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Friday, June 9, 2017

                             Our book pick for Thursday July the 13th Happy Reading!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

It is with heavy hearts that our C. S. Lewis Society of Harrisonburg will meet tonight. We will miss you greatly Iain. One of the kindest people. We know you are having a smashing conversation with Jack. We were incredibly blessed to have known you.
We will meet at Brother's Craft, please join us. A little more informal than usual this time. If you have Speaking Of Jack by Will Vaus for the discussion questions please bring it.
I didn't send e-mails this month I'm redoing those. Please see our Facebook page for more information about Iain and regarding where we are meeting tonight. Much love to everyone.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Here are the questions for the next meeting Mere Christianity Part 3 Thursday May 11th
by Natalya Basinger

Section 4 Beyond Personality
Chapter 1: Why is theology important? How does Lewis argue that theology deepens people's experience of God? How can something "less real" help us understand "the real." How does this play into Lewis explanation of the difference between "begetting" and "making"

Chapter 2: "How is theology practical?" "How does Lewis describe the Trinity?" How does Lewis' explanation of a 3 Personal God lead to the start of Theology?

Chapter 3: Why does Lewis say this is a chapter one could skip? Why does Lewis take the time to explain eternity? Do you think one can be a perfectly good Christian without ascribing to this view?

Chapter 4: What is the importance behind Lewis explaining cause and effect? What does Lewis say is the key meaning behind the statement "God is love?" "How does Lewis describe the relationship between the three persons?" What is the "good infection?"

Chapter 5: How is Jesus the Real Man? What has been done for us?

Chapter 6: What is the challenge Lewis faces in the first criticism of his toy soldier example. In his second point, what does Lewis say is the two extremes Christian's should not be. Why is this important?

Chapter 7: What is the good of pretend according to Lewis? How does this help us understand the Realness of Christ?

Chapter 8: How does putting on Christ differ from morality and being good? How is Christianity both harder and easier? What does the whole of Christianity demand from us?

Chapter 9: How is God like a dentist? What does it mean to count the cost?

Chapter 10: Why aren't all Christian's nicer than all non-Christians? How can 'niceness' prevent belief?

Chapter 11: How does Lewis use evolution to show the flaw in our expectations of the Next Step? What is the Next Step? What is the Zoe? How does giving up ourselves lead to our true selves?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Hello lovely people. 
We will be taking a break in light of Maudy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. See you the second Thursday of May, at Cleveland Hall for Mere Christianity part three which will cover the section Beyond Personality. The discussion starters will be posted on the blog in the beginning of May, thank you Natalya for leading our next discussion. Be blessed, happy reading, and have a wonderful Easter.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

                                     Mere Christianity  

                                    Part Two, Book Three discussion starters 

1) Many people today think that so long as they aren't hurting someone else they may do whatever they please. Why does jack say that such a view of mortality is incomplete? See the chapter on "The Three Parts of Mortality". *

2) What are the Cardinal Virtues? How does Lewis define each of these? What is the difference between developing these virtues in one's life and following a set of rules? *

3) What do you think of what Jack has to say about the relationship between morality and psychoanalysis? *

"In this chapter Lewis deals with the second concern of morality. He tells us that Psychoanalysis, apart from the philosophical additions of Freud and others, does not contradict Christianity. Christianity deals with our moral choices whereas psychoanalysis with the raw material of choice, the various feelings and impulses of our psychological outfit and tries to make that outfit more normal. God does not judge us for our psychological outfit but for our moral choices. For instance, we may have a psychological predisposition to alcoholism. God does not judge us for that, but He wants us to make the proper choices in spite of it. Furthermore God promises help to accomplish the end He appoints." - Will Vaus  

4) What progress has Christ made in your life in overcoming unhelpful thoughts and feelings, impulses? 

Some of our unhelpful or harmful thoughts, feelings or triggers are only a way of thinking gone awry from our former circumstances or  different circumstances and are a mental safety mechanism. Our mind has to learn to unlearn that and this is in no way sin but simply natural. 

5) "I'm still jolly well determined to look after number one..." I think here Lewis touches on what we see in persons who go to anger management or drug rehab and get that taken care of but they are still a bully and rather better at it since they don't have "that" interfering with their abusiveness. Thoughts or experiences with this? 

6) What is the difference chastity and propriety? There are camps of Christianity who have strict views of propriety, how is this harmful or at very least not helpful? 

7) What do you think of what Lewis says about marriage, if you know his story how did his views evolve( there is a hint of this when he says in essence the normal state of christian marriage is that the two agree and there is no need for a deciding vote. p. 113) as he became older and especialy after he married Joy? What do you know of Joy's first "marriage"? 

 8) How is love better than passing feeling of "being in love"? I liked the way he talked about steadfast love being deeper and best as compared to being in love feelings and that that best love has feelings of it's own.

A Summary on forgiveness and justice
Our sense of justice may make it difficult to forgive because we mistakenly think we must say "they are fair" or "it doesn't matter" or "we must reconcile at detriment to my safety or sanity" or "they are behaving fine", when in fact they are not, it does matter that they are unfair and behaving quite badly, We must acknowledge wrong and evil and if it is harming us shake the dust off and move on staying out of harms way, this does not mean we are not forgiving. sometimes its easier to forgive when we are not in harms way.

