This is the third post in this series, but she links to all of them. If you're curious about notions of our world as some sort of tarnished copy or inferior place to live in Christian theology, check this out.
Mistakes in the Shadowlands | Dianna E. Anderson: Faith and Feminism
It’s a mistake to think CS Lewis’ words and metaphors concerning the Platonic forms and images in Narnia are useful for us as Christians today, at least not without some major qualifications. Using Plato – especially Lewis’ Christianized form of Plato – as a means toward understanding God can lead us into problematic thinking fairly quickly.
In assuming that our world is somehow an imperfect copy of an ideal, we make an assumption that what we have now matters only insofar as it comes close to that ideal. So, as Mary Kassian said on Wednesday, sex and marriage are merely poorly reflected copies of that ideal; therefore we must practice sex and marriage so that it conforms better to that ideal. They have basically no good within themselves except insofar as they conform to the ideal. She uses the Shadowlands concept to make this point:
God created manhood, womanhood, marriage and sex because He wanted us to have symbols, images and language powerful enough to convey the idea of who He is and what a relationship with Him is all about. These symbols point to profound truths about the Godhead and to Christ’s relationship with the church. Without them, we would have a tough time understanding concepts such as desire, love, commitment, fidelity, infidelity, loyalty, jealousy, unity, intimacy, marriage, oneness, covenant and family. We would have a tough time understanding the Gospel.
The Lord gave us these images so that we would have human thoughts, feelings, experiences and language adequate and powerful enough to understand and express deep spiritual truths. The visible symbols display and testify about what is unseen. They’re temporary symbols that point to eternal spiritual realities. C.S. Lewis called it living in the “shadowlands.” We bring God glory when the shadows we cast here on earth match up with their heavenly counterparts. Sex in the shadowlands is supposed to tell the story of God.