1949-1951 E-mail

 Yours, Jack

(pg. 140-173)


The first set of general questions will apply to each of the readings we do in Yours, Jack

They are followed by questions specific to the letters in our selection for the evening. 

General Questions

1.  What do you observe from these letters about Jack's heart? mind? soul?

2.  What did you learn about Jack's relationship with others? with God?

3.  What insight, if any, can you apply to your life?

4.  What is your favorite expression or passage or piece of advice?

Specific Questions

5.  What is Jack's view of church?  (See pages 151-52.)

6.  What do you think of the way Jack responded to Sheldon Vanauken's question about studying theology?  (See pages 160-61.)

7.  Have you ever wondered if Christianity is a hoax?  If so, are Jack's comments on page 162 reassuring?

8.  Re-read the letter to Vera Mathews on pages 162-63.  If you received this letter after recently losing a loved one, would it comfort you?  Why or why not?

9.  Re-read Jack's letters to Sister Penelope on page 168 and Father Calabria on pages 172-73.  At the time of his deepened understanding of the forgiveness of his sins, Lewis had been a Christian for 20 years.  Has this ever happened to you - where years later a doctrine or teaching you assumed you believed suddenly takes on new meaning?


George Herbert
(1593-1633): one of the metaphysical poets and also an Anglican rector.  While Lewis did not care for the poetry of John Donne, another metaphysical poet, he appreciated Herbert's "earthy, homespun" style.  The lines on page 164 are from Herbert's poem "The Temper (I)."   

Sheldon Vanauken (1914-1996): an American student at Oxford during the early1950s.  Initially an atheist, while at Oxford he and his wife become friends with several Christians -- among them C. S. Lewis -- and converted to Christianity.  Upon returning to the States, Sheldon becomes a professor of history and English literature at Lynchburg College in Virginia.  A few years later, his wife died from liver failure.  Their story is told in the autobiography A Severe Mercy.

Dr. Warfield M. Firor (1896-1988): a native of Baltimore, MD, he graduated from Johns Hopkins University where he practiced surgery and served on the faculty.  Dr. Firor received a gold medal from the American Medical Association in 1939, and in 1959 he supervised construction of a hospital in Seoul, Korea.  Although Lewis never took Firor up on his invitation to visit his cabin the Rockies, the two men met in person once in Oxford in 1949. 

            Dr. Firor was generous in supplying the Lewis household with hams and other provisions during the postwar shortages.  His financial contributions in later years made it possible for Walter Hooper to edit several volumes of Lewis's papers.  Upon his death, Johns Hopkins established the Warfield M. Firor Chair of Surgery.

Vera Mathews
(later Gebbert): also shipped food to the Lewis household during the lean years after WWII. 

© 2008 by Allyson Wieland