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# 3 Mere Christianity: The Moral Law (Ch. 3-4)

Fish do what their Maker created them to do

Birds do what their Maker created them to do

F

The sun does what its’ Maker created it to do

W

Wildflowers do what their Maker created them to do


But man has a quarrel with His Maker

 

Many of you, and I myself, admit that Mere Christianity is challenging!

So I find it fascinating that when Lewis was on the radio, amidst the horror of World War II, men and women who were educated and uneducated; rich and poor, and religious or irreligious listened with rapt attention. When Lewis would come on the radio, one who was there said they would say:

Shut up blokes! Mr. Lewis in on!

When God shakes our world, we often become desperate

for Him, and cry out to Him, and He comes running to help us,

opening our understanding as only He can do.

So if you are still here, or jumping in now, it shows you have

a hungry heart, and may we together ask Him to help us understand.

At twenty-two, God shook my world through my sister’s visit.

So I read Mere Christianity because, as Solomon says, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” I needed to know:

Is there really a God?

Is He really Jesus?

What is the meaning of the universe?

Since I wasn’t even a Christian with HIs Spirit in me,

I believe He, in His mercy, was giving me understanding.

Still, there was much in the book I didn’t understand,

but I understood enough to fall on my knees and say:

My Lord and My God.

Sunday:

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. Why do you think you are still here, even though this is challenging?

Monday: The Point of “Book 1: A Clue To The Meaning of The Universe”

Book 1 concentrates on showing there must be a God, a moral lawgiver.

Chapters 1 through 5 make up Book 1. Lewis lays the foundation in Chapter 1 with two premises that he re-states at the end of chapter 1.

3. What are they?

 

I think one of the reasons Mere Christianity has been so successful is that Lewis had the discernment to start, not even with Christianity and Jesus, but with a more basic question — which is where most men were and are today: How do we know there is a God? Instead of starting with the evidence of creation, which many do, but are dismissed if their listener is convinced that no God was needed to create the world, Lewis starts with evidence of a moral law that we did not invent, but that is solidly in our hearts. Even little children sense it.

 

So Lewis takes this truth, which humans know to be true, to illustrate that there must be an intelligent and moral being, who puts this law in the hearts of humans. This is the only “law” that can be disobeyed, for we cannot disobey the laws of nature, such as gravity, but we can disobey the moral law, and, we do. Chapters 2-5 build on this main truth. So Book 1, made up of Chapters 1-5, is to support the premise that there an intelligent being, a moral “God” who puts this law in the hearts of men and women. Beginning tomorrow, we will look at the short chapters of 3 and 4. Then next week we will finish “Book 1” of Mere Christianity. “Book 2” gets into actual Christianity.

4. To review Chapter 2, can you briefly explain why neither the “herd instinct” (what most do) or education is sufficient to explain why man is driven by a moral law?

Tuesday: Reading Chapter 3. The Reality of the Law 

5. Read or watch this 11 minute video of Chapter 3 — or both. Share one thing that stands out to you: 

 

 

Wednesday: More objections addressed

6. Lewis addresses the objection that we behave morally because we have found it benefits us, not because there is a God who put this in our hearts.

A. How does Lewis dismantle that objection?

B. Share a time when doing the right thing actually hurt you, at least short-term.

 

7. Some say we behave morally because it benefits society, which it does. But how does Lewis explain that this is circular reasoning?

Thursday: Read Chapter 4. What Lies Behind the Law

8. Read or watch this video of chapter 4, or both. What stands out to you from this chapter and why? 

 

 

Friday: The Materialist and Religious View

9. How would you summarize the “materialist view” (see paragraph 2 of ch. 4)

10. Why can science never answer either of these questions: “Why is there a universe” and “What is its’ purpose?” (The rest of the chapter)

 

This reminds me of Keller’s sermons on Genesis 1. He says that people approach Genesis 1 thinking it will answer “How was the universe created?” when it actually answers “Why was the universe created?” (To glorify God)

Saturday: 

11. What is your take-a-way and why?

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81 comments

  1. 1. What stands out to me?

    A part of me envies the birds, fish, wildflowers, in their simple obedience to their Maker. And yet, I know His mercy is lavished upon my depravity and He is breaking and remaking me into His beautiful design.

