“The greatest barrier I have met is the almost total absence from the minds of my
audience of any sense of sin… The early Christian preachers could assume in their
hearers, whether Jews, Metuentes, or Pagans, a sense of guilt. (That this was common
among Pagans is shown by the fact that both Epicureanism and the mystery religions
both claimed, though in different ways, to assuage it.) Thus the Christian message
was in those days unmistakably the Evangelium, the Good News. It promised healing to
those who knew they were sick. We have to convince our hearers of the unwelcome
diagnosis before we can expect them to welcome the news of the remedy.
The ancient man approached God (or even the gods) as the accused person approaches
his judge. For the modern man, the roles are quite reversed. He is the judge: God is
in the dock. He is quite a kindly judge; if God should have a reasonable defense for
being the god who permits war, poverty, and disease, he is ready to listen to it.
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.”
― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics