58 terms

Mere Christianity


Terms in this set (...)

Lewis says the book is not about helping people to decide which denomination of which one ought to be a member. Is it good that he restricted the scope of his book in this way.
Yes because it is important that Lewis restricted the scope by starting how Mere Christianity is not suppose to help people decide a certain denomination. This is important so people do not dive into the book and try to find the answer to a certain denomination that Lewis may bring to it.
What are some of the questions that divide Christians?
1. High Theology or even of ecclesiastical history questions
2. What is that to thee? Follow thou Me - stated by the Lord
Is there any common core about which all Christians agree? Is that common core Christianity?
1. If we omit the disputed points, we shall have left only a vague and bloodless H.C.F. which is a agreed, or common, or central view of Christians
2. One to accepts the common doctrines of Christianity. May not many a man who cannot believe these doctrines be far more truly a Christian, far closer to the spirit of Christ, than some who do? Lewis believe that we cannot use language as these objectors want us to use them.
What do you think McLaren might think about Lewis' goal of articulating Mere Christianity.
I think McLaren thinks Lewis' goals of articulating Mere Christianity is important to not persuade others with a denomination, but a true relationship with Christ.
How does Lewis respond to the objection that non of us ought to think we are worthy of saying what a "real" Christian is? (Notice his use of the word "gentleman")
- Lewis explains how we are not worthy to say what a "real" Christian is because when the name was first exposed to us in Act 11:26 where to the disciples in Antioch. It means to accept the teaching of the apostles.
- It is hard to use the "real" word because the means change over time. Just like gentleman used to mean something recognizable or giving information about him. However, today the word gentleman is used as honorable and coutreous and brave by praising a man for something he did.
What does Lewis say is the core of Christianity (ie. the obvious, original meaning of the word Christian) is? Do you agree?
1. The original meaning was in Antioch with Jesus' disciples to those who accepted the teaching of the apostles.
2. I do agree with Lewis' view for the core of Christianity. IT is what our life as Christans to accept the teaching. However, we must go beyond that statement by living our lives for Christ in every aspect and teaching others who do not know Christ.
Explain the meaning of the analogy of the hall with many rooms. How does one decide which door to open?
Mere Christianity is like a hall with many rooms open up into several rooms. The hall is a place to wait in and a place to try the various doors which have fires, chairs, and meals. Sometimes you must just have to wait in the hall, but the worst of the room is better than staying in the hall. God places us in the hall to wait for a reason. Once we are able to get into a room, we understand it was a good thing to wait.
What are the 2 points Lewis wanted to make in 1.1?
1. When we call the Law of Right and Wrong 'the Law of Nature', they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.
2. They do not behave in that way - they know the law of nature, but break it.
In 1.2, Lewis says that The Moral Law can't be an instinct. Why not?
1. The tune we have to play: the instincts are merely the keys. There isn't one key that is better than the other key. It all works at some point.
2. Two instincts are in conflict, and there is nothing in a creature's mind except those two instincts, which the stronger one wins. The moral law at this point is normally the weaker one that we don't normally want to do.
3. If the Moral Law was one of our instincts, we ought to be able to point to some one impulse inside us which was always what we call 'good' always in agreement with the rule of right behavior. But we can't because our impulse is never have the Moral Law tell us to suppress, and may not tell us to encourage. It is never consistent.
In 1.2, Lewis says that The Moral Law can't be a social convention. Why not?
- The difference between moral ideas of one time or country and those of another, but not so great as most people imagine. You can also recognize the same law running through them all. The reason for this is because when you are in mere conventions, it may differ to any extent.
- When you think about these differences between the morality of one people and another.
In 1.3, what does Lewis say is the difference between natural laws and The Moral Law?
- You can't be sure that there is anything over and above the facts themselves, any law about what ought to happen, as distinct from what does happen.
- Law of Nature means what nature does. Law of Human Nature, the Law of Decent Behavior is a different matter
- The moral Law or Law of Human Nature is not a fact about human behavior in the same way as the law of gravitation, a fact about how heavy objects behave.
- Consequently, must somehow be a real thing. However, it's not in the same way.
In 1.3, Lewis says that the Moral Law can't just be about mere preferences (what we would like for our own conveniences). Why not?
- C.S. Lewis state, "most of the things we say and think about men would be reduced to nonsense if we did. And it's simply a statement about how we should like men to behave for our own convenience; for the behavior we call bad or unfair is not exactly the same as the behavior we find inconvenient, and may even be the opposite. Lewis continues, "there is something above and beyond the ordinary facts of men's behavior, and yet quite definitely real. During the same section, Lewis makes his point by a rock can't be wrong. It was designed in a certain way. Also, Lewis makes another example about a tree being 'bad' because it doesn't cover enough shade for us. However, that is just not correct. That is why we have trees or rocks, to fulfill our liking. It's made for a different purpose in life.
