August 1953 - July 1954
August 1953 - July 1954 E-mail


Yours, Jack

(pg. 211-244)

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.  On pages 211-13 Lewis writes to his godson who has just failed examinations at Oxford.  What consolation does he offer?  What advice does he give?

6.  On three occasions in today's reading (see pages 222, 227, and 232) as well as in previous readings (see pages 63 and 196) Lewis grapples with the seeming contradiction in two patterns of prayer: (a) Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane, "Not my will but thine" and (b) Mark 11:24, "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."  Evidently, Lewis pondered this for many years, recording his final thoughts in chapter 11 of Letters to Malcolm, published posthumously.  Do you share his concern?  Are you satisfied with how he resolves the two kinds of prayer?

7.  Three of Lewis's letters to Mary Van Deusen (see pages 226, 240-41, 243) comment on the problems she was having with a difficult pastor.  What does Lewis suggest?  Would you add to or take away any part of his advice? 

8.  Lewis advises Mary Willis Shelburne on how to deal with disagreeable people.  (See page 236.)  He finds it "easier to understand the great crimes" than "mere disagreeableness."  Which do you have an easier time understanding?  How do you deal with disagreeable people?

9.  Review the bridge analogy at the bottom of page 238/top of 239.  What is the object of each of the two men's faith?  What do you think Lewis intended to convey to Mrs. Jessup?  (By the way, this wasn't the last letter.  She wrote again and both Jack and his wife Joy answered her letters.) 


"contre temps" (p. 212): an inopportune and embarrassing occurrence

"If all lack sense ..." (p. 227):  George Herbert's advice about what one may extract from bad preachers.  From The Church Porch: "The worst speak something good; if all lack sense, God takes a text and preacheth patience."

Laurence Harwood (1933 -  ):  C. S. Lewis's godson.  Laurence's father, Cecil Harwood, was a classmate of Jack's at Oxford.  In the wake of his mother's death and a case of double pneumonia, Laurence failed the preliminary examinations and had to leave Oxford, which occasioned the letter on page 211.  After that, Laurence enrolled in the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester (tuition paid for by Lewis) and became a charted land agent and surveyor.  He retired from a 36-year career with the National Trust.   In 2007, InterVarsity Press published his memoir, C. S. Lewis, My Godfather: Letters, Photos and Recollections.

Dr. F. Morgan Roberts (1928-  ):  a Presbyterian pastor, who served in numerous locations including Michigan, Kentucky, and New York.  While pastoring in Pittsburgh, PA, he wrote Are There Horses in Heaven? And Other Thoughts: Sermons Preached in the Shadyside Presbyterian Church.

© 2008 by Allyson Wieland