Sunday, September 21, 2014

Book Community!

Our first book community kicked off this past Thursday where we discussed the first two books of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.  After being asked for the points we focused on, I figured I ought to post them for anyone who was unable to make it and still wants to interact with the text in a similar fashion:
(note: the page numbers are based off of this edition, however the chapters are included to help find where certain quotes came from in any edition)

BOOK 1/”Right and Wrong as a clue to the Meaning of the Universe”

·         What do you think of the way Lewis chooses to portray Christianity (starting by explaining human nature, moving into law and eventually coming to God)?

·         Do you agree with Lewis’s views of Right and Wrong? (ch. 1) Do you think “we are forced to believe in a real Right and Wrong”? (p. 20)

·         Explain the Moral Law in your own words. (p. 23) How does this differ from the Rule of Decent Behavior? (ch. 2)

·         Why do you think Lewis says that “what is behind the universe is more like a mind than it is like anything else we know” (p. 32)? (ch. 4)

·         Do you think, based upon Lewis’s explanations thus far, an unbeliever could agree that there is “a Something which is directing the universe, and which appears in me as a law urging me to do right and making me feel responsible and uncomfortable when I do wrong.” (p. 34)? (ch. 4)

·         Discuss the following quotes:

o   “When you are feeing fit and the sun is shining and you do not want to believe that the whole universe is a mere mechanical dance of atoms, it is nice to be able to think of this great mysterious Force rolling on through the centuries and carrying you on its crest” (p. 35). (ch. 4)
o   “There is nothing progressive about being pigheaded and refusing to admit a mistake…going back is the quickest way on” (p. 37). (ch. 5)

·         “God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from” (p. 38). (ch. 5)  Can you think of any scriptural examples of this quote played out?

BOOK 2/”What Christians Believe”

·         In regards to other religions, do you agree that all-even the queerest ones- contain at least some hint of truth? (p. 43) (ch. 1).  Explain.

·         Describe your understanding of Pantheism (ch. 1).

·         Discuss the following quotes:
o   “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?” (p. 45) (ch. 1).
o   “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning” (p. 46). (ch. 1)

·         Do you know people who follow what Lewis calls the “Christianity-and-water” view? (ch. 2) or have you found yourself wanting to cut out the difficult doctrines?

·         What are your thoughts on why Lewis believes in Christianity? (p. 48) (ch. 2)

·         Discuss Lewis’ views on good and evil (ch. 2). Do you agree that “badness is only spoiled goodness” (p. 50)? Why or why not?

·         Discuss the importance of free will (ch. 3) and why it is “the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having” (p. 53).

·         What are your thoughts on those who say “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God” (p. 56) (ch. 3)?

·         Discuss this concept: “Theories about Christ’s death are not Christianity: they are explanations about how it works” (p. 58) (ch. 4).

·         Lewis says that repentance “means unlearning all the self-conceit and self-will that we have been training ourselves into for thousands of years” (p. 60) (ch. 4). What is your view of repentance?

·         “Believing things on authority only means believing them because you have been told by someone you think trustworthy” (p. 63) (ch. 5).  Does this hold true in all circumstances you can think of?

·         Discuss: “there is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up.  That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not” (p. 66). (ch. 5)

The next book community will be meeting October 2nd at the Barrel Room and we will be discussing the third book of Mere Christianity (Christian Behavior).  I'll post questions for that one closer to the date!

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