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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 

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