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” (Here)
Moderator: Mr. Lewis, Dr. Hawking believes that the Biblical concept of heaven is, quote, “a fairy story”. How do you respond to that?
C.S. Lewis: “There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of “Heaven” ridiculous by saying they do not want “to spend eternity playing harps.” The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them. All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold etc.) is, of course, a merely symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible. People who take the symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meant that we were to lay eggs.” (Mere Christianity, book III, Chapter 10.)
“Heaven is important, but it’s not the end of the world.” ~ N.T. Wright