Presentation on theme: "Book IV Chapter one Lewis was warned not to include this section of the book, because the common man doesn’t want theology But if theology is the study."— Presentation transcript:
1 Book IVChapter oneLewis was warned not to include this section of the book, because the common man doesn’t want theologyBut if theology is the study of God, then he should, shouldn’t he?
2 An uncomfortable truth Anyone who wants to think about God at all should want to have the clearest ideas about himAnything else is like a child who doesn’t want to get their homework—they just want to get it done
3 Theology and Maps Theology is like a map to God Maps are based on the experience of many peopleMaps are the only way to know where you are and where you’re going
4 Maps and experienceThinking about God is less real than experiencing GodBut to experience God consistently, we must learn how to get back to that spot—thus, the map is necessary
5 The problemA religion that only tries to “feel” God winds up leading nowhere—To refuse to study theology does not mean that you won’t have ideas about God—it only means you’ll have a lot of bad ideas
6 Christianity: religion or advice? Most people treat Christianity as simple advice about how to liveBut we don’t follow Plato’s ideas, or Aristotle’s, or Confucius’s—what makes us likely to follow Christ’s?Christianity is not advice on how to live—it is a way to be changed into a son of God.
7 What is a son of God? A son of God is begotten, not created. To create—to makeTo beget—to become the father ofI make a sculpture—I beget a son.
8 The practical application Unsaved people are merely created by God; through Christ we become begotten by God
9 Notes on the Trinity How can God be three personalities, but one God? Think of spaceIn one dimension, you can only draw a straight line.In two dimensions, you can put straight lines together to draw a squareIn three dimensions, you can put squares together to draw a cube
10 The applicationAs you advance in complexity, you put simpler things together in new, more advanced waysYou could not imagine a cube if you lived in a one-D world.We people are one-dimensional in terms of personality
11 What about God?But couldn’t God be three-dimensional? Doesn’t it make sense that he would be more complex than us?And what about salvation—when the Bible talks about having “The mind of Christ,” couldn’t it be talking about a two-dimensional world of personalities?Or consider a Christian praying:
12 Prayer and the Trinity: You are praying to God.But it is God that prompts you to pray to him through the Holy SpiritAnd it is only through Christ that we are able to approach God at all.So God is the goal we are after, the desire to get there, and the bridge we travel. In effect, the whole Trinity is involved in you saying your prayers at night.
13 God and Revelation We cannot know God unless he reveals himself. And he reveals himself more to some than others.Sunlight has no favorites, but it can only be reflected in a clean mirror.Based on this analogy, Lewis proposes that it is our job to “clean our mirrors” to most effectively reflect God’s light.
14 Why is this so hard?If Christianity were something we made up, of course we could make it easier. Anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about.
15 Chapter Three “Time and Beyond Time” One of the central difficulties we have in understanding God is grasping that he is outside time.Imagine him attending to everyone’s prayers at the same time.The problem is we can’t grasp that he can do it all at the same moment—because we know that we couldn’t.
16 Time, people, and GodWe experience time moment by moment. When one is over, another one shows up.We commit the fallacy of assuming that God experiences life this way as well.God has all of eternity to attend to each tiny detail of the universe.
17 A helpful metaphorImagine a novelist writing the sentences “The bell rang. Immediately, the class stood up and began moving toward the door.”For the class in the story, the second sentence follows immediately on the tails of the first.But the novelist could have gone to the bathroom, cooked dinner, or taken a decade-long pilgrimage to the Himalayas between writing the first sentence and the second.
18 What this tells us:We begin to glimpse the way God might experience existence in this way…not bound by our time, because he created our time.Of course, in the analogy, the author is still bound by time—it’s just a different time. God is not bound by time at all.\Picture a timeline. We imagine time this way because it seems to make sense. God is not in the timeline. God is the page on which the timeline is drawn. Because of this, he can see all of history simultaneously.
19 We’re different from God (duh) We can’t do this. We must leave moment 1 to get to moment 2, and then leave it to get to moment 3…The benefit of these ideas is that they remove some objections to ChristianityThe free will questionThe predestination question
20 Chapter Four “Good Infection” Imagine two books lying on a table, one on top of the otherBook A, on bottom, is the cause of B’s position, on topWe tend to think of cause / effect as a temporal thing…but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.If both books had been there forever, then A would have been causing B’s position forever, but A’s position wouldn’t have been there first.
21 What the metaphor saysThis illustrates the relationship between the Father and Son…they have been in their “positions” eternally.The son is the “self-expression” of the Father, and the Father has been expressing himself eternally.We say that “God is Love,” which has no meaning unless God contains two persons. And since he doesn’t change, he must always have contained at least two persons.
22 What about the Spirit?And the “Spirit” is this love that has existed eternally between the Father and Son, just like “school spirit” is the frame of mind that exists among a body of students who share a common goalAll of this matters because we were created to take part in this three-Personal life.
23 How we take partLewis calls this “Good Infection” that we are to catch by somehow sharing in the life of Christ, a life that has always existed and will always exist.
24 Chapter Five “The Obstinate Toy Soldier” The two kinds of life (bios and zoe) are opposed.Bios is self centered and wants only its own best interest servedZoe is God-centered and wants only to lose itself in the will of God, which involves serving Him and others
25 Imagine a group of toy soldiers. If you learned how to turn them into real men, are you certain they would want that? All they know is how to be tin.And if the first process looked painful, there’s no guarantee that the rest of them would ever agree to be made “real”
26 God solved the problem by coming as a man. Jesus became a flesh man who was completely caught up into the life of GodThis meant the killing of everything about himself that was human, including his fleshBut the spirit in him, united to God, rose again—and brought the flesh with it.One tin soldier had come to life.
27 A metaphor from disease Lewis views this as “good infection” that began to spread throughout the human organism
28 Chapter Six “Two Notes” Why didn’t God choose to “beget” many sons of God at the beginning, rather than creating us and then changing us through this painful process?We don’t know that the process had to be painful. Remember, we turned away from God in the beginning, and we choose to turn still today. It is our rebellion, not God’s plan, that makes it painful.
29 What might have been?It is ridiculous to discuss what “could have been” regarding God. This ink “could have been” red if the printer had chosen to use red ink…but God is infinitely more holy and complex than a