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Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle                                                        
Discussion questions by Elizabeth Fierro
Hannah Wills our discussion leader for Thursday August 10th.

Short biography- Madeleine L'Engle Camp was born in New York City on November 29, 1918. At age twelve moved to the French Alps, but she went to boarding school in England. Her high school years were spent back in the U.S.   L'Engle attended Smith College from 1937 to 1941 and graduated with honours. She married actor Hugh Franklin.
A Wrinkle In Time was rejected by 26 publishers before it was published. It won the 1963 Newbery Award and has been in continuous print ever since. Madeleine L'Engle died in 2007. 


1. What word or words would you use to describe the theme of A Wrinkle of Time? Does it match any of the themes in Lewis' Space Trilogy?


 
2. Does Auntie Beast play the same role as Oyeresu? How are they the same or different? 


3. What is the role of Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which? What did they used to be? 


4. What do you think of the three "gifts" given to the children in the chapter "The Happy Medium"? What was the role of Meg's faults?


5. Does the section of the book dealing with the journey to Camazotz remind you of any of Lewis' books.

 
6. The people on the planet Camazotz have no crime, no responsibility, and no decisions to make. What is so wrong with their society?


7. What was Meg's expectation as to what would happen when she found her father? 


8. How do #6 and #7 relate to Meg's anger with her father?

 
9. Does this relate to our own expectations of our Heavenly Father and His expectations of us?


10. What is the struggle the children have to wage to not fall into the power of IT? How are these same choices and struggles manifested in society and history? 


11. Why is Charles Wallace the key? What got him into the power of IT?
What had to change before he could be released and why was Meg the one who had to do it?


12. Questions of trust keep coming up both  A Wrinkle In Time and Lewis' books. In the books, and in our lives we have to decide who and what to trust and who and what not to trust. How do the characters (and we) decide who to trust and who is not trustworthy? How do we keep our moral compass? 


13. Aunt Beast talks about the "help" we get in the fight against the dark. What do you think are some of the helps she was referring to, and what are the helps you have?

Friday, July 14, 2017

                 A Wrinkle In Time our book selection for Thursday August 10th  7:20 P.M.
      Once again we will be meeting at Barnes and Noble. Happy Reading. :)

Friday, July 7, 2017


On Thursday July 13th 7:20 pm. Note the meeting place is Barnes & Noble again.  We will be discussing Till We Have Faces.  
We will be using the the questions from Speaking of Jack by Will VausIn case some of you haven't purchased it yet I've posted the questions here.  Feel free to ask your own questions of the story also.
I think it's only 3.99 on Kindle. 
Discussion Questions for C.S. Lewis'
Till We Have Faces 
1. If you are familiar with the myth of Cupid and Psyche, how does C. S. Lewis change the original story? What additions does he make? 

2. If someone asked you what Till We Have Faces was about, what would you say? 

3. If That Hideous Strength could be considered an illustration of The Abolition of Man, what Lewis book do you think Till We Have Faces is an illustration of?

4. How are the workings of storge, philia, eros and agape illustrated in Till We Have Faces?

5. What character or characters is Orual similar to in one of Jack’s other books?

6. What do you think Orual’s veil is symbolic of?

7. How does Jack develop the paired motifs of enlightenment and sacrifice in this story? What is Jack trying to teach us in this aspect of the story?

8. How does Jack develop the paired motifs of reason and imagination in this story? What do you think Jack is trying to tell us on this subject? 

9. What do you think the god means when he tells Orual that she must “die before she dies because there is no chance after”? 

10. Why is it that the gods cannot meet us “till we have faces”? 

11. How does the relationship between Orual and Psyche after their encounters on the mountain illustrate Charles Williams’s Way of Exchange? 

12. What do you think of Orual’s words: “I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer.”? 
13. What did you think of Orual being made beautiful at the end of the story? How was it the fulfillment of her life-long desire? 

14. How did you enjoy reading Till We Have Faces compared to reading Jack’s other books? Was it harder or easier to read? Why?


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.
Hannah

https://www.facebook.com/groups/CSLewisHburg//https://www.facebook.com/groups/CSLewisHburg/events/




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







        

Tuesday, January 24, 2017






Our book discussion on Thursday February 9th 7:20 p.m. will be Mere Christianity, we are dividing it into three parts, read the preface and foreword,  book one- Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe and book two- What Christians Believe. YES, we can meet on campus! No charge to boot.. Thank you Iain MacLean for securing us a place. 
Place Cleveland Hall, Seminar room 114.
Note we have changed the meeting time to 7:20 due to parking. Parking is anywhere except reserved and service spaces between Mason and to right of E.  Grace (coming from S. Main/Rt 11) RIGHT UP TO Front of Cleveland Hall.  I will post discussion starters/questions early this weekend. See you then. :)  

Friday, January 13, 2017


Our book discussion on Thursday February 9th 7:20 p.m. will be Mere Christianity, we are dividing it into three parts, read the preface, foreword,  book one Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe and book two What Christians Believe.
Our next meeting place is eighty percent likely to be at JMU as the kind Professor Iain MacLean has offered to secure us a nice meeting place if he can; coffee, tea, round table, screen to watch, stand by for more information on that. If that falls through I have an idea for a place that has niceties of that sort. I will be posting discussion starters/questions around the 26th of January. See you then. Be blessed.

