Blackmail the universe? Not!

Dear Editor,

In his “Great Divorce” (chapter 8), C.S. Lewis states the following: “What some people say on earth is that the final loss of one soul gives the lie to all the joy of those who are saved.’

“Ye see it does not.”

“I feel in a way that it ought to.”

“That sounds very merciful: but see what lurks behind it.”


“The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven.”

Lewis has put his finger on a profound point but, unfortunately, he does not bring all the scriptures to bear for understanding the merciful nature of the Lord’s Great Salvation. The conversation Lewis so skillfully constructs would have conveyed a more accurate account of reality by distilling the perspective the scriptures contain.

Freedom — God’s and man’s — is real with consequences for both. While “the loveless” and “the self-imprisoned” are not allowed “to blackmail the universe,” they are empowered to crucify the Beloved Son of God and in him, the Father, Jesus Christ was keenly aware of this as recorded in the Bible. The religiously orthodox and the political elite cooperated in the arrest, questioning, indictment, scourging, and crucifixion of the Word of God. In so doing the fulness of unbelief and the fulness of belief simultaneously occurred as prophesied.

The benighted happiness of unbelief is mockingly expressed in the presumptuous demand of those at the foot of the cross to wit: “Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.”

Truth unabridged grows incrementally in and for human beings provided that they don’t stop. Such is the blessing in Jesus Christ to the glory of God the Father.

William M. Yavelak



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