Congratulations to all who have made it this far!
Now, in July, we will cover Book 3 of Mere Christianity:
Lewis begins with some foundational principles,
showing how the following world’s standard of morality:
is radically different than Christianity’s standard of behavior.
The truth is, even if we are in the privacy of our own bedroom,
what we do does affect others, for as John Donne put it:
Lewis says: “Moral rules are instructions for running a machine.”
When we break the moral rule, even in the privacy of our own home,
whether it is too much food, too much television, or too much ruminating over wrongs done to us, we hurt our machine, which is part of the big machine
of society. Or, as Jesus puts it, “a little yeast can ruin the whole dough.”
Lewis also dismantles the world’s view of God, which is often that God is a Cosmic Killjoy.
Instead, we find, as John Piper put it:
In true Lewis’ style, he is helping us to think,
to logically unravel the lies the world embraces,
so that the truth can set us free.
Since it’s a holiday week with the 4th of July, we’ll just do 2 short chapters, but get started now so you don’t fall behind!
Concerning my posts — two things:
If any of you have access to more “doodle chapters,” tell us!
Also, about a month ago I had the button to receive e-mails removed as so many complained that they had checked it without understanding how many e-mails they would get. Since it is costly to have the website people go in and remove their check, I eliminated the button. But that may have been rash — so I’d like to know how many of you were using it and liked it and are sorry it is gone. (And I do want to thank the people who donate to help me with costs!)
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. Can you give an illustration from your own life that would dismantle either of these lies?
- Lie 1: We can break a moral law without hurting ourselves or others
- Lie 2: God’s rules mean He is a cosmic killjoy
Monday: The Three Parts of Morality
3. Read and/or watch this chapter and share two things that stood out to you.
Tuesday: Reflections on Chapter 1 of Book 3:
Point One: Thinking of moral laws as a way to keep our machine running smoothly
I, Dee, think I will always have to fight the desire to eat junk, deceiving myself to do it. Yet I know that it breaks down my machine, making me sluggish and sad, and that does affect not just me but others. Who wants to be around a woman like this?
4. Where are some areas where you tend to deceive yourself and hurt yourself? Be specific. Explain how it also hurts others.
Point Two. Moral laws are not ideals, for ideals can be personal preferences. But moral laws are immutable, just like the law of gravity. They are not a matter of personal preference, they are given to protect you and every moral failure is going to eventually cause you and others trouble, for it is breaking God’s perfect plan.
5. Where do you see the world going crazy with thinking morality is personal preference?
Illustration: ships sailing in formation
6. What are the three points of morality?
7. How does Lewis use a fleet of ships moving to illustrate the above?
8. Why does Lewis say that the fact that people are going to live forever factor into the consideration of their choices?
Wednesday (Happy 4th of July!) & Thursday: The Cardinal Virtues
9. Read and/or listen to the following and comment on two things that stood out to you.
Friday: Reflecting on Cardinal Virtues
10. What does Lewis say is the difference between cardinal and theological virtues?
11. What is prudence? Where would you be wise to ask God for it in your life now?
I’ve been going through Keller’s devotional on Proverbs this summer and he makes the point that proverbs show us the same action can be right or wrong, given the circumstances. Sometimes it is right to answer a fool, and sometimes it is not. It takes prudence to know the right course.
12. Lewis makes the point that today temperance just has come to mean teetotalers — but that is Mohammedanism. How does Lewis say the Christian should think of temperance?
I have spoken for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which still exists, but has broadened their perspective to temperance in all things. But the below poster from their original days made me smile.
13. Idolatry is often turning a good thing into an ultimate thing, being intemperate. Where do you need to ask God for temperance?
14. How does Lewis define justice? Why do you think Lady Justice has a blindfold on? (How this might help transform the news media — if they didn’t know which side the Republicans or Democrats were on?)
15. Fortitude is the courage to persevere. Where do you need to ask God for this?
If ever I or my children would complain to Steve about how much work we had to do, he would tell us: “When that happens to me, I work as hard as I can and as long as I can and then, as things are accomplished, I feel so much better!”
This month I have 8 grandchildren and some of their friends here. Whenever I hear “I’m bored” I tell them that is a choice. They must persevere with their creativity until they are not bored or face discipline!
15. What is your take-a-way this week and why?