Friday, January 6, 2017

                  The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe                                                                                                                                                                  Discussion Starters

  1. In the first chapter "Lucy Looks into a Wardrobe" we are introduced to the four children, the professor and Mr. Tumnus. The reason the children are here deep in the country is because of the air raids the London Blitz, what does history tell us about that, how intense was it.      Did C. S. Lewis have children as guests during this period in history?     In this chapter Lucy finds her way into a Wardrobe and Narnia. How does being uprooted not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually open us up to God moving in our life to propel us into being/doing what He wants for us?
  2. In "What Lucy Found There" we find Mr. Tumnus living in the always winter never Christmas tyrannical reign and pay of the White Witch. How is Mr. Tumnus like us when we are living under the weight of circumstances or pay of evil or a combination of those things? How did Lucy bring Mr. Tumnus clarity of good and evil and the need to chose good? 
  3. In "Edmund and the Wardrobe" the other three listen in disbelief to Lucy's story. How is Edmund's attitude towards Lucy and her story different than Peter's and Susan's?  Lucy questions herself wondering if it was all a dream. Have you ever had an clear leading from God and then question it as time passes? He always revisits us with what he has said and reaffirms it.  What kind of "apology" did Edmund shout to Lucy? What was the Queen's attitude toward Edmund? 
  4. In "Turkish Delight" Edmund finds himself in company of the Queen, eating enchanted Turkish Delight, and being enticed with a promise of power and more Turkish Delight and feeling comfortable, even though at first he did not like the arrangement. Do we ever get comfortable with things or people or ideas that are not right? When he meets up with Lucy he is not so comfortable anymore. Have you ever been somewhat comfortable with wrong things until you see someone who knows better?
  5. In "Back on This Side of the Door" Edmund and Lucy come back through the wardrobe and Edmund lets Lucy down out of pure nastiness. Why was Edmund so hateful with Lucy? The Professor's logic, in what other book by C. S. Lewis was there a paragraph in that reminded you of this one, what it was? If you have read "The Magician's Nephew" who is Professor Kirk and what does he know about Narnia?
  6. In the chapter "Into the Forest" all four of the children stumble into Narnia and find Mr. Tumnus gone and his house ransacked. Peter went right to Lucy and apologized how was his reaction so much different than Edmund's? Edmund is found out to be a liar, Edmund had called Lucy a liar, have you ever accused someone of what you doing, has anyone ever done that to you? We see Edmund trying to plant doubt about the queen and about sides to Peter. Have you ever been sure of something and someone plants doubt in your mind?
  7. "A Day with the Beavers" In this chapter Mr. Beaver finds the children , Edmund dreams of power and has horrible ideas. Did you notice Edmund says something true that they were lost. there is always enough truth in lies to keep us guessing any thoughts on that? At the mention of Aslan how did Edmund's feelings differ from the others? Did you notice throughout all of this Edmund keeps his meeting with the White Witch a secret, why is that?
  8. In "What happened after Dinner" they dine with the beavers and are told of Mr. Tumnus's plight and the moving of Aslan. Mr. Beaver tells an over zealous Peter they have to wait for Aslan to defeat the White Witch. How can we be like Peter and want to bull through on our own strength and goodness instead of empowerment from God which sometimes means going in a different direction than we would think?  
  9. "In The Witch's House" Edmund did not enjoy the food at the beaver's house because all the time he is thinking about Turkish Delight, nor did he enjoy the conversation espesially when Aslan was mentioned. He slips away to the witch's house. Edmund tries to convince himself that the white witch isn't that bad. How and why do we try to convince ourselves at times that someone or something isn't that bad? What did you think of Edmund's attitude toward the lion that was turned to stone?
  10. "The Spell Begins to Break" The children and the beavers flee the house to met Aslan. They meet Father Christmas. Is his being in Narnia a clue that her spell is beginning to break?  Any thoughts about the gifts ?
  11. "Aslan Is Nearer" Edmund is having a most disappointing time. How does sin and thinking one is better end in disappointment, He is wet, cold, and has no coat. What does Edmund begin figuring out about the witch's promise to make him king? We see Edmund for the first time begin to feel sorry for someone besides himself after the witch turns the party of animals to stone. How has empathy towards others help us turn toward good? How does the witch react to Spring?
  12. "Peter's First Battle" They meet Aslan at the stone table. What did you think of the children being afraid of Him even though he is good? Peter blames himself for Edmund going wrong, any thoughts on that? Do we blame ourselves too much or perhaps take too little responsibility for others, how so? Aslan Said all will be done to save Edmund and is sad. Who notices that Aslan is sad? Why does Aslan let Peter fight the wolf instead of doing it Himself? Do you ever feel a tension between what God wants you to do and what he is doing? Do you think He ever wants us to stand back? 
  13. "Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time" The witch intends to destroy Edmund and then he is rescued. Once again we see that Aslan had sent a rescue party for Edmund. Are we sent, where and why? Any thoughts on the transaction between the witch and Aslan?
  14. "The Triumph of the Witch" Aslan is sad and lonely, yet He willingly goes for Edmund. What does this remind you of? There are so many reminders in this book, it is not an allegory but a reminder. Do you find you need reminded more at certain times in your life than others. What are the things God uses to remind you most often, not only of His sacrifice but of His presence in the day to day? Susan and Lucy follow Aslan, any thoughts about their heart for Him?
  15. "Deeper Magic from before the Dawn of Time" In this chapter it was all more lonely and hopeless and horrid than can be described for Susan and Lucy until the stone table cracks. What does the stone table cracking remind you of? Aslan is no longer dead, death worked backwards. What is your favorite part about that chapter?
  16. "What Happened about the Statues"Susan and Lucy enter the witch"s house with Aslan. The statues what does that remind you of? Of course my favorite part in this chapter is Mr. Tumnus, what is yours?
  17. "The Hunting of the White Stag" I think Lucy was right that Edmund should know, any thoughts?" The children grow up as Kings and Queens of Narnia then go back to England. I had a little trouble suspending my disbelief over them not remembering the lamp post, any thoughts? 
  18. What was your favorite part of the book or reminder of faith from the book overall?