That Hideous Strength

Thirty years ago or so I read That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis.  I did not understand it then, but now I do. In fact, anyone with with even an eye slightly open could not fail to see that within those pages this great Christian apologist and prophet actually prophesies about these very days we live in.

C. S. Lewis wrote That Hideous Strength in 1943 and it was first published in 1945. Wikipedia summarizes the book very well as follows:

The main human antagonists of That Hideous Strength believe in scientific materialism, that is, that nothing exists apart from physical matter and energy. They also believe, somewhat like the early Gnostics, that the human body is frail and corrupted. Like modern transhumanists, they believe that humanity can be perfected by migrating out of its body of flesh and blood and into a machine. Lewis portrays the results of these ideas in a highly dystopian manner.

In contrast, Lewis portrays reality in the book as supporting essential Christian beliefs, such as the inherent sinfulness of humanity, the impossibility of humans perfecting ourselves apart from God, the essential goodness of the physical body (though currently corrupted by sin), the omnipotence of God against the limited powers of evil, and the existence of angels and demons. Within this Christian framework, Lewis also incorporates Roman mythological figures into the hierarchy of angelic beings who serve God, as well as elements of the legend of King Arthur, which according to the book derive from true stories of human interaction with angels and demons. In this way, Lewis essentially presents an integration of Christian, Roman, and British conceptions of reality, true to his identity as a British Christian student of antiquity.

Within the pages of That Hideous Strength Lewis foresees a world in which, like today, we see the government of Great Britain bow before the special interests of a huge corporation called N.I.C.E. which changes, enforces, and breaks laws at its whim. Men possessed of evil spirits and dispossessed of any sense of morality rule the corporation itself and impose their evil wills upon unsuspecting citizens of the state. One of the corporation’s leaders actually keeps a decapitated person’s head “alive” in what I see as C. S. Lewis’ vision of man attempting to merge with machine, that which we call transhumanism today. The director of N.I.C.E. actually serves as a powerless figurehead, a puppet selected by behind-the-scenes powers that be in order to placate the unsuspecting public. Does this sound familiar?

One very interesting thought espoused by Lewis is that since the leaders of N.I.C.E. called upon dark spiritual entities to empower their take over of Britain, this opened the way, or created the “legal” framework, by which God’s holy angels could descend upon earth and destroy this evil work. Today we see “that hideous strength” ruling almost all the world. The noose grows tighter and tighter, especially as we see the “leader” of the “free world” support and condone Islamic terrorists as they behead, torture, and kill Christians around the world. Let us pray and wait for God’s saviors to deliver this world of the evil which now destroys it, for the ability to do so does not rest in the hands of men. That hideous strength can only be defeated by the power of God.

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