If people know of C.S. Lewis, chances are good it’s due to his Chronicles of Narnia series with books like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. But Lewis was also an amazing philosopher and ethicist. One of his lesser known books is a collection of essays titled, God in the Dock.
The word “dock” refers to the place where the accused sits in a courtroom. Lewis contends that in ancient times, men approached God as an accused criminal would approach a judge. But for the modern man (which includes us), things are reversed. We sit in the judge’s seat, and God is on trial. God is in the dock, having to answer for everything from wars and weather patterns, to the rise and fall of the stock market, to the flow of traffic in our daily commute. Lewis writes: “The trial may even end in God’s acquittal. But the important thing is that man is on the bench and God is in the dock.”
How often do we put God on trial, in the dock? If we’re honest, probably more often than we’re comfortable admitting. After all, “Can a man be righteous before God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker?” (Job 5:17).
The answer here is “No.” Full stop. As smart and savvy and progressive as we may consider ourselves to be, there is a Judge over all, over everything—and it most certainly is not us. Let me repeat that: We are not the judge.
“So then, are we the accused?” you might ask. The answer here is a resounding “YES,” but with a clarification regarding God the Judge. He is righteous, and if we know Jesus, He judges us through the blood of His Son. As Paul tells us in Romans 5, “Since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (v.1).
You and I, in the dock, throwing ourselves upon God’s mercy, are forgiven, acquitted, set free. We no longer live as men who stand accused, but as sons who belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. Full stop.
Written by John Blase