Chapters 9 & 10
Chapters 9 & 10 E-mail

Reflections on the Psalms

Chapter 9-A Word about Praising

1.  What was the "stumbling block" Lewis experienced as he drew closer to belief in God?  In what way did he find the praise Psalms troublesome?  Have you ever had thoughts like this?

2.  How does Lewis come to grips with the misconception that God has a "right" to be praised? 

3.  Ideally, what is supposed to happen when we worship God?

4.  What does Lewis mean by his statement "praise almost seems to be inner health made audible?

5.  How does praise complete our enjoyment?

6.  How and why are we to be "tuning our instruments" of praise?  What are some of your experiences "digging channels in a waterless land"?

7.  What does Lewis mean by "the flame does not ascend pure from the altar"?  What still persists within us?

Chapter 10-Second Meanings

The whole of chapter 10 is devoted to the thesis that many writings both ancient and modern contain second meanings.  Lewis begins far away from scripture, and even from Christianity, to relate instances in which something said or written took on a new significance in light of subsequent events.

8.  Lewis distinguishes between various reasons why a past statement may take on a secondary meaning based on later events.  What are the categories he identifies?

9.  How does the example from Plato's Republic "touch the very same reality" as the Passion of Christ?

10.  How do the anthropologists explain the various pagan myths about a dying and rising god?

11.  How do the two Christian schools of thought explain the resemblance between the pagan myths and Christ?  Which theory makes the most sense to you?

12.  What is the "real connection between what Plato and myth-makers" meant and the truth Lewis refers to?  Consider 1 Peter 1:10-12; Matthew 13:16-17.


Sibylline Books:  collection of oracles consulted by ancient Romans in times of crisis

John Keble (1792-1866):  Oxford professor, Anglican clergyman, poet, and leader of the Oxford Movement, which sought to restore traditional aspects of faith and practice into the Anglican liturgy.  The line Lewis quotes comes from Keble's The Christian Year (1827), a collection of religious verse.

© 2010 by Allyson Wieland