9) Does Lewis' explanation of loving your enemies as "to wish that he were not that bad, to hope that he in this world or another be cured: in fact to wish his good." Give you a better understanding of the biblical command "love your enemies"? 

10) Why is pride a "purely spiritual" vice? In what ways does it eat away at love, contentment, and common sense?

11)Why do you think it doesn't matter whether you have feelings of love or not for someone? Why does acting as if you did bring the right feelings? 

"At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they cannot make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendors we were. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so. Some day God willing we shall get in. When human souls as perfect involuntary obedience, then we will put on it's glory, or rather that greater glory of which nature is only the first sketch." C.S. Lewis The Weight of Glory

12) What do you think of Lewis' idea that our unsatisfied desire means that we were "made for another world"? How have you experienced this? How does this effect our lives in the now? 

13) The battle is between faith/reason on one side and emotion/imagination on the other, how is this different from pitting faith and reason against each other? 

14) Part of faith is where we "Turn to God and say You must do this I can't". If we know that no matter how hard we try to "be good" we will fail, why do we continue to try harder and harder? Do you agree with Lewis that the only way to understand your need for God is to try to be moral and fail? Why is the "vital moment" in our lives the moment we give up and trust the power of the Holy Spirit? 

*Will Vaus 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hi Everyone!
Part Two of Mere Christianity, our book discussion will be on Thursday March 9th 7:20 p.m. Cleveland Hall J.M.U. campus. Our discussion will follow Book Three of Mere Christianity. I will be posting discussion starters soon, by Monday evening.  I apologize for the lateness of this post and subsequent lateness of the discussion starters, I have one word Flu and what a flu it was.
Be blessed see you then.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

                                   Mere Christianity

                Discussion starters/questions for Forward, book one, two, and Preface

             Part one of three 

 1- Forward- We often think of C. S. Lewis as this great theologian, he did not describe himself that way. How did he describe himself? Why did he say he was selected for the radio talks?

2- Book One- Do you agree with Lewis that we can all appeal to an objective sense of what is right and wrong – a God-given conception of the Moral Law?*

3- The Tao, If you have a copy of The Abolition of Man , the appendix Illustrations of the Tao  has a wonderful compilation of ancient independent testimonies of moral law.  Any thoughts on the likeness of belief in a moral law or objective morality(not to be confused with black and white thinking) that you have seen or known from rubbing shoulders with people of different beliefs  or from any former beliefs of your own?

4- Do you think Lewis' argument credible- for the existence of God based upon the existence of the  Moral Law? Why or why not? **

5- In chapter two book one Some Objections Lewis counters the argument that we are acting on instinct or on social conventions put into us by education. How does he counter it? Do you agree Why or why not?

6- Why should we not set up any one impulse of our own or one that we have adopted as our own through a teaching or movement and follow it at all costs? Not even Patriotism, family. have you seen havoc and non-sense come from extremism?

7- What does Lewis say about the limitations of: (a) Science (b) Psychoanalysis Why, in his view, do neither of them pose a real challenge to belief in God? Do you agree with him that there is no conflict?*

8- “If you are a Christian, you are free to think that all these religions, even the queerest ones, contain at least some hint of truth.” Can you identify any “hints of the truth” within other world religions? What do you think our attitude towards people of other faiths should be?*

 9- "If you are a christian you do not have to believe all the other religions are simply wrong all through... If you are a Christian, you are free to think that all these religions contain at least a hint of truth."
How do you think this view keeps us from loudly discrediting what others believe? Could someone else's belief even be  catalyst towards Jesus, because of grains of truth in that belief?

10-Lewis raises a number of opposing belief systems to Christianity (Atheism, Pantheism, Dualism) and attempts to show why none of them fit the facts. Do you agree with his arguments here? Would you have anything to add to them?  Is there anything surprising in Lewis’ description of atheism as “too simple”?*

11- Do you think “Christianity and water” is a prevalent phenomenon? In what other ways might people attempt to water down the faith?*

12- What is dualism? What did you think of Lewis' argument against dualism?

13- At the end of his chapter on The Shocking Alternative Jack presents his famous trilemma: that Jesus was either lunitic, the Devil of Hell, or the Son of God. In examining the identity of Jesus, are Lewis' options the only ones open to us? If not what other conclusion might one arrive at? Which option seems most credible to you and why? **

14- What did you make of the theory of atonement that Lewis proposes? Are there any other such theories that have helped you in your understanding of what happened on the cross?*

15- I saved the preface for last, Any thoughts about denominational preferences? What did you think of his analogy of the hall with the different doors. Christianity being the hall, the rooms being different communions but all connected.  What has your experience been in different rooms, and?or waiting in the hall? Is their a richness and wisdom in diversity? What is the difference between diversity and division/divisiveness?

* Liz Evershed, C.S. Lewis Foundation Intern 2000-01
** Will Vaus  copyright 2010