According to 1.4, what are the major views about what the universe is like? Do you think his list is exhaustive? If not, what are some views that he doesn't mention?
- Materialist view is matter and space just happen to exist, and always have existed, nobody really knows the reason why. Therefore, people may just be a fluke to produce creatures like ourselves who are able to think.
- Religious view is thought of has a mind that is behind the universe than anything else we know. Therefore, the mind has a conscious, has a purpose, and prefers one thing to another. This view is made for purposes that we do not know.
- I don't believe his list is exhaustive. The one view that Lewis doesn't mention is someone who is agnostic and doesn't claim to know any gods. Another view point is someone who is an atheist. This view isn't believe in any gods, no matter what their reason is of whether any gods exist.
What does "Christian" mean?
- Lewis: "those who accept the teachings of the apostles"
- Notice that the "range" of many such words can be difficult to neatly identify... "Christian" is far from alone here. For example, what counts as a chair?
- Socratic Forms
The Law of Human Nature
- Human beings think they ought to behave in a certain way.
- Humans often don't behave the way they think they ought to behave.
In this chapter, Lewis argues for the truth of Christianity by going through a series of divisions or choices, and, at each juncture, arguing that the Christian division is the path that best fits the evidence. What is the "first big division?"
- The first big division stated by C.S. Lewis, "humanity is into the majority, who believe in some kind of God or gods, and minority who do not. Where Christianity lines up with the majority - lines up with ancient Greeks and Romans, modern savages, Stoics, Platonists, Hindus, Mohammedans, etc. against the modern Western European materialist.
What is the 2nd big division? In your own words, explain this division.
According to C.S. Lewis, "the next big division is people who all believe in God can be divided according to the sort of God they believe in. The first idea is that He is beyond good and evil. The 2nd idea is that God is quite definitely 'good' or 'righteous', a God who takes sides, who loves and hates hatred, who wants us to behave in one way and not in another." In other words, the 2nd big division means that God is only good and righteous and would never have evil in this world. Others know this world is a place where God created the beginning and the end. Therefore, He allows evil in His world because that is what happens in the evil.
In 2.2, Lewis sets up yet another division, one that exists within the "Moral God religions" (Judaism, Islam, Christianity being the biggest camps within the "Moral God religions.")
The Christian view, according to C.S. Lewis is "this is a good world that has gone wrong, but still retains the memory of what it ought to have been." Whereas Dualism means, "the belief that there are 2 equal and independent powers at the back of everything, one of them good and the other bad, and that this universe is the battlefield in which they fight out an endless war. The division between Christianity and Dualism is similar in a sense because they both believe in a Dark Power among the universe. However, Christians believe the evil power came from someone that once was good and turned into something evil. Then Dualism believes our world is at war that we are living in rebellion.
Explain the "liar, lunatic, or lord" argument at the end of 2.3.
Lewis talks about how non-believers do not accept His claim to be God after reading the gospels. Then proceeds to explain how Jesus can not be a great moral teacher meaning he was a liar. He would either be a lunatic, which means on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg. Otherwise, Jesus was truly Lord. However, Lewis makes it clear to "not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us." At least he didn't intend to leave it open. It is important to understand that the truth is displayed and not be blinded by Jesus our teacher who has come on this earth to proclaim God's glory.
Explain this quote: "this willing submission to humiliation and a kind of death, is not something God demands of you before he will take you back and which He could let you off if He chose. It is simply a description of what going back to him is like. If you ask God to take you back without it, you are really asking Him to let you go back without letting you go back. It can't happen."
This quote means that the willing submission to humiliation, when someone lays their lfie down for God is not essential to believe in Him. However, it is important to understand what God deserves and what we will give back to Him. Not because God needs it from us, but because we can't do anything but give the glory to God. In doing so, to follow our Lord we must give ourselves and our pride up and become completely humble towards Christ. Otherwise, we really did not completely surrender our life for Christ. Therefore, we are back at base one in knowing who God really is and what a relationship that he deserves means.
What does Lewis identify as the 3 parts of morality? Lewis says that people forget the 2nd 2. Explain
1. Fair play and harmony between individuals
2. Tidying up/ harmonising the things inside each individual - courage/ unselfishness work
3. Purpose of human life as a whole - what man was made for, what course the fleet ought to be on, what tune the conductor plays in the band: different beliefs about the universe, (non)christian morality come out
List and explain 4 Cardinal virtues. Why are they called cardinal virtues?
