Mere Christianity

Ik heb tot nu toe enkel al The Screwtape Letters van C.S. Lewis gelezen en het smaakte me enorm. Mere Christianity stond al een tijdje op me te wachten en daar ben ik gisteren in begonnen, heel spontaan eigenlijk. (Hoe begin je anders in een boek dat geen verplichte schoolliteratuur is?) Na enkel de eerste pagina’s gelezen te hebben, weet ik dat me weeral een pareltje ligt te wachten. Geniet mee:

(over het feit dat iedere mens een notie van Goed en Kwaad heeft)
Now what interests me about all these remarks (zoals ‘dit is mijn plaats, ik was eerst’, ‘komaan, je heb het beloofd’) is that the man who makes them is not merely saying that the other man’s behaviour does not happen to please him. He is appealing to some kind of standard of behaviour which he expects the other man to know about. And the other man very seldom replies: ‘To hell with your standard.’ Nearly always he tries to make out that what he has been doing does not really go against the standard, or that if it does there is some special excuse (p. 3).

But the most remarkable thing is this. Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining ‘It’s not fair’ before you can say Jack Robinson* (p 6).

Uit: Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. Complete In One Volume. San Francisco: Harper, 2001.

  • Ik was heel nieuwsgierig naar de persoon van Jack Robinson en nadat een voetballer en een muzikant de revue gepasseerd waren, kwam ik bij de juiste terecht: het is een bestaande uitdrukking waarvoor de volgende etymologische verklaring worden gegeven:

(1) Supposedly, an English gentleman of the early 1800s named Jack Robinson was a person who changed his mind often, hence a person had to be quick to catch him in a decision.

(2) Supposedly, in France in the 1800s, an umbrella was known as a Robinson, and when a gentleman needed his umbrella he would call for his servant (inevitably known as Jacques), hence, “Jacques, Robinson!”

(3) Between 1660 and 1679 the Officer Commanding the Tower of London was one Sir John Robinson. It may be that the speed of beheading with an axe, something regularly done in the Tower at that time, may be the basis, Jack being a well known form of John. Another version is that Sir John (Jack) Robinson, the Constable of the Tower of London, held at the same time a judiciary appointment in the nearby City of London, and could and did condemn a felon in the City, then have him transported to the Tower where he commanded the execution, the whole process being done ‘faster than you can say Jack Robinson’. Perhaps not so mythical after all.

Bron: Wikipedia



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