March 26

Discussion Questions for Mere Christianity
For March 26th, Read Book 4, Chapters 1- 6
Review: In Book 1, Lewis establishes the basis for “something beyond man” by exploring the laws of
nature and the laws of human nature. Book 1 focuses on man’s relationship to man, and what man’s
behavior says about the existence of a power beyond man. In Book 2, he takes the next step, labeling
the “something beyond” as God, and focusing on Jesus’ role as the “perfect penitent”. In Book 3, Lewis
talks about what it means to be Christian in terms of social and moral virtues. In Book 4, Lewis moves
from a focus on behavior (how we act and what we believe) to a focus on theology which he defines as
“the science of God.” He uses the analogy of a map, saying that theology, arising from collective
experience can provide the map to help us “cross over” to God. Lewis acknowledges that concepts
relating to earthly beings (e.g., father/son) or earthly experience(e.g., time) will never completely
capture the essence of God. Chapters 1 through 5 each provide a key image, analogy, or concept that
he uses in building his picture of God and his map for reaching God. The questions below are focused on
these key building blocks. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense immediately. We will put the pieces
together in our group discussion. In Chapter 6, Lewis responds to criticisms.
1. In Chapter One, Lewis introduces two key sets of terms. Compare and contrast:
Begotten versus Made
Bios versus Zoe
2. In Chapter Two, focus on paragraphs five (Begins: “You know that in space you can move in three
ways . . .”) and six (Begins: “Do you see the point?). Now read paragraph nine (Begins: “What I mean is
this. An ordinary simple Christian kneels . . .). Thinking back over your faith journey, how does this
description fit your experiences and where does it differ from your experiences?
3. Lewis begins Chapter Three by offering readers permission to skip the chapter. I ask that you give it a
try and then as Lewis concludes the chapter ““This idea [concept of time and experience of the trinity]
has helped me a good deal. If it does not help you, leave it alone.”
Lewis begins by acknowledging the “difficulty that some people find about the whole idea of prayer,”
namely, how God can attend to the millions of prayers offered to him in a single moment.
What does he say about the application of our concept of time to God?
In Chapter Three, Lewis states: “If you picture Time as a straight line along which we have to travel,
then you must picture God as the whole page on which the line is drawn. We come to the parts of the
line one by one . . . God from above or outside or all round, contains the whole line, and sees it all.”
In thinking about your relationship to God, is this image helpful to you? What advantages and
disadvantages does it offer?
4. In Chapter Four and Five, Lewis spells out the transformation of a person from a biological (created)
being, who will die, into a spiritual (begotten) being, a true son or daughter of God, who will experience
eternal life.
What role does “community” play in this transformation?
Who makes up your community?
What role does Jesus play in this transformation?
How do we access Jesus’ assistance?
What interferes with, sidetracks, or derails this transformation for you? (See hint below)
Hint: Lewis acknowledges at the beginning of Chapter Five, “We do not know – anyway I do not know—
how things would have worked if the human race had never rebelled against God and joined the