Suffering softens hearts toward God,
World War II had begun with unimaginable losses of human life.
The scene was set for an apologist.
It certainly seems C. S. Lewis was chosen for such a time as this.
James Welch, a powerful man with the BBC, though he’d never heard Lewis speak,
wrote and asked Lewis to do a series on the radio that millions would hear.
Lewis’ reply is fascinating — as you will hear this week.
It shows us the secret of why Lewis so impacts hearts and lives.
On a sidenote — I was so pleased with all the book recommendations last week.
Also, I had a computer crash and am working handicapped, so forgive the small print,
and lack of colors!
1. When you hear “C.S. Lewis’’ what comes to mind and why?
My first exposure to Lewis came during the month when I was trying to decide if the claims of Jesus were true or not. My sister left Mere Christianity behind and I read it with a hungry heart. Though it has been 50 years, I still remember some of his points — I think because instead of just content, he was helping me think how to think. Helping me doubt some of the things I had heard and examine their validity. One principle, based on Darwin’s evolutionary theory, is that of survival of the fittest. We do, Darwin said, what will best help us survive. I remember an illustration Lewis gave of a what happens to a person who sees a man who is calling for help because he is drowning. There is something deep in the heart of man that makes him know he should try to save that man. And often, he does, going against the principle of survival of the fittest. I knew that to be true in my own heart, and it caused me to question, as Lewis wanted his reader to do, why I would risk my life to save a stranger. Who put that law in my heart?
Monday: Listening to Lewis
Like Tim Keller, C. S. Lewis became famous first, not through his writing, but through those radio broadcasts. It began with the first 4 chapters, then another chapter was added to answer listener’s questions. Then came Part 2, then Part 3, and Part 4 — all to become Mere Christianity. And then more recordings on other subjects followed. Because it was wartime all of Lewis’s recordings were recycled and lost except one. Here is the remaining broadcast. It is on prayer. Listen and share your observations and comments. (I loved hearing his actual voice.)
3. Observations and comments.
Tuesday: Read Chapter 1 of Mere Christianity
4. Highlight as you read and share two things that stood out to you and why.
Wednesday: Reflections on Chapter 1.
5. What does Lewis say quarreling people demonstrate?
6. What does Lewis mean by the law of human nature? While animals and vegetables are subject to the laws of nature, such as gravity, they are not subject to the law of human nature. Why, do you think?
7. Just as some people are colorblind, you will find a few who don’t seem to have this law of human natures. Today they are termed sociopaths, for they behave as if they don’t have a conscience. It is also possible to deaden this sense. How do you see this in the discussion Paul has in Romans 1?
8. Lewis contended that even the Nazis knew in their innermost heart that what they were doing was wrong, though out of fear they suppressed it. What do you know about the psychological state of Nazis after the war that corroborates this?
In Lilac Girls, which is historical fiction, the account of the female doctor becoming deadened to the experiments she was performing on the Jewish prisoners was illuminating. Pressure was put against her family and her, until she found a way to justify it, though she was destroyed emotionally. I see the same happening, for example, in those who choose abortion. Repentance or attempts at justification. The Romans 1 cycle. What do you see?
9. Lewis also made the point that though we know the law, no one keeps it. How does Scripture corroborate this?
10 Lewis concluded with two main points to help us understand the universe. What are they are why do they help us understand the universe?.
Thursday: Background information from the C. S. Lewis Institute
11. Watch and share your comments and observations.
Friday: Reflections on Yesterday’s Video
12. Why didn’t Lewis want to plunge directly into Christianity, but rather do some teaching on logic?
13 Discussion question: Research shows that Christian young people who become involved in, for example, sexual immorality, begin to disbelieve in God. Why, do you think?
14. Challenge: This week, ask God for an opportunity with friends or family that may not know the Lord to tell them a bit about this first chapter. Tell them about the interesting book you are reading and ask for their opinion on Lewis’s supposition about “the law of human nature.” Then come with feedback.
15. What is your take-a-way from this week’s material and discussion and why?