Bk IV -- Ch 1 & 2
Bk IV -- Ch 1 & 2 E-mail

Mere Christianity

Book IV
Ch. 1 - Making and Begetting

  1. How does Lewis use the analogy of standing on the ocean shore versus studying a map to illustrate the usefulness of theology?

  2. Why will you not get eternal life by experiencing God in nature or music?

  3. What fallacy did Lewis see in the popular view of his day that Jesus was a great moral teacher?

  4. What is the distinction between "begetting" and "creating"? What is the significance of the statement that Jesus is "begotten of the Father"? Consider John 3:16 and the following excerpt from the Nicene Creed -

    We believe ... in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God. Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; ....

  5. Lewis contends that everything God creates bears some likeness to him. What aspects of God are demonstrated by the following? Can you add to the list?

    a.  Space

    b.  Matter

    c.  Vegetation

    d.  Insects

    e.  Higher mammals

    f.   Humans

  6. What is the distinction between bios and zoe? The following Bible verses have "life" or "live" in the English translation, but the original Greek says zoe (or a derivative). 

    John 10:10  

    Galatians 2:20 

    John 11:25  

    Romans 1:17  

    Matthew 4:4 

    John 6:48   

    Does this change your understanding of these verses?


Book IV
Ch. 2 - The Three-Personal God

  1. According to Lewis, what is the whole purpose for which we exist?

  2. How does Lewis use a cube to describe the Trinity?

  3. How is the Trinity involved when we pray? Consider Romans 8:26-27 and Hebrews 7:24-25.

  4. In a later book, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (1964), chapter 13, Lewis mulls over the notion that when a person is praying, he's talking to himself - a soliloquy of sorts. Then he turns the idea on its head with the following poem:

    They tell me, Lord, that when I seem
    To be in speech with you,
    Since but one voice is heard, it's all a dream,
    One talker aping two.

    Sometimes it is, yet not as they
    Conceive it.  Rather, I
    Seek in myself the things I hoped to say,
    But lo! My wells are dry. 

    Then, seeing me empty, you forsake
    The listener's role and through
    My dumb lips breathe and into utterance wake
    The thoughts I never knew.

    And thus you neither need reply
    Nor can; thus while we seem
    Two talkers, thou art one forever and I
    No dreamer, but thy dream.

    Lewis's conclusion:  "But is he not right in thinking that prayer in its most perfect state is a soliloquy?  If the Holy Spirit speaks in the man, then in prayer God speaks to God."  (Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, ch. 13).  What do you think of Lewis's musings?

  5. Who takes the initiative in knowing God?

  6. What is "the one really adequate instrument for learning about God"?  Why?

© 2007 by Allyson Wieland