“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"Never Did He Utter One Word Twice"

...What does Lewis mean, though, when he writes "All is righteousness and there is no equality," or when he says "Never did He make two things the same; never did He utter one word twice"?  The idea here, I think, is that everything is utterly unique.  God is not redundant; his infinite creativity in making new things can never be exhausted, so you will never find that he has made the same thing twice, or that an event occurred twice in exactly the same way.  Everything - every person, every moment in life, every place in the world, every event in God's story, every stone in the arch - is utterly unique in its place within the whole of creation.

This is completely true.  Nowhere in all the universe will you find that God has repeated a thing in exactly the same way.  Identical twins are shaped to be completely different people by their environments and choices.  Even elementary particles like electrons, which cannot be distinguished from one another, are unique in the sense that each one has a unique history of places where it has been and ways in which it has interacted with other matter.  Everything, every single tiny thing in all the incomprehensible vastness of reality, is utterly unique.

In the mind and being of the Maker there is infinite potential for new things to be made, and he unleashes them into existence with explosive creativity.  How, in this ever-growing and boundless newness, could anything be done twice?  As if the eternal God could run out of new ideas and designs and wonders to bring forth, as if the bottomless well and fountain of creation could run dry.  All is righteousness, all is in perfect paradoxical balance, saturated with justice and holiness and all the goodness that is given from God "as a tree bows down with fruit," yet there is no equality, no repetition.  A greater unity grows from this strong diversity, and for this too the Creator is to be praised.

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