Friday, October 14, 2011

Mere Christianity Discussion / Study Guide. Part 2

This is the part two of my post on Mere Christianity and its study guide / discussion questions. Here is the link to part 1. Again, hope this helps.

Book 3 - Christian Behavior
Chapter 1 - 3
1. What do you think when you hear the word "morality"? Make it practical and think of some of moral issues we or the world is facing today.
2. In chapter 3, do you think Lewis is proposing a Christian society? Do you agree that Christian society would be an utopia?
3. In the same chapter, Lewis talked about cherry-picking some values from christian morality which conform / confirm our pre-existing belief. Point out one that is evident in today's society.

Chapter 4 - Morality and Psychoanalysis
1. Lewis stated that psychoanalysis and Christianity share similar technique. How are they similar? "Freud ... is not in the least contradictory to Christianity. Its technique overlaps with Christian morality at some points ..."

Chapter 5 - Sexual Morality
1. Understand Lewis' analogy of sex and food (the bacon strip tease). Looking at how prevalent sexual immorality is in today's society, how does Lewis' argument helpful? Does it relevant, does it give a counter argument to current culture? What are some objections to sexual abstinence?

Chapter 6 - Christian Marriage
1. We often heard that love is not a feeling but a commitment. "If love is the whole thing then the promise can add nothing, then it should not be made" or "And in fact, whatever people say, the state called being in love usually does not last." The implication of this is, marriage is not only based on love, but more on commitment. And if feeling will go away, do married couple actually has no more love for each other and simply view the relationship as a binding commitment? As you read, think of some biblical basis to support or refute that statement.

Chapter 7 - Forgiveness
1. On paragraph 3, Lewis said that, "It is made perfectly clear that if we do not forgive we shall not be forgiven". Does this mean that divine forgiveness depend on us?
2. Refusal to forgive a person usually translate into a form of punishment ( par 8). What kind of punishment do you usually deliver, and when is the last time you blow that punishment?
3. Looking at the atrocities in the world (imagine Hitler or 9/11 or even a person who has hurt you profoundly deep), is anyone ever beyond forgiveness?

Chapter 8 - The Great Sin 
1. Lewis argued that "the utmost evil, is Pride". How do you agree or disagree with that statement.
2. We hear a lot of saying that we need to take pride in our body, in our nation, in our achievement, or maybe in our sexual orientation (gay pride etc). Does Lewis speak against this? Explain.
3. I personally believe that this is one of the greatest piece about the topic of Pride. Highlight several statements that stand out to you and please share.

Chapter 9 - Charity
1. Lewis argues that to love someone, we need to stop to manufacture the feeling and just go to the action (par 5). Is motivation important then? How could we justify doing something when we do not feel like it (or still have impure motivation)?

Chapter 10 - Hope
1. In paragraph 2, Lewis states that "something has evaded us". What are the things that have evaded you in your personal life?
2. Lewis implies here that humans tend to be hopeful and later be disappointed in life. Among the three alternatives he provides in dealing with hope, which one reflects you the most? Provide example.

Chapter 11 - Faith
1. Lewis seems to imply that faith must come from reasoning or intellectual argument: "My faith is based on reason" (Par 2) and "faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted" (Par 5). What about people who has no intellectual reasoning with Christianity before and just come to Christ by experience?
2. Lewis argues that it is moods (or imagination or desire) that usually take away / shaken our faith. What usually challenge your faith? When St Paul talks about "walk by faith and not by sight", how does our sight shaken our faith too (in connection to our mood)?

Chapter 12 - Faith
1. After reading this chapter, what do you think is the relationship between Old Testament and New Testament, or in other words, relationship between good actions and faith in Christ?
2. In paragraph 4, Lewis says to discover is to "really finding out by experience that it is true". How does experience help us to discover better in comparison to only knowing or understanding that it is true? 

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