Fitz Allison suggested at the recent Mockingbird conference that we take a look at an essay by C.S. Lewis called “Fern Seed and Elephants.” It was in the context of Fitz talking about how to read the Bible — and how it makes a big difference, as it does when you are falling in love, with whether you approach the Bible (or beloved) with Trust… or with Suspicion.
Here are a few selected bits… click here to read the whole thing.
It is hard to persevere in a close study when you can work up no prima facie confidence in your teachers.
[Modern biblical critics] ask me to believe they can read between the lines of the old texts; the evidence is their obvious inability to read (in any sense worth discussing) the lines themselves. They claim to see fern-seed and can’t see an elephant ten yards way in broad daylight.
Reflection on the extreme improbability of his own life – by historical standards – seems to me a profitable exercise for everyone. It encourages a due agnosticism….. For agnosticism is, in a sense, what I am preaching. I do not wish to reduce the sceptical elements in your minds. I am only suggesting that it need not be reserved exclusively for the New Testament and the Creeds. Try doubting something else.