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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lewis Agonistes Questions! Meeting January 12th

Don't forget that we'll be meeting this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Harrisonburg Barnes and Noble.  Our discussion topic for the evening is "Lewis Agonistes" by Louis Markos.  Jane will be our discussion leader.  The questions for the evening are listed below:

Lewis Agonistes by Louis Markos
Does Markos’ literary device of the character “Lewis Agonistes” work?
Chapter 1 - The Education of Lewis Agonistes
1.) The first chapter is largely biographical, is there anything here that changed your view or gave a new insight?
*2. How do Lewis's rational and imaginative sides both contribute toward the effectiveness of his apologetic works?
Chapter 2 - Wrestling with Science
*3 Which view ("top to bottom" or "bottom to top") do you find most persuasive? Why?
*4 What is C. S. Lewis's "argument by desire"?
*5 What does C. S. Lewis call the Tao?
*6 What reasons does C. S. Lewis give for religion not evolving?
Chapter 3 - Wrestling with the New Age
*7 According to Markos, what does the New Ager seek?
*8 What does Markos mean by the statement on page 72 that "Christianity is not the only truth, but it is the only complete truth"? Do you agree/disagree?
*9 Using the example of Emeth from The Last Battle (see pgs. 88-89), distinguish between universal salvation and the notion that those who earnestly seek will find. Here are some related scripture passages to consider: Matthew 7:21-23; Matthew 13:24-30; Luke 16:19-31; Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 7:7-8; Hebrews 11:6
Chapter 4 - Wrestling with Evil & Suffering
*10 Markos makes the observation at the top of page 91 that "our modern Western world, which has seen a decrease in human suffering unparalleled in human history, seems less able to deal with pain and more quick either to blame God ... or to deny his existence altogether." Do you agree with the above statement? If so, do you have any theories why this might be the case?
*11. What two misunderstandings about our nature and relationship to God are at the root of our inability to deal with the problem of pain?
*12. For Adam and Eve it was the forbidden fruit, for the Lady in Perelandra it was sleeping on the fixed land. What is really at the heart of these seeming arbitrary commands?
Chapter 5 - Wrestling with the Arts
*13. What is the role or function of language? What can be lost if words lose their meaning?
*14. To what does Markos attribute Christians' reluctance to defend poetry from the attacks of postmodernism? Do you agree/disagree?
*15. How does the Incarnation refute Gorgias' (and deconstructionism's) three propositions?
*16. On page 131 Markos states, "when Christians gravitate toward a scientific reading of Scripture or betray a deep suspicion of the arts, . . they are embodying an ethos that is more Islamic than Christian." What do you think of this statement?
Chapter 6 - Wrestling with Heaven and Hell
*17. How did the Enlightenment ethos of equality affect the traditionally biblical notions of heaven and hell?
*18. Why is idolizing a "good thing" (such as mother love or patriotism) more likely to pull someone away from God than idolizing a "bad thing"? How can love become a demon?
*19. Markos defines love as "the movement out of narcissism" (p. 160). Do you argee with this, If so, how did/does God demonstrate his love per this definition?
*20. Distinguish between the views of heaven as mercenary wish fulfillment and heaven as the consummation of desire.
*21. What do you consider to be the greatest gift C. S. Lewis gave to our generation?
*Questions taken from CSL BOOK CLUB
Permission is given to make up to 30 copies of a study guide for noncommercial use with a small group, Sunday school class or educational class.

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