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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


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