Thursday, October 16, 2003

I recently finished "War in Heaven" by Charles Williams, the least known of "The Inklings." I enjoyed it, but I confess that I find the heroes of his novels too passive. In this one, the Archdeacon is obviously a holy and good man, but he seems to have a kind of stupefied "since I can't do anything without Christ, I can do whatever with him," that seems to me reliant less on God than on deus ex machina. He's like the guy in the joke about the flood who when he gets to Heaven asks God why He didn't save him. "Well, I sent you two boats and a helicopter. What more do you want??" God replies. It seems to me that reliance on Christ and abandonment to divine Providence don't mean passiveness in the face of evil, but I've been wrong before.

I also don't understand why in one chapter the heroes spend all night fighting the evil powers through prayer, then the next day hand the Graal over to those same powers. But that's more likely just me being obtuse.


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