    2. Though following rather quietly these days, I am continuing to read because I am hungry, so much so, for growth.

  2. What stands out to me?

    That I have a quarrel with my Maker and say to him “You did it wrong”. Whenever I have fears and doubts about myself or my circumstances, I am basically saying to God, “You did it wrong.” Yet God in His mercy keeps drawing me in and telling me He loves me. What a wonder that is!

    Also, your testimony is so lovely, Dee, about God drawing you in with Lewis’ book. “Since I wasn’t even a Christian with His Spirit in me, I believe He, in His mercy, was giving me understanding. Still, there was much in the book I didn’t understand, but I understood enough to fall on my knees and say: ‘My Lord and My God.'”

    I am finding Lewis hard at times as well. I find the discussion and examples of others here helpful in thinking it through, though I cannot participate much. Thanks all who are posting. I am still following along.

  3. 2. Why do you think you are still here, even though this is challenging?

    Hmm. First of all, it is because I love God. Secondly, because I trust Dee and Lewis. Thirdly, because we are in a spiritual battle and even Christians are susceptible to the lies of the Evil One, even loved ones I care about deeply. We need to always be ready to give an answer about the reason for the faith that we have and that means always thinking, rethinking, challenging myself to go deeper. God gives us the mission of reaching out to those in desperate need around us. We need to prepare, risk and take up the challenge.

  4. I am so looking forward to beginning this study with a group! I had this book on my summer reading list then just saw, through a friend on FB that this study was available. I will be working to catch up! Blessings everyone!

    1. Welcome Meghan! :) (My dear speech therapist friend from when I was a para! )

  5. Sunday: 
    1. What stands out to you from the above and why? 
     

    “But man has a quarrel with his Maker”

    Man wants what he wants and wants to go his own way  and do life his own way.  I want to do life my own way and even as a believer I would like to dictate to God  the way I would want Him to order my world.  As a result of the Fall and the resulting sin man’s bent is to serve himself and his own interests.

    2. Why do you think you are still here, even though this is challenging?
     
    Good question. 🤔 ? 
    Last week I ended up keeping grandchildren and bogged down with some appointments and busyness and not getting back into the blog.  I read it all and the comments but taking time to articulate my thoughts didn’t happen.  I appreciate this valuable piece of writing which helps shape my own thinking for good.  But it is challenging. 🧐
     
     

  6. Sunday

    1.  What stands out to you from the above and why?  “…listened with rapt attention.”   I stand in awe of our great God in what and who He uses to change lives.

    2.  Why do you think you are still here, even though this is challenging?  I’m interested in where Lewis is taking us in regards to the moral law and how he fits it in with Christianity.  Also, I think this is where I need to be…God hasn’t shown me exactly why, but I know He has a plan…I just need to be obedient.

  7. 1.  What stood out? Man has a quarrel with his Maker. Sigh. Yes, that is me. Struggling in so many ways, in effect telling God He is wrong and I am right. Logically, I know the fallacy of that thinking, yet I persist in it. I think this has a lot to do with idols, like Rebecca pointed out the end of last week. On some level we think that God isn’t doing it right, and so I turn to something else. I am so frustrated with myself. I know He will never forsake me, but I wouldn’t blame Him if He did. Over the last few months, I’ve all but stopped trying to corral my sinful tendencies. I do feel desperate for God, as you put it, Dee.

     

    2.  I am hanging in there with God, and with the study, because I know when all is said and done, Christ does hold my answers. And who knows when and how He will show them. I need the answers. For myself and for sharing with my part of the world.

    1. Mary,  I really appreciate your honesty. Your comment “Over the last few months, I’ve all but stopped trying to corral  my sinful tendencies.” That makes sense since we can’t do it in the flesh, our righteousness comes only from Jesus and the cross.  I too find it hard to give up the old sinful tendencies.  I keep hearing my pastor preach it every Sunday as he is going through the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is teaching the God doesn’t want our works but a relationship that shows others His glory.  Hang in there cause others of us are hanging with you. 😊

  8. Jumping ahead here tonight since we are going out of town all day tomorrow.

    Monday: The Point of “Book 1: 
    A Clue To The Meaning of The Universe”
    3. What are they?

    “First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. 
    Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law Of Nature; they break it.”  

    Missing #4 🙃

    5. To review Chapter 2, can you briefly explain why neither the “herd instinct” (what most do) or education is insufficient to explain why man is driven by a moral law?

