Lewis on Solitary Conceit

Once again the WORSHIP QUOTE OF THE WEEK is from the writings of C. S. Lewis, this time on the subject of Christian deference and worship wars. That's right, ours is not the first generation in which Christians have struggled over style issues as they relate to the music used in worship.

"When I first became a Christian, about fourteen years ago, I thought that I could do it on my own, by retiring to my rooms and reading theology, and wouldn't go to the churches and Gospel Halls; . . . . I disliked very much their hymns which I considered to be fifth-rate poems set to sixth-rate music. But as I went on I saw the merit of it. I came up against different people of quite different outlooks and different education, and then gradually my conceit just began peeling off. I realized that the hymns (which were just sixth-rate music) were, nevertheless, being sung with devotion and benefit by an old saint in elastic-side boots in the opposite pew, and then you realize that you aren't fit to clean those boots. It gets you out of your solitary conceit."

C.S. Lewis, "Answers to Questions on Christianity" from GOD IN THE DOCK: ESSAYS ON THEOLGY AND ETHICS, Eerdmans, 1970.


In another place, Lewis writes, " . . . good taste in poetry or music are not necessary to salvation."
Lord, give us grace to major on the majors. Forgive our "solitary conceit."

Have a great week.

(Originally posted 8/13/1996)

To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.