Chapters 7 & 8
Chapters 7 & 8 E-mail

Reflections on the Psalms

Chapter 7-Connivance

1.  What is one danger of avoiding the company of people you consider evil? 

What curious aspect of human nature does Lewis identify when it comes to rascally newspapers and lying politicians? 

Do you think 21st century American society is too tolerant or intolerant of rascality?

2.  Lewis distinguishes one subset of bad people, namely the poor and miserable, whose wickedness has not paid.  How are we to treat them?  What false motive does he caution against?

3.  Describe the behavior Lewis dubs "band-wagoning."  List some examples.

4.  Lewis recommends avoiding, where possible, people who are "bullies, lascivious, cruel, dishonest," etc.  Why? 

5.  List four possible responses Lewis gives to the question: "What is one to do?"  Which one do you employ most often?  Which one would you like to try?

6.  Look up some of the references in Psalms regarding the tongue given at the end of the chapter.  (Enough said.)

Chapter 8-Nature

7.  What two factors determine the psalmists' approach to nature?

8.  After examining the creation stories of several pagan religions, what does Lewis conclude?  How does he use the analogy of a play to illustrate his point?

9.  What effect does the "doctrine of Creation" have upon the relationship between nature and divinity?  What does Lewis mean when he suggests that worshipping nature may actually silence her?

10.  What does nature tell us about God's character? 

11.  What did Lewis find surprising about the Jews' gusto (or appreciation) toward nature?  How does this attitude differ from our modern concept of kindness to animals?

12.  Lewis concludes the chapter with a lengthy digression on an Egyptian nature poem.  What do you think about his thesis that a certain kind of poetry goes with a certain kind of theology?


Unco guid:  Scottish expression for people who are strict in morals and religion; comes from Robert Burns's poem "Address to the Unco Guid, or the Rigidly Righteous."

Publican:  the occupying Roman government used local individuals to collect imperial taxes.  Tax collectors got to set their own "handling fee."  In Christ's time, publicans were hated by the Jewish people because of their abusive practices. 

Vichy:  refers to the government of the unoccupied part of France from July 1940 to August 1944 under Marshal Pétain.

Emeth:  Hebrew word translated faithfulness, firmness, or truth.  Also a noble enemy soldier in Lewis's The Last Battle, who goes to Aslan's country (i.e. heaven) despite his ignorant worship of Tash during his lifetime.

© 2010 by Allyson Wieland