    Briefly explaining is the challenge 😊
    Lewis’s point is that “Strictly speaking, there are no such things as good and bad impulses” or in another word instincts. But our instincts like herd instinct are either suppressed or encouraged by the Moral Law. They are not moral in and of themselves. The influence of the Moral Law will cause tension in what instinct to follow or act upon and it creates good or bad results. There are decisions to be made associated with instincts and impulses. Something (the Moral Law), gives a measure that creates a standard to which they reach or fail to reach.  
    Being educated to follow a social convention like rules of the road do not explain or apply to differences of morality or behavior that result in different levels of good or bad for mankind. Lewis says “… the moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. But the standard that measures two things is something different from either.  Morality, ….. as a real Right is independent of what people think. “

     

  9. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why? 
     

    You made me tear up with the last few lines:

     

    “…but I understood enough to fall on my knees and say: my Lord, and my God.”

     
    2. Why do you think you are still here, even though this is challenging?
     

    Curiosity, the fact that you are recommending we read this book, I love challenges!, I want to know all I need to know before it is the end of my time…I have a lot of catching up to do.

  10. 1)  “…there was much in the book I didn’t understand, but I understood enough to fall on my knees & say:  My Lord & my God.”  This gives me goosebumps & makes me emotional.  That statement alone fills me with such awe that I am newly inspired to read this book in its entirety!

    2)  Like Bev, my first thought was also, “good question”…it’s a little funny, but at the same time very serious, because I sense a great importance here that I can’t quite put my finger on yet.  I think it has to do with part of one of my answers to a question in the first study, where at the end of the 2nd video it is explained that “the law of nature cannot be accounted for in the material world–it must lie someplace else.”  Lewis is genius in beginning the discussion about Christianity in this way–he is absolutely right in that morality does not originate in herd instinct or education, but it comes from within– “even little children sense it”.

    With all the hair-pulling I’ve done up to this point, I’m excited that I already “get something”, & I feel it is extremely significant.  Some of those little hairs are starting to stand up on end.  I’m the type that tends to chuck a book early on if I’m not into it (so many books so little time), but I don’t want to do that here.  I want to stick with the study & learn.  I also feel deep in my heart that this study has the potential to create life changing conversations with family members in the future.  Who knows what God can and will do!

    1. Wendy, I identify with the comment you made about how you chuck a book early on if you’re not into it.  I am the same way and I did that with Lilac Girls so now after reading all of the posts about it I feel like I need to go back and give it another go.

       

      1. Dawn, I just finished Lilac Girls and really liked it. It was a book of strength, endurance and forgiveness. You should try it again.

  11.  

    3. What are they? 

    The two points are, we know there’s a certain way we should behave, however we don’t always behave that way.

     

    4. To review Chapter 2, can you briefly explain why neither the “herd instinct” (what most do) or education is insufficient to explain why man is driven by a moral law?

     

    With respect to the herd instinct, when put in a position to choose whether to follow or not, our usual choice is to choose the weaker instinct which is self protection.

     

    With respect to education, we are taught concepts like the multiplication tables or the laws of nature (gravity) and they are truths that can’t be disobeyed. They are what they are and we can’t do anything about it.

     

  12. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    The heart issue. That those who were rich, poor, educated, uneducated tuned in with hungry hearts and listening ears because they were desperate. It is when we have a posture of humility via a hungry heart that God can speak and give understanding to.
    2. Why do you think you are still here, even though this is challenging?
    Because this is another way I want to love God-with my mind. Also this is a way in which God will bring clarity when I am unclear or correction when I think I am clear through everyone here participating. Most important are the people he puts in my path who are skeptical and he is equipping me to give an answer.

    This is very challenging for me in this season of my life and I am finding my mind is pretty foggy in general these days. :( I don’t like that but am trusting God to break through.

  13. 2. Why do you think you are still here, even though this is challenging?
    After starting Mere Christianity several times, I read it completely a few years back.  Lewis’ writing is challenging, it makes you really think about what he is saying, the point he is trying to get across…great food for thought.  Although it is a book that takes work to read, I was excited to see that Dee planned to do a book study on Mere Christianity.  Typically when reading a book through a second (or multiple) time, there are things that one picks up on that weren’t necessarily apparent in the earlier reading.  My excitement was in this…what did I miss? what more can be gained?  I am aware of the astuteness of my blog sisters and knew that it would be an interesting, fruitful study.  I believe that my/our persistence will be beneficial.