1. Prudence
2. Temperance
3. Justice
4. Fortitude

* Latin word means 'the hinge of a door'
Practical common sense
It meant to all pleasures by going the length and no further.
Courage = faces danger and 'sticks it' under pain (having guts)
List 3 theological virtues
1. Faith
2. Hope
3. Charity (forgiveness)
What does Lewis think church leaders involving themselves in politics?
- He thinks it is a clergy (please within the whole Church who have been specially trained and set aside to look after what concerns us as creatures who are going to live for ever) put out political programme.
- Job is on the rest of the congregation
Ch.4 "The bad psychological material...) Lewis says some things that relate to the question about whether a Christian can be a really bad person (coward, interrperate, or mean, etc.) Lewis says some things that relate to the question about whether a Christian can be a really bad person (a coward, or intemperate, or mean, etc.). What does he say? Do you agree?
- "Bad psychological material is not sin but a disease." Then he goes on saying, people that had good upbringing are "really worse than those whom we regard as friends." By the end Lewis explains how God only looks at us on "what he (she has done with the raw material." It's important to look past peoples actions.
Explain what Lewis thinks about sexual instinct in humans today? What evidence does he give to support his view?
Lewis thinks that the sexual instinct in humans have gone wrong. He explains how in different scenarios, different things are acceptable. If you are living on a beach than a modest swim suit would be appropriate. However, a lawyer would not be able to wear a swimsuit, but still dress modestly. It is all about the way you live and what is around them. Then Lewis goes on by explain how a man can eat enough for two people, or if we eat as much as we desire or think we eat everyone would be obese. Finally, Lewis gives an example of a country having a strip-tease over food therefore, these countries are implied to be starving.
What does Lewis say that divorce is like?
Having the Mohammedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine.
Describe "love in the second sense."
If they were voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their view of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in a divorce law.
Lewis offers a "test" to see if you've really forgiven someone. What is that test?
If someone is reading a story of filthy atrocities in the paper, and it turns out that the story might not be completely true, or not quite so bad. If someone's reaction is feeling disappointed b.c. it was your enemy and you want them to experience hurt in their lives. Then that will filter "to making us into devils"
Lewis offers a test for pride, too. How can you tell if you suffer from the sin of pride?
Ask 'How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronise me, or show off?
Lewis says that "worst of all vices can smuggle inself into the very center of our religious life." Explain.
Lewis says that this desire comes directly from Hell. It means that the pride that can overcome and take over our relationship with Christ. We can become so caught up in ourselves that it is hard to focus on God and pride just completely takes over.
According to Lewis, why does God forbid pride and command humility?
God forbids pride because He is offended at it, or that humility is something He demands as due to His own dignity. God just wants us to know Him and He wants to give you Him.
Lewis says, "Do not waste time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor;___ __ __ ___ ___...
act as if you did...
Lewis speaks of faith in two senses. By the first sense he simply means
However, when he says that faith is belief, he also admits that there will come times when that belief is tested, and faith is holding firm in the judgment that you had previously made. What example does he use to explain how sometimes people are tempted to abandon their judgment?
He gives an example about Lewis feeling trapped when he has to go into surgery and have an operation done on him. He still feel a panic when they put a mask over his face even when he knows he will become unconscious. He starts to lose his faith.
Does Lewis think a person should believe even if his reason tells him that the weight of the evidence is against it?
No, theres no point. It's about faith!
The second sense of faith is possible only when someone really tries to become like Christ, but fails again and again. When they give up trying for themselves. How does he think faith becomes meaningful at this point?
Lewis believes that emotions will come into play and carry out a sort of blitz on his belief.
- To become the father of: to create is to make.
- "You beget something of the same kind as yourself."
- "A man begets human babies, a beaver begets little beavers and a bird begets eggs which turn into little birds."
- Man begets man
- God begets God
You make something of a different kind from yourself.
"A bird makes a nest, a beaver builds a dam, a man makes a wireless set- or he may make something more like himself than a wireless set: say, a statue.
Spiritual life
Biological sort through nature.
Analogy of the cube.
Made up of six squares
Squares are made up of lines
three-dimensional word advances to more real and more complicated levels, you do not leave behind you the things you found on the simpler level
They combine in a new way that you could not imagine
God is 3 persons: just as a cube has 3 squares
We can get a sort of faint notion of it. Then once we find it, we get some positive idea, that is faint, of something super-personal-something more than a person
Explain how "the whole threefold life of the three-personal Being is actually on" in an ordinary bedroom whenever someone prays
An ordinary simple Christian kneels down to say his prayers. He is trying to get into touch with God. But if he is a Christian he knows that what is prompting him to pray is also God: God, so to speak, inside him. He also knows that all his real knowledge of God comes through Christ, the Man who was God-that inside him which is pushing him on-the motive power. God is also the road or bridge along which he is being pushed to that goal.
