Oh, I do believe this final section will be my favorite.
Though warned against it, Lewis closes with theology.
Though it is true, Lewis says,
that we may sense God in beauty, and the world
prefers that to theology for it is less work, still, he admonishes:
You will never get eternal life by simply feeling the presence of God in flowers or music.
Don’t misunderstand — I loved it when Julie Andrews sang “The hills are alive with the sound of music…” Indeed — they are. Creation cries out with the glory of God, But if we do not have the Word as well, we will be misguided. Even in this beautiful movie there was some very bad theology. See if you can spot it in this song:
These are going to be valuable weeks, and we are right on target for finishing Mere Christianity in the next five weeks, ending with Labor Day weekend. But even if you have just joined us, it will make sense, for these were originally radio addresses during World War II, and can stand alone.
We will learn so much in these chapters on theology.
Book 4, chapter 1 is on Making and Begetting.
Making and begetting are very different.
We can make something like us, such as a picture of ourselves or even a sculpture of ourselves — but that is quite different from begetting.
Begetting brings life.
Lewis dismantles some common errors,
such as people saying
we are all children of God because He made us.
Though it is true every person is a creation of God,
we are like dead men until His Spirit comes and breathes life into us at salvation.
This reminded me so of Narnia — where the white witch has turned Narnians into statues, but then Aslan comes and breathes life into them.
If you have “gotten behind” please don’t give up. Lewis himself says in this section that it is a very silly idea to feel you cannot skip chapters. Do what you can, for you will get something of value!
1. Did you spot the theological error in the song “Something Good?”
2. What else stands out to you from the above and why?
Monday: Making and Begetting
3. Read or listen to Book 4, Chapter 1, and share your notes and comments. This doodle closes with a four minute clip from a Narnia cartoon for children.
Tuesday: Reflections on Making and Begetting
4. Seeing the Pacific ocean is much more exciting than seeing a map of it. But how is a map, like theology, both practical and helpful? Be specific. (This is work – but leads to transformation.)
5. How does Lewis refute the belief that if we just followed the advice of Jesus we’d have a better world?
6. One of the creeds says Jesus is begotten, not created. Why is this important?
7. What is a key difference between biological life and spiritual life?
Wednesday: The Three-Personal God
8. Read or listen to the following short chapter and share your notes or comments.
9. Lewis shows how the Christian enters into the Trinity when he prays. Explain.
Thursday: Time and Beyond Time
10. Read or listen to the following chapter and share your notes and comments.
Friday: Reflections on Time and Beyond Time
When I was a little girl, my dad would take me out on our deck and point to the stars and ask me if I could imagine the universe ending. I could not. Then he would ask me if I could imagine it going on forever. And I could not. This chapter reminds me of those kind of mind-boggling questions, yet it is also helpful to me. I still am not sure exactly what my late husband’s existence is like right now — I know he is with Jesus, but I don’t think he has his resurrected body yet — but then, I am thinking within time as I know it. It is so hard to comprehend. Likewise, when I read in Revelation that the lamb was slain before the foundation of the world, I think, What? And yet, again, I am working within my framework of time.
11. Lewis says some people dispute that God can handle all our prayers because it would take him far too long — what is the error, according to Lewis, in that thinking?
12. I mentioned a few of the ways this concept of God being beyond time helps me with theological challenges. Does it help you in any way — if so, how?
13. What is your take-a-way and why?