     

  14. 3. What are they?
    1) Humans have an idea of how they ought to act, i.e., what is right and wrong, just/unjust, fair/unfair.
    2) Humans don’t act in the way they ought.

    5. To review Chapter 2, can you briefly explain why neither the “herd instinct” (what most do) or education is insufficient to explain why man is driven by a moral law?
    What causes one to favor or be motivated toward one instinct over another cannot in itself be an instinct.  Moral law is the thing that judges between instincts and impulses, motivating us towards what is right, just, fair, etc. in the specific circumstance.

    1. Regarding education (I just realized that I didn’t really explain the education portion in #5)…
      morality can be taught/modeled and impact others, but education and modeling of righteous, moral behavior doesn’t guarantee immoral behavior will not occur.  The thing is that there is a standard, a gauge of what is considered moral/immoral in a given situation/circumstance…a measure that is known to humankind, an intrinsic knowing.

      I just finished Lilac Girls…an excellent book.

  15. Monday

    3.  Lewis lays the foundation in Chapter 1 with two premises that he restates at the end of Chapter 1.  What are they? 1).  They know the Moral Law…right and wrong.  2).  They break it.

    5.  To review Chapter 2, can you briefly explain why neither the “herd instinct” (what most do) or education is insufficient to explain why man is driven by a moral law?  The “herd instinct” is a drive to act a certain way in a given situation and may not always be the right or wrong action.  If education was sufficient to explain why man is driven by a moral law then those places with the highest education would be the most moral and we know that isn’t true.

     

  16. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

    How God used C.S. Lewis (an author and speaker) to draw you to Himself years after the man himself had passed away and now you are an author and speaker and you can be assured that your words will have an impact on people who haven’t even been born yet.

    2. Why do you think you are still here, even though this is challenging?

    I get way more from picking apart a book with someone else than I do from just reading it myself and thinking that I “get” what I’m reading. I enjoy seeing other peoples perception and perspective.
    Chapters 1 through 5 make up Book 1. Lewis lays the foundation in Chapter 1 with two premises that he re-states at the end of chapter 1.

    3. What are they?
    That human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that that ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it; and that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it.

  17. 3.  Lewis said humans all over the globe are aware of a standard for behavior, but they don’t meet or keep it.

     

    5.  Neither herd instinct or education explain the moral law. Neither herd instinct nor education makes a judgment. They don’t tell you what you ‘ought’ to do. The moral law might push for or against an instinct. Instinct and education give you what to do in the line of self interest, but the moral law isn’t like that. The moral law is all about what is right.

     

    6.  Video of chapter three. What stood out is that convenience, either to self or to society, does not explain the moral law. Some things are not only inconvenient, but even seemingly detrimental. Things like carrying a child to term when the mother has cancer. Or caring for people with advanced dementia. Society is starting to push to ‘put them down’, but deep inside we know this is wrong. People who advocate such laws have talked themselves into not feeling the moral law, even as Herta did in Lilac Girls.

  18. 7.  The thought that we benefit from behaving morally

    A.  Lewis dismantles this by pointing out that two people may trip us, but we would only blame the one who tried to. Our anger has a moral quality to it, separate from the action precipitating it.

    B.  Doing the right thing even when it hurts you. Like pointing out the clerk’s error in my favor and paying back the $20. Or stepping up to take care of my mother when no one else wanted anything to do with her. She had burned all her bridges, and honestly I didn’t want to care for her. But I wanted to obey God and honor this woman who gave birth to me. Taking care of her was years of phone calls and trips four hours one direction. The only benefit I received was knowing I had pleased the Father.

     

    8.  As far as benefiting society, society does benefit from people being truthful and moral, but that does not explain why we should do it. Our current society says it is OK to cohabitate, but they are wrong. I have a harder time putting this into words. I think it’s easier to give a negative example. It would benefit society financially and from a labor standpoint to exterminate those who cannot ‘contribute’ to society. But that is wrong, and would/will ultimately destroy us.

