Letters 4-6
Letters 4-6 E-mail

Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

Letters 4-6

Letter 4

  1. What does it mean to be "known by God"?

  2. What does Lewis mean by prayer as "unveiling"?

  3. How does Lewis respond to the question of whether something is important enough to bring to God in prayer?

  4. What benefit does Lewis see in taking smaller concerns to God?

    Letter 5

  5. What does Lewis mean by "festoons"? What, if any, festoons do we use today?

  6. How does Lewis expand "here" and "there" in his discussion of the phrase "thy kingdom come"?

  7. With respect to "thy will be done," how is one a patient? An agent?

  8. What is the one prayer Lewis considers least likely to be granted?

  9. What did Lewis do to maintain an attitude of forgiveness?

  10. What clarification does Lewis offer to "lead us not into temptation"?

    Letter 6

  11. What is the "danger in the very concept of religion"?

  12. What problems arise when religion is seen as a "department"?

  13. What are the "two less manageable states" that Lewis identifies with respect to "forgive us our trespasses"?

  14. How much self-knowledge does Lewis feel is appropriate? Why?



Martin Buber (1878-1965) [Ltr 4]: Vienna-born philosopher, storyteller, social activist; helped establish the Jewish National Commission during WWI which sought to improve the lives of Eastern European Jews.  Eventually he immigrated to Palestine and taught social philosophy at the Hebrew University.  Best known work is I and Thou (1923), which differentiated between I/Thou and I/It relationships.  He developed the idea of faith as a dialogue between man and God.

John Henry Newman (1801-1890) [Ltr 6]: Anglican who converted to Roman Catholicism in 1845.  Known for his spiritual autobiography Apologia pro Vita Sua (1864); a leader of the Oxford or Tractarian movement in 1833; made a cardinal at the age of 74.

Alec R. Vidler (1899-1991) [Ltr 6]: Anglican theologian, Dean of King's College, Cambridge, and editor of Theology.  Edited the book Soundings: Essays concerning Christian understanding (1962), a collection by mostly Cambridge theologians which reassessed Christians beliefs and caused a stir. 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) [Ltr 6]: German theologian who resisted the Nazi regime; executed in a concentration camp days before the Allied forces liberated it.  He drew a distinction between "cheap grace" and "costly grace." "Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance ... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship....[Grace] is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life."  Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (Macmillan, 1963) p. 47.


© 2007 Allyson Wieland