Sex, Chocolate, and Eternal Bliss

I probably have your attention with a headline like that. It sounds like copy taken from a Valentine’s advertisement. It’s actually commentary from a Time magazine article on C.S. Lewis.

The 1947 edition of Time Magazine which featured C.S. Lewis on the cover with the subtitle “Don v. Devil,” pitted him against some of his Oxford University colleagues who saw his Christian writings as a sort of “religious pamphleteering.” Perhaps that’s because Lewis was not known to evade a question, nor to give a bland response.

Lewis’s clear and compelling Christian witness is well demonstrated in his response to the question of whether or not there will be sex in heaven:

The letter and spirit of Scripture, and of all Christianity, forbid us to suppose that life in the New Creation will be a sexual life; and this reduces our imagination to the withering alternative either of bodies which are hardly recognizable as human bodies at all or else of a perpetual fast. As regards the fast, I think our present outlook might be like that of a small boy who, on being told that the sexual act was the highest bodily pleasure, should immediately ask whether you ate chocolates at the same time. On receiving the answer no, he might regard absence of chocolates as the chief characteristic of sexuality. In vain would you tell him that the reason why lovers in their carnal raptures don’t bother about chocolates is that they have something better to think of. The boy knows chocolate: he does not know the positive thing that excludes it. We are in the same position. We know the sexual life; we do not know, except in glimpses, the other thing which, in Heaven, will leave no room for it.

“Lewis’ idea of Heaven is not the 20th Century’s watered-down version of ineffable, gaseous ecstasy,” the article states. But regarding sex and chocolate, and whether or not they will be in heaven, Lewis reminds us that heaven will be about something more.

On earth our desires are simply too modest. In heaven they will discover their full passion. In eternity there will be a far greater joy than the pleasures of earth can ever compare. Now we know in part, there we will drink in full measure.