Threefold life of the three-personal Being is actually going on in that ordinary little bedroom where an ordinary man is saying his prayers.
Called Zoe or spiritual life: pulled into God, by God, by still remaining himself.
Does Lewis think that God is "in time"? Explain. Do you agree? Why or why not?
- Lewis would say that God is not in time. I agree with Lewis. I really like the two illustrations that Lewis made about God. The first illustrations was about Lewis writing a novel. If he wrote a novel about something in his story doing something lives in the imaginary story. However, Lewis (the creator) does not live in the imaginary time, just like God doesn't live in our time here on earth. The second illustration is drawing time in a straight line. We, as humans, only go from one line to the next. We can not go forward or backwards. However, God can go above or outside, or all around, which contains the whole line, and sees it all.
Analogy of the light and the lamp.
- Just like light streams forth from a lamp, the son streams forth from the Father.
- He is the self-expression of the Father-what the Father has to say.
- The relationship between the Father and Son is more like the first and second person or the relation of love.
What analogy does Lewis use to explain the Holy Spirit? What do you think of it?
- Dance or drama. The union between the Father and Son is such a live concrete thing that this union itself is also a Person.
- In a family, or club, or a trade union, people talk about the "spirit" because the individual members, when they are together, do really develop particular ways of talking and behaving which they would not have if they were apart.
"For there was a time when every man was part of his mother, and (earlier still) part of his father as well. If you could see humanity spread out in time, as God sees it, it would not look like a lot of separate things dotted about. It would look like one single growing thing - rather like a very complicated tree. Every individual would appear connected with every other." What point was Lewis trying to make in this passage? Do you agree with his point?
- Individuals are not separate from God any more than from one another. Every man, woman, and child all over the world is feeling and breathing at this moment only because God, is keeping him going.
- We are all part of God, just like a complicated tree. Therefore, each one of us is connected together. I do agree with his point, but it is hard to grasp the complicated picture.
In the Two Notes chapter, Lewis says that Christians should not be a _________ nor a __________.
Tortalitarian, Individualist.
What does Lewis think is the difference between a Christian and a follower of Marx or Plato (or whomever)? What two discoveries does he say that one who has followed Christ soon makes?
- Christ does things for us. A living man that comes and interfers with us by killing us and replacing it with Him. It starts out by different moments, bloosoms permanently into a different sort of thing just like a little Christ.
- 2 Discovers
1. We being to notice, besides our particular sinful acts, our sinfulness; begin to be alarmed not only about what we do, but about what we are.
2. God does everything. God looks at us like we are little "Christ"
How does Lewis think Christianity is hard? How is it easy?
Hard and easy. We must give Christ all. Taking up our Christ - like a concentration camp and He saids "My yoke is easy and my burden light." Yes all we have to do is live for Christ and but our hardness is giving up our whole self.
"God is easy to please, but ____ __ _______" Explain
hard to satisfy. God demands for perfection. Our goal is for perfection, otherwise we would pull back and resist Him after a certain point. Yes we will fall, but He will pick us up again. God intended us to be perfection, so we must strive to be such a way on the high level God calls us too. Otherwise it would be laziness, but instead to be obedient to God.
"We must, therefore, not be surprised if we find among the Christians some people who are still nasty." Why not?
Because that is how nature works. We are humans that will fall, but God has the power to change our minds. The human nature is to be nasty, but God has to come into our life to change our hearts once we fully give it over to God. Once we fully give it over to God than we will slowly change our lives. However, we still can be nasty, but we are striving to change our minds.
An analogy Lewis uses: Jesus doesn't just want to teach horses to jump better, but to ___ ____ _ ______ _______. Explain.
turn into a winged creature:
Mere improvement is not redemption, though redemption always improves people even here and now and will, in the end, improve them to a degree we cannot yet imagine.
God does want to teach us to be a better human, but be created new in Christ. We are living our life in a whole new way of being transformed.
15. What is the principle that Lewis thinks runs through life from top to bottom?
Giving up of the self. We will find our real self. Lose our lives and we will save it. Submit to death, death of our ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: sumit with every fibre of our being, and we will find ethernal life. We must keep back absolutely nothing. Nothing that we have not given aways will ever be ours. Instead of looking to ourselves which provide a long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay, we look to Christ and we will find Him, and with Him everything else will be thrown in.