  19. Tuesday: 
    5. Read or watch this 11 minute video of Chapter 3 — or both. Share one thing that stands out to you: 
     
    What stood out to me was where 
    Lewis states: “I am trying to find out truth.”
    He asks how did we get this idea of truth?  The idea of perfect and imperfect behavior. 
    He makes the case that the law of human nature is what humans ought to do. Men ought to be unselfish. Men ought to be fair.
    There is an innate sense of those things not just of fact but what people ought to do in being unselfish and fair with other people. 
    But at a deeper level his question regarding TRUTH reminds me of man’s quest to define truth.  And to find truth. Truth is the ultimate standard and lines up with the Moral Law and the Law of Human Nature. Without truth being practiced the systems of life crumble. Truth is needed to function effectively in all of life including relationships with people .  
    Truth is found in God. God’s Word is Truth. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 
     

  20. Tuesday

    5.  Read or watch this 11 minute video of Chapter 3 or both.  Share one thing that stands out to you.  That the moral law is real, not made by man but presses in on us.  I see this pressing on people close to me and I’m getting a glimpse as to why the Lord has me here.

  21. Sunday:
     
    1. What stands out to you from the above and why? – I really liked the Potter and the clay verses. I never thought of it that way that I question God on how I was create or what He continues to do in my life now, that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. WOW that was an eye opener. I may be more of a visual learner. 
     
    2. Why do you think you are still here, even though this is challenging? – I need to catch up now, but I was so enthralled with the Lilac Girls that I kept turning to that. I need to be here to grow more in my relationship with the Lord, and I know the road to Him is not always easy. So I will stay and move along with all of you.
     

  22. I’m way behind tho I have read the 1st 2 Chapters! I’ve been out of town & working a lot, so time is limited, but excuses aside….I’m back because I miss the fellowship here, & the focus on the Lord.  I will come on when I can, & be reading along with you.    :)

    Dee I loved it when u shared how the Lord spoke to u thro this book years ago & caused u to say “My Lord & my God!”

  23. Book 1 concentrates on showing there must be a God, a moral lawgiver.
     
    Chapters 1 through 5 make up Book 1. Lewis lays the foundation in Chapter 1 with two premises that he re-states at the end of chapter 1.
     
    3. What are they? – the first one is “that human beings all over the earth have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. And the 2nd one is “that they do not in fact behave that way.” This is good. In today’s society I think we try and act like we think everyone wants us to act but we are fake, robot type people walking around the world and don’t even know we are doing it.
     

  24. 4. To review Chapter 2, can you briefly explain why neither the “herd instinct” (what most do) or education is sufficient to explain why man is driven by a moral law? – I’m not sure on this, but I think that we may be taught different things depending on where we live or even how our parents and grandparents were taught things. As we grow from a baby we are taught many things and some of those things are because of how the one teaching us believes. In society today I think people jump on the band wagon(herd instinct) because it is what everyone else is doing and good recognition is being given if you follow a certain crowd. The peer pressure in today’s world could be influencing people to act a certain way. I believe we all know right from wrong and should follow the moral law of the land but too many influences are clouding our thinking and we sometimes can’t even think for ourselves. 

  25. 9.  Chapter four. What stood out is that whether you are talking about the laws of nature, like gravity, or the moral law, both required an outside force to set them up. Like a summons or an invitation, while the response may be different, both needed someone to write them; an author. What sprang alive to me is that in a summons, you must appear. There is no choice. But with an invitation you have freedom to say yes or no. Like God giving us free will in the first place. He wants us to say yes to Him because we want to. He doesn’t want to demand our love.

     

    10.  The materialistic view is essentially what evolution touts. It says all there is is what we can see and measure and there isn’t anything else.

     

    11.  Science is actually quite limited. It is concerned with what can be observed or measured or deduced from what you can see or measure. It can never delve into the why of things, or answer how creation happened because that is outside of observation or duplication.

  26. 5. I watched the video twice and read the book once! So hard to ingest…I guess one thing that stood out was this:

     

    “I am not concerned at present with blame; I am trying to find out truth. And from that point of view the very idea of something being imperfect, of its not being what it ought to be, has certain consequences.”

     

    He then goes on to explain how a rock or a tree may be inconvenient to us because of their shape or lack of being useful to us, and how they just are “there” and do what they do. However with the law of human nature, it is not so. Humans do not just do what they do. They do what they ought not to do. Ugh, I’m sounding like him now! Circular for sure.

     

    6a. Sometimes we aren’t benefitted when we take the “high road.” We don’t earn as much as we like, we do our school work without cheating (it may be hard), and so on.

     

    6b. When I think of this thinking (lol, circular again) I think of an old saying a colleague and I used to laugh about; “no good deed goes unpunished.” And, it brings to mind the situation we have with our daughter. They things we have done to try to help her get thrown back in our face and we still are raising grandkids. I love them but am getting tired. It is certainly not going in a positive direction for us right now, in fact it is opposite.

