First Alliance Church Adult Elective, Spring 2011 Mere Christianity, Book Four May 15 and May 22, 2011 Chapter 1: Making and Begetting 1. What comes to mind when you hear the word “theology”? 2. Why does Lewis think it’s important to devote this last “book” of Mere Christianity to theology, ¶ 5? 3. In what ways are we naturally sons of God and yet not “actually” sons of God, ¶s 10 and 14? 4. What do Christians mean when they say that Christ is the Son of God, ¶s 11, 12 and 13? Chapter 2: The Three-Personal God 1. The Christian God is not impersonal, like the “Force” in Star Wars. Why is this good news, ¶ 3? 2. According to Lewis, theology is very practical, ¶ 4. What is the practical good of knowing that God is a tripersonal being, ¶s 8 and 9? 3. How does personal character help or hinder us in the knowledge of God, ¶s 13 and 14? 4. What do you personally discover about God when you look inside yourself ? Chapter 3: Time and Beyond Time 1. It’s a big idea, but how does Lewis think that understanding that God is beyond time address common concerns about prayer, ¶s 4, 5, 6 and 7? 2. How did the understanding that God is beyond time help Lewis understand the Incarnation, ¶ 10? 3. How might your life be different if you believed that you personally had God’s full and undivided attention? Chapter 4: Good Infection 1. What is the practical benefit that comes from understanding the eternal relationship between God the Father and God the Son, ¶ 5? 2. Lewis explains the Trinity in a practical way, like a dance, ¶ 8. What personal benefits come to us through each person of the Trinity, ¶ 7? 3. Which person of the Trinity are you more inclined to connect with, the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit? 4. Getting to know God is like catching a good infection, ¶s 8, 9, 10 and 11. What can you do to catch the divine infection? Chapter 5: The Obstinate Toy Soldiers 1. How does the analogy of the toy tin soldier explain God’s agenda for the human race, ¶s 3 and 4? 2. Jesus Christ is not only God, but the true human—that which God intends for us all, ¶ 5. According to Lewis, what difference will that make for you and me, ¶ 8? 3. In what ways do you resist God’s transformation from a tin soldier to a true human? In what ways do you welcome it? Chapter 6: Two Notes 1. Why God “begot” one son—Jesus Christ—so that he might create many, is a great mystery; why bother thinking about it at all, ¶s 1 and 2? 2. When you find your faith is weak, what can you do to strengthen it, ¶ 6? 3. How has reading Mere Christianity so far strengthened your faith? Chapter 7: Let’s Pretend 1. Why is choosing to act like Christ essential to becoming like Christ, ¶s 2, 3 and 4? 2. How can we recognize the spiritual help of Christ in shaping our character, ¶s 7 and 8? 3. What is our role and what is God’s role in transforming our character, ¶s 12 and 13? 4. Based on the insights from this chapter, how might you be able to discern the help of Jesus Christ in your life this week? Chapter 8: Is Christianity Hard or Easy? 1. What is the difference between the ordinary idea of morality and that of Christian morality, ¶s 2 and 3? 2. How can all the various religious activities of the church get in the way of the one central point of Christianity, ¶ 10? 4. What do you find difficult about Christianity? What do you find easy? Chapter 9: Counting the Cost 1. God’s expectation for us is moral perfection, ¶ 1. Why shouldn’t we be discouraged when we repeatedly fail, ¶ 6? 2. What does Lewis mean, Christians are in for a rough time, ¶s 9 and 11? 3. If being a Christian is so hard, why would anyone want to become one, ¶s 3, 4 and 7? Chapter 10: Nice People or New Men 1. What’s the problem with expecting that Christians should be“nicer” than other people, ¶s 3, 4 and 5? 2. How do the illustrations of toothpaste and factory management help explain how Christians do change in their moral development, ¶ 5? 3. From a Christian perspective, what is the problem of being “nice”, ¶ 11, 13 and 15? 4. Many people dismiss Christianity by saying that the church is full of hypocrites. What would you say to them after reading this chapter? Chapter 11: New Men 1. How does the analogy of evolution help us understand the transformation that God is bringing about through faith in Jesus Christ, ¶ 2, 3 and 4? 2. How is the next step in human evolution different than previous ones, ¶s 5, 6 and 7? 3. What illusions of “self ” must you escape if you are to become a true person, ¶s 13, 14 and 15? 4. What is your role in your own evolution, ¶ 9?