The power of analogy; Wordsworth and Lewis

Any time I read William Wordsworth’s poetry or CS Lewis’ prose, I am struck by the strength of their ideas when supported by analogy.  Why is an “analogical” argument so powerful?  Put simply, analogy is “embodied meaning”.  Malcolm Guite puts it this way,”[abstract images] are not only…phenomena going on “out there”, but [can be] a kind of poetry, infinitely suggestive of something going on “in here”.  Writing of CS Lewis, Guite continues, “But if, as Lewis believed, the whole Cosmos is made in and through the Logos, the mind and meaning of God, and our minds too are made in the image of the “Logos”, then of course we should expect to find constant analogies between the outer truths expressed in God’s creation and the inner truths taught by his Word”.

Wordsworth captures the relationship between “out there and in here” in his romantic poetic method.  A beautiful example is his poem To a Skylark, in which the life, living and song of his skylark create an image of a human’s worship of God.  Scripture as well, in speaking of the heart, relates an organ we have come to understand as a pump with spiritual truths.  It would only seem to reason then that spiritual disease or strength could also be illustrated by physical disease of conditioning of that same pump.  Acts tells us that God “has not left himself without witness”.  I think this applies analogically and teliologically as well as revelationally.  We have written a lot in this blog about the importance of revelational witness.  It will be fun now to also explore the analogical witness.

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