Through the Lens with C.S. Lewis December 2012“We are, not metaphorically but in verytruth, a Divine work of art, somethingthat God is making, and thereforesomething with which He will not besatisfied until it has a certain character.” The Problem of Pain Ch 3, “Divine Goodness”
Mere Christianity Book Four “Beyond Personality: or First Steps in the Doctrine of the Trinity”
Making and Begetting To beget is: To create is: What is the fundamental difference between the two? Why does it matter?
God of God, Light of Light, Lo, he abhors not the Virgins womb; Very God, Begotten, not created:Second verse of “O Come All Ye Faithful”
Bios: Bios and Life Animal life (biology) Zoe Natural life Must be sustained by external forces (air, water, food)Zoe:LifeBreathe of lifeExistence beyond the physicalVitalitySoulEnergySpirit (pneuma in Greek)Self-sustaining and eternal
Bios and Zoe (87) “Bios has, to be sure, a certain shadowy or symbolic resemblance to Zoe: but only the sort of resemblance there is between a photo and a place, or a statue and a man.”Why does it matter?Why should we aspire to Zoe life?
The Three-Personal GodDid this illustration helpyou envision the nature ofthe Triune God?
COULD YOU HAVE GUESSED?…as you advance to more real and more complicated levels, you do notleave behind you the things you found on the simpler levels: you stillhave them, but combined in new ways—ways you could not imagine ifyou knew only the simpler levels. (89)
What is the purpose of trying to create an illustration of the Tri- unity of God that we can comprehend? What is REALLY important? (89) How can one be pulled into the Zoe and still remain himself? Why is Lewis so focused on the need for believers to go to church? (90)
How do you respond to the idea that you really ARE alone with God? (92) What does it mean that God is Does Lewis‟s explanation of God “too completely being outside of time and utterly real help with the to have” a quandary of history? predestination and free will?
Good Infection (91-96) How do we get confused about the Father coming before the Son? How can there be a cause that doesn‟t come before the effect? Does the idea that “God is Love” really necessitate at least two persons? How is God more like a dance than anything else we can imagine?
Toy Soldiers (97-100) The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a foetus inside a woman’s body. How did the Incarnation change the formula for acquiring Zoe and a life beyond Bios?
One Two Why did God create Individuals DO matter rather than beget us? (100) (99) Two Notes
Let‟s Pretend (101-103)…you are putting yourself in the place of a son of God. Toput it bluntly, you are dressing up as Christ. If you like, youare pretending….You are not being like The Son ofGod, whose will and interests are at one with those of theFather: you are…doomed to death. So that, in a way, thisdressing up as Christ is a piece of outrageous cheek… (101) Why is “pretend” important?
How does God turn us from tin to flesh? How does He use other people to assist us in the transition? What is the danger of relying on human hands?As we begin the transformation into “newcreatures”, what do we discover? (103)
Hard or Easy? (104-106) How is Christianity both harder and easier than trying to meet the moral standard using the natural man as the starting point? What is the result of playing Sinatra?
HOW IS IT SO TERRIBLE TO HAND OVER OUT WHOLE SELVES WHEN THE ETERNAL REWARD IS SO GREAT? Christ says ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half measures are any good….Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become Did anyone else read this and say “wow”? yours.’ (104)
How can God command us to be perfect? What is the purpose of the Church? (106) What is the purpose of the Incarnation? How does this idea connect to the challenge I gave you a couple of weeks ago?
HOW DO YOU COUNT THECOST?That is why He warned people to count the cost before becoming Christians.Make no mistake, He says, if you let me, I will make you perfect. The momentyou put yourself in My hands, that is what you are in for. Nothing less, or other,than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push Me away. But if youdo not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through.Whatever suffering it may cost you in your earthly life, whatever inconceivablepurification it may cost you after death, whatever it costs Me. I will never rest, notlet you rest, until you are literally perfect--until My Father can say withoutreservation that He is well pleased with you, as He said He was well pleased withMe. This I can do and will do. but I will not do anything less.’
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who There has never began a good work been the slightest in you will carry it doubt in my mind on to completion that the God who until the day of started this great Christ Jesus. work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
So, who chooses the desiredoutcome? But the question is not what we intended ourselves to be, but what He intended us to be when He made us. (108) But all the time He knew His plan for us and was determined to carry it out. To submit to it is not conceit or megalomania; it is obedience. The process will be long and in parts very painful, but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said. (109)
Nice People or New Men? (110- 114)Christ told us to judge by results.But how?By what standard?How do we do so without making Christianityunbelievable to the outside world?For mere improvement is notredemption…God became man toturn creatures into sons….Why is it so hard to imagine becoming something“other?”
New Men (115-118)We are being changed from being creaturesof God to being sons of God. How profound isthat?How does knowing that make you think about your future?Or your present?How will it change your prayer life?How will it change your attitude toward others?How will it change your reaction to circumstances?
There is so much of Him that millions and millions of „littleChrists‟, all different, will still be too few to express Himfully.(118)
IT IS WORTH THE PRICE Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will really be yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.
Read The Great Divorce (313-362)Create an artistic rendering of some place discussed in thebook.Prepare a presentation for your artwork.No essay this week.HOMEWORK