Book VII
Book VII E-mail

Book VII – Southward Along the Canyon

1.  Why does Vertue fall sick?

2.  Mr. Broad represents the broad or modern church.  (See Matthew 7:13.)  Who formed his mind?  Who is his oldest Friend?  What does he value above orthodoxy?  What does he think of Mother Kirk?

3.  Describe the two errors that Wisdom warns John and Vertue of?

4.  One of the young men of Wisdom’s house explains that the canyon cannot be bridged because there is nothing on the other side on which to anchor the bridge.  What does he mean by saying, “It is not desire that my father’s doctrine kills: it is only hope”?

5.  Wisdom offers John and Vertue a second lesson.  What does Wisdom say about the roads?  About the rules?

6.  What is the connection between satisfaction and desire?  Wisdom cautions John not to dismiss his desire as lust or a feeling.  Why?

Consider the following from Mere Christianity, Book III, Chapter 10:  “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.  If none of my earthly pleasures can satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud.  Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.  If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage.  I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country.”

7.  What is the overall message of chapter 10 where Lewis has the sons and daughters of Wisdom reveling in a moonlit picnic and then going off alone in various directions?

8.  Wisdom’s final lesson for John and Vertue concerns his evangelium eternum (eternal gospel), which is pantheism.  How does Wisdom turn “the legend of the Landlord’s Son” into support for his belief?

© 2015 by Allyson Wieland