1952-July 1953
1952-July 1953 E-mail

Yours, Jack

(pg. 175-210)


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.  Mrs. Johnson sent Lewis a list of thirteen questions.  (See pages 186-89.)  Are any of them ones you also wondered about?  What would you ask Lewis if you had the opportunity?

6.  Many letters in this section touched on prayer.  What new thoughts on prayer did you glean?  (See e.g. pages 177, 185, 187, 192-93, 195-96.)

7.  How does Lewis distinguish post-Christian man from pre-Christian man?  (See page 199.)  Do you agree or disagree with his assertion that the present state of the world is worse than the pre-Christian pagan world?

8.  What advice does Lewis offer Mary Van Deusen as she contemplates whether to join a religious order?  (See pages 197, 202, 210.)  What do you think of his suggestions?

9.  On page 181 in this week's reading and pages 241-42 later in the book, Lewis answers questions about homosexuality.  To put this in context, read Lewis's other references to homosexuality on the handout.  How would you describe his opinion on the subject.  Did anything in his writing surprise you?


"the doctrine of Christ's descending into Hell" (p. 176): refers to a teaching based on 1 Peter 3:19-20 that between Christ's death and resurrection he preached to souls in Hades, the region of the departed or the intermediate state between death and future resurrection

Mary Willis Shelburne (1895-1975):  a widow from Washington, DC.  She was a journalist, poet and critic, four years older than Lewis and a Catholic.  She had health problems, as well as strained family relationships.  She also had financial needs.  Initially, Lewis was not able to help her financially because of laws prohibiting him from sending money to America.  Eventually this changed, and in 1958 he established a monthly stipend for Mary through his American publisher, which continued even after his death.

Phyllis Elinor Sandeman (1895-1986):  (See also a previous letter on page 123 regarding love for a house that had been in the family for 600 years.)  Daughter of the second Baron Newton, Phyllis was raised at Lyme Park, Cheshire.  Her brother donated the estate to the National Trust in 1946, causing her to write Lewis earlier.  Her book, Treasure on Earth: A Country House Christmas (1952), described her childhood Christmas memories at Lyme Park.  She also illustrated the book.

Corbin Scott Carnell (1929-   ):  Former professor of English at the University of Florida, where he had also received his PhD in 1960.  His thesis was later published as Bright Shadow of Reality: C. S. Lewis and the Feeling Intellect (Eerdmans, 1974).

Footnote 1 in chapter 15 of Miracles (1947) reads in part:
"A consideration of the Old Testament miracles is beyond the scope of this book and would require many kinds of knowledge which I do not possess.  My present view - which is tentative and liable to any amount of correction - would be that just as, on the factual side, a long preparation culminates in God's becoming incarnate as Man, so, on the documentary side, the truth first appears in mythical form and then by a long process of condensing or focusing finally becomes incarnate as History. . . . The Hebrews, like other people, had mythology: but as they were the chosen people so their mythology was the chosen mythology - the mythology chosen by God to be the vehicle of the earliest sacred truths, the first step in that process which ends in the New Testament where truth has become completely historical. . . . I take it that the Memoirs of David's court come at one end of the scale and are scarcely less historical than St Mark or Acts; and that the Book of Jonah is at the opposite end."

© 2008 by Allyson Wieland