  27. Wednesday 

    6.  Lewis addresses the objection that we behave morally because we have found it benefits us, not because there is a God who puts this in our hearts.

    A.  How does Lewis dismantle that objection?  Decent behavior doesn’t always benefit us…he uses the example of telling the truth even when it makes you look a fool.  How much easier it is to lie and make ourselves look good, more impressive.

    B.  Share a time when doing the right thing actually hurt you, at least short-term?  Case and point from the above example.  When I worked for a doctors office, I scheduled surgeries.  Well, I gave the incorrect information and when the doctor came into to the office he was furious cause he almost did surgery on the wrong hip!  I could of told him that the person taking the information got it wrong but I knew it was my fault which I confessed to.  No, I didn’t loose my job but yes I felt like a fool! 😒.  It definitely didn’t benefit me to tell the truth.

    7.  Some say we behave morally because it benefits society, which it does.  But how does Lewis explain that is circular reasoning?  You ought to be unselfish -> why? -> cause it’s good for society-> why should I care what’s good for society except when it benefits me?-> because you ought to be unselfish.”  Being good for society is not the reason why one ought to be unselfish…so as Lewis says…you should of stopped at “you ought to be unselfish.”  When one says ”you ought to be unselfish” you’re already stating a decent behavior…period!  I’m dizzy just reading that🤪!

  28. 5) I read Chapter 3, watched the video & found this most profound:  “It begins to look as if we shall have to admit that there is more than one kind of reality; that, in this particular case, there is something above & beyond the ordinary facts of men’s behavior, and yet quite definitely real–a real law, which none of us made, but which we find pressing on us.

    6b) A time when doing the right thing actually hurt you:  This is very personal, but there was a time in my life when & I was much younger, married, & living in sin.  The very thing that Lewis talks about (above #5), happened with me…my sin just kept pressing down on me to the point I knew I had to ‘fess up’, like it or not.  I could just not live with myself, live a lie.  I was ready to take full responsibility, come what may.  Before I told my husband, I said to the Lord, “Okay Lord, it’s you ‘n me…” b/c I did not know what would happen next.  I was unprepared for the full forgiveness my husband gave to me, even though it meant walking through years of guarded heartache & sorrow & repentance.  After hearing my story, a very dear, dear friend–now in glory above–who was my “other mother” & mentor, surprised me @ Christmas one year with a bottle of detergent, wrapped in red paper.  She said to me, “This is to remind you, every time you see this, that you are completely forgiven with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.  And when you understand that, and can finally forgive yourself, I want you to give it back to me.”  I stashed it away somewhere, & one day came upon it, & gave it back to her.  She laughed & said, “Oh, I’d forgotten all about that!”  Oh how I miss that precious, godly woman.  She taught me a lesson I will never ever forget.

  29. 7. Some say we behave morally because it benefits society, which it does. But how does Lewis explain that this is circular reasoning? 
     

    Behaving morally benefits society; being unselfish helps other people.  But, he claims if you ask yourself why you should care about benefiting society (it doesn’t  benefit you at all), the answer would be because it’s good for society so it really comes back to the idea that man should behave in a positive, moral way. You are not moving forward in your thinking. You are saying the same thing.

     

     

  30. 6. Chapter 3 — Share one thing that stands out to you.
    A person can do everything right, but that doesn’t guarantee that trouble won’t be a consequence.  Ironically, I read this in Chapter 3 and then saw it restated similarly in another book I’m reading.

    7.A. How does Lewis dismantle that objection [behave morally because it benefits us].
    Lewis speaks to the fact that doing what is morally right isn’t always beneficial and sometimes is downright not beneficial, e.g., “being content with thirty shillings when you might have got three pounds.”

    B. Share a time when doing the right thing actually hurt you, at least short-term.
    From 2000-2009 I was part of a ministry team (clergy couple, youth pastor, and me/office manager of a two-point parish).  The four of us had a familial relationship for a number of years.  In 2008 there was a difference of opinion between the clergy couple and youth pastor regarding missions.  The clergy couple were adopting a child from a foreign country and were determined that church missions ($$) should be focused on that foreign country and specific orphanage.  Over a period of about 18 months I became increasingly aware of deceitful, unethical things the pastors were doing and how they were misleading the congregations.  I was among several (e.g., youth pastor, 3 past church council presidents, church members) who “blew the whistle” (Matthew 18:15-17 was attempted with no success).  The pastors continued their duplicity with the church councils.  The consequence for my “doing the right thing” was my resignation as parish office manager (loss of job), resignation of congregational member (loss of church home), loss of trust in pastoral leadership, and loss of dear friendships.  My heart grieved for a long-time and still hurts from time-to-time; it has only been in the past few years that I have gotten back into corporate worship.

