04 July 2010

The Potency of a Good Story: True to its Character and to the Boundaries

“God will be chary of indulging in irrelevant miracle(s)...
He will not…convert without preparing the way for conversion, and His interferences with space-time will be conditioned by some kind of relationship of power between will and matter.
Faith is the condition for the removal of mountains; Lear is converted but not Iago.
Consequences cannot be separated from their causes without a loss of power;
how much power would be left in the story of the crucifixion, as a story, if Christ had come down from the cross[?]
That would have been an irrelevant miracle, whereas the story of the resurrection is relevant, leaving the consequences of action and character still in logical connection with their causes.
[The willing sacrifice, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ] is, in fact, an outstanding example of the development [of the proper story].
[It illustrates] the leading of the story back, by the new and more powerful way of grace, to the issue demanded by the way of judgment, so that the law of nature is not destroyed, but fulfilled.”
  • Dorothy Sayers, The Mind of the Maker, “Free Will and Miracle”