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Posted July 11, 2005
Through a glass less darkly
Reading 'Shadows...' I was constantly reminded of the whipsaw changes that are so characteristic of GK Chesterton in, say, 'The Man Who Was Thursday' or 'The Napoleon of Notting Hill'. Rapid, unexpected alterations in perception-as one gets flashing glimpses through a glass no longer quite so darkly of the Christian reality at the core of each man's participation in existence-occur at nearly every turn. There is also a flavor of fellow Inkling CS Lewis's works, with some particular similarities in the setting, mood, and characterizations that one finds in 'That Hiddeous Strength'. Beyond giving the potential reader the ideas of similarly flavored works, however, it is difficult to unfold the story line in a short review - and probably of no particular value to the potential reader. Williams must be read and his reality swum in to get even a hint of understanding at the driving truths of his Christian faith - namely, that the things of this world all point to a reality beyond that is infinitely more real, and that actions in this world reverberate into eternity in an actual and final way. I find less of another of the central themes of Williams's life-that of truly substitutionary intervention between men-but there are hints of that stream of understanding as well. All in all, though perhaps not quite as well done as the Chesterton or Lewis mentioned previously, a worthwhile read in the sense that something of worth can be taken from the book and incorporated into living.
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