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Defending the Faith

Here we go with week 2 of our discussion of Mere Theology. This week we get into the meat of the book and talk about Lewis's work as an apologist. I look forward to hearing your responses to these questions, as well as hearing questions of your own. . . .
  1. Do you agree with the statement: We cannot prove the existence of God?Why or why not?
  2. Have you experienced sehnsucht? If so, describe the experience. Do you think the experience of sehnsucht is an echo of our human longing for God?
  3. Many people today say they do not believe in any kind of absolute right and wrong. Do you think this belief can be held consistently?
  4. Do you think that some sort of belief in ultimate Reason is necessary to science or clear thinking in general? Why or why not?
  5. What do you think of Lewis's evaluation of various world-views? Do you think they hold water, or are they too superficial?
  6. What about Lewis's argument that Jesus was either a madman, something worse, or the Son of God? Is this argument credible? Are there any other options?
  7. Which one of C. S. Lewis's arguments for the reasonableness of Christianity do you find most convincing? Least convincing? Why? Which argument do you want to think more about?


Browning said…
Re: Experiencing sehnsucht -
Many years ago (40 years ago, to be exact) I attended a church music week where I was surrounded by the most beautiful and powerfull hymn singing imaginable.
I think about this one-week experience frequently and long to find it again. I have returned to this camp several times including each of the last eight years, but it is not the same. In fact it gets worse each year!
I am aware that Lewis did not value church music, but for me it is a powerfull spiritual attraction.
This may or may not be sehnsucht but I think it is the most important longing I have experienced.
Browning said…
Re The Argument from Morality - "Lewis invites us to imagine a country where people are admired for running away in battle ...(or) where two and two make five" etc.
Aren't we seeing a new exception to this argument when we see the current practices of Muslim suicide terrorists who not only frequently murder large numbers of their own kind but sometimes even blow up their own families including babies?
Dear Browning,

Thanks for your comments.

Regarding sehnsucht: yes, I think the experience of longing often comes through music. Lewis talks about this, I think, in his sermon--"The Weight of Glory".

True, Lewis did not like most church music. However, he did experience sehnsucht through the music of Richard Wagner.

Regarding the argument from morality: I don't think the fact that some people have what the Bible calls "seared consciences" destroys the argument from morality. Lewis acknowledged in "The Abolition of Man" that human beings might completely lose the image of God in themselves by disobeying conscience. Lewis recognized that not all cultures follow completely identical codes of morality. He just pointed out that many follow similar codes. I would imagine the modern Muslim extremist even follows some inner sense of morality. As I know from personal experience, even gangsters have a code of honor that they follow! Of course this is not the same thing as following God's Law in any sort of complete sense. But then, none of us do that. Jesus was the only perfectly righteous person. We need his righteousness applied to our lives, as well as the efficacy of his sacrificial death.

More on that in the chapter on the Person of Christ!

Thanks for sharing!
Hannah said…
Re: We cannot prove the existence of God-
Ultimately it takes faith. Even the "proof" we see in creation, or the metamophosis we see in ourselves when we our found by God.
It requires faith to believe in the reasonableness of- All nature did not create herself, in all that complexity. We could'nt have changed ourselves, and grown into someone who resembles Christ.
A person who lacks faith can explain God away. Most however water down a true belief in his nature, personality, and right to our obedience. As James says "even the demons believe".
The probability of God is extreme,
yet it still takes a supernatural faith, confidence, and trust in the personalGod who strengthens our faith.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts again Hannah.

Would you say there is room for reason and faith to work together?

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