Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church Men’s Group.
The Men’s Group at the Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church has decided to undertake a study of C.S. Lewis’ book Mere Christianity, and we’d like to invite you to join us through this website as we delve deeply into the concepts that C. S. Lewis expounds.
Format for the discussion.
Typically we have a group leader for the evening who will lead us in the study through a series of questions. Members of the group discuss the insights they have regarding certain passages or concepts in the writing.
For this forum we will be presenting the questions or concepts that we discussed and we will be welcoming you to join us through reading the discussion and presenting your thoughts and insights into the topic. The following week we will present your thoughts to the Men’s Group for a deepening of our understanding and a challenging of our thought patterns.
So that you feel more a part of the discussion, we will be identifying by first name who it was that raised certain points or questions. Hopefully in this way you will be able to know us better and feel like a valued member of our group. We wholeheartedly welcome you into our fellowship and learning circle.
Week One: Preface and Forward; Discussion led by Don
Participants: Don, Mark, Dick, Ron, Jim, Patrick, Jack, Merton, Harold, Roland, and Tom.
Don: Preface, the purpose of Mere Christianity is to communicate the basics of the faith. God can and does use the writings and fellowship of other Christians to inspire us, teach us, comfort us, and help us grow and mature in the faith.
Jim: What struck me about the Preface was C.S. Lewis’ importance in the preciseness of the language. The term gentleman describes a land owner, it is not a statement of their moral character. The term Christian is someone who has accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, it is not a statement of their moral character as well. Someone who is of the highest moral fiber, but has not accepted Christ is not a Christian.
Patrick: Was impressed by C.S Lewis’ statement that the soul is immortal. Patrick noted that this statement is a profound statement for consideration in the development of our spiritual walk and maturity. Therefore it is critical to the “knowing of our faith.”
Don: C. S. Lewis is not going to champion any particular denomination. Thus the term Mere, not Merely. C.S. Lewis is going to deal with mere Christianity and allow the denominational discussion to be dealt with by scholars of greater intellect than his.
C.S. Lewis said that England was in the Post-Christian era in 1942. And that not many people fully understood the fundamentals of their faith. His task was to expound on those fundamentals.
Mark: ALPHA really is a modern day C.S. Lewis, in that it too expounds on the fundamentals of Christianity.
Don: Noted C.S. Lewis’ assertion “how monotonously alike the world’s tyrants are, and how gloriously different the world’s saints are.”
C.S. Lewis stated that each man’s sins are his own, and therefore we can’t judge those people. While we might not have that as our particular sin, we do have a sufficiency of others to balance out.
C.S. Lewis contends that despite all of the differences within the human race there is Something or Someone common to our center.
Mark: raised the point that in the modern world, with all that is assaulting our Christian belief, that the Church is an oasis for the spirit. A resting place and secure place for us to nourish and recharge our faith.
Jim: the world may have changed, technology improved, but the human heart has not changed.
Tom: There is too much on people’s plates, Sundays have not been set aside as a day of rest. Sports events, kids events, fundraisers for charities, are all now scheduled on Sundays, in particular Sunday mornings.
Jack: Psalms 46:10 reminded us “be still and know that I am God”… a reminder to quiet our minds and to listen to and know God.
Mark: Liked the analogy Lewis used of entering the “hall of Christianity” and then choosing a room of denomination that branched off the hall. 80% or more of what we believe is a common faith, the smaller portion is not common.
Patrick: Chuck Misler said that souls are like Software
Harold: agreed, there is a manual on how to apply and use that software, and that manual is the Bible.
Don asked, “Is the world different now compared to 1942, and if different how. Don wanted to know if C.S. Lewis were to give the radio broadcast today, would the world he was broadcasting to be different than the one of 1942.
Jim: Posed the thought that there is no fundamental difference in the human condition, and that when there are imminent threats to one’s life, through war, sickness, disease, that spiritual matters rise.
Patrick: pointed out Lewis’ comment that, “The problem is Us!”
Tom: noted that people have forgotten the fundamentals.
Finally C.S. Lewis said, Mere Christianity is a way of life; the battleground is the human heart.
Shepherd of the Hills Men’s Group, invites you to share your thoughts and insights gained from either these points we raised, or from what you have read in the Preface and Forward of “Mere Christianity.” In Week Two, we will be discussing Chapter 1 ‘The Law of Human Nature.’