  31. Oh Nanci, that is such a sad story, but God knows your heart & that u did the right thing. One day it will all come to light.

    Ch 3.  What stood out to me was “there is something above & beyond the ordinary facts of men’s behavior……a real law, which none of us made, but which we find pressing on us.” I like listening to the videos, but if I watch the pictures, I get over-stimulated & can’t focus haha.

    7. I like Laura’s answer so I’m going to cheat a little  :)

    “Behaving morally benefits society; being unselfish helps other people.  But, he claims if you ask yourself why you should care about benefiting society (it doesn’t  benefit you at all), the answer would be because it’s good for society so it really comes back to the idea that man should behave in a positive, moral way. You are not moving forward in your thinking. You are saying the same thing.”

     

      1. haha, yes almost word for word! I’m honored! May you be blessed & encouraged heaps today dear Dee  :)

  32. Share a time….. a few times I have owned up to doing something that wasn’t necessarily wrong, but which I knew the other person would be angered by. It would’ve been easier to let it go by & not address it, but I owned up to have a clear conscience, & was yelled at & lectured.

  33. Ch 4.  What stood out to me was “The Life force is a sort of tame god. You can switch it on when u want but it will not bother u. All the thrills of religion & none of the cost”.   I think this is what is happening a lot today with new age philosophy. People want God to be convenient & to fit in with their ideas, without any cost to them or consequences.

  34. 8. Some say we behave morally because it benefits society, which it does.  How does Lewis explain that this is circular reasoning?
    It is true that individuals ought to be unselfish, individuals being unselfish will benefit the society at-large.
    If one asks, “why ought I be unselfish?” and the response is “because it is good for society,” and the next response is “why should I care unless it benefits me personally?,” we are back to the point that individuals ought to be unselfish…round and round we go…

  35. Thursday 

    8.  Read or watch this video of chapter 4, or both.  What stands out to you from this chapter and why?  “I am not yet within a hundred miles of the God of Christian theology.  All I have got to 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.”  I love this statement because I finally feel like I can see the light!

  36. This is a perfect example of someone doing something right that cost them…
    (www.startribune.com/high-school-golfer-self-reports-violation-loses-state-title/484701581/)
    “South Dakota high school golfer self-reports violation, loses state title
    “I knew I needed to tell them,” senior Kate Wynja said about recording a 4 on the 18th hole instead of a 5. 
    A South Dakota high school golfer cost herself and her team a state championship when she self-reported an error she’d made on her scorecard.
    Sioux Falls Christian won the Class A girls state golf tournament on Tuesday, with senior Kate Wynja finishing first overall for the second year in a row. Wynja, who finished several shots ahead, realized she’d submitted an incorrect scorecard, crediting herself with a 4 on No. 18 instead of a 5.
    “I knew I needed to tell them,” Wynja told the Argus Leader . “It was really sad, mostly because I knew what the result would be. I knew that I would be disqualified, and it broke my heart for the team. But I knew I couldn’t leave without saying something.”
    She and her coach reported the violation to tournament directors, who had no choice but to disqualify her. That also meant her team finished second, not first.
    Dan Swartos, a tournament director, called the situation “awful.”
    “I have so much respect for Kate to come up and do that,” he said. “I cannot say enough for that young lady and how much integrity that took, and how proud I am to have kids like that in South Dakota.””

    1. Nancy, this is a great example!  I can’t imagine the struggle she must of been having within herself to do the right thing…good for her!   Thanks for sharing.😊

  37. Friday

    9.  How would you summarize the “materialist view”?  That matter and space just happened to exist and it was a fluke that we, man, creatures who can think, came out of that.  It reminds me of the illustration of how a printing press blew up and and a dictionary just happened to come out of it!  Who created that printing press?  Who created the matter and space?

     

  38. This hit me:

    “Anyone studying Man from the outside as we study electricity or cabbages, not knowing our language and consequently not able to get any inside knowledge from us, but merely observing what we did, would never get the slightest evidence that we had this moral law. How could he? for his observations would only show what we did, and the moral law is about what we ought to do. In the same way, if there were anything above or behind the observed facts in the case of stones or the weather, we, by studying them from outside, could never hope to discover it.”

     

    There is something within us that can’t be observed from the outside as scientists do with nature.

    1. This was my answer for #8.

  39. 9. How would you summarize the “materialist view” 
    The “big bang” theory…the universe just happened to come into being.  It struck me that Lewis said that the variety of creation ideas have always been around; I guess they were just called different things, basically the same concepts, different people advocating for them.

    10. Why can science never answer either of these questions: “Why is there a universe” and “What is its’ purpose?” 
    Because the creator is outside of the universe.  I really appreciated Lewis’ analogy, “If there was a controlling power outside the universe, it could not show itself to us as one of the facts inside the universe–no more than the architect of a house could actually be a wall or staircase or fireplace in that house.”

  40. Friday

    10.  Why can science never answer either of these questions:  “Why is there a universe” and “What is its purpose?  Science does experiments and observations of how things behave, things that are tangible…the material world if you will.  The why and purpose of a universe is out of the realm of scientific study.  They’re  philosophical or religious questions.  Lewis says, “There is one thing, and only one, in the whole universe which we know more about than we could learn from external observation.  That one thing is Man.  We do not merely observe men, we are men.”

  41. My take-away is that I am glad I am starting to understand and that am praying God gives me more opportunities to practice and use this. This is giving me great questions to ask.

    I am learning though that the person has to be truly seeking truth in order to engage. I think at this time my son is dogmatically into Scientism and it is difficult to engage with him. He started the conversation yesterday on the way home from my friends and I asked him how does he know there isn’t a God and could he prove to me there isn’t one? He said the burden is on me but I told him that isn’t how I understand Science to work. How can he say he is for sure something that isn’t observable by Science doesn’t exist. He said, prove it to me and I will believe. He refused to listen, so I sent him a video of William Lane Craig debating an atheist Antony Flew. My friend who set this debate up said later that this was the turning point for Antony..about 5 years later he stopped being an atheist and believed in God-he was the son of a preacher and became an atheist in his teens. (So it hasn’t only happened t us. ;-) ). Antony was majorly unprepared for this debate for he had no clue how prepared Willian would be. No one knows if he accepted Christ before he died but my friend thinks there were signs he may have.

  42. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

     

    All the examples of fish, birds, wildflowers, the sun – all doing what their Creator made them to do. But, “man has a quarrel with His Maker”. OH. This is so true. Why can’t we be like things and creatures in nature? Of course, we are different….we are made in the image of God. This thought popped into my head: the concept of having free will, choice. I know that God is pure, without sin or any evil in Him, yet, He is God, He is all-powerful and can do anything He wants, so, the fact that God has never chosen to do what is wrong (and my thought here is that God is capable of choosing, should He want to do so)….what does this say about Him? I suppose these are deep theological waters here, and I don’t know the answer, but I hope I’m making myself understood. My questions are: if the very essence of God’s character and being are only goodness, pureness, holiness, do these make him incapable of doing evil, or, the fact that God is pure and holy and yet He obviously understands and knows about evil but has never acted wrong in any way (Jesus, we know, was tempted, yet never sinned)….how awesome is a God who always does what is right and good, and we were made in His image, yet marred by sin and so, we “quarrel with our Maker”, we deviate from the plan He has for us, we rebel and deliberately choose to do evil.

     

    2. I’m awfully late jumping in this week….but, I keep coming back! I feel like Peter, who said to the Lord, “Where else can we go?” I found chapter 3 a bit more difficult to read….it seemed a bit tedious!

  43. 3. What are they?

     

    That there exists a moral law, or the Law of Nature, and that people do not, or cannot, seem to keep it.

     

    4. To review chapter 2, can you briefly explain why neither the “herd instinct” (what most do) or education is sufficient to explain why man is driven by a moral law?

     

    Lewis explained that when faced with a situation, we may have two “impulses”, or instincts, on how to react. One may be weaker, or a poorer decision. Yet, there is a third things which acts as a judge between the two and helps us choose the higher road. That thing cannot itself be merely an instinct. As for education, Lewis said that yes, we are taught by parents and teachers “rules of decent behavior”, yet these are not simply human inventions, something that we just made-up. They are different from social conventions, things that we may change for our convenience (an example he gave would be the proper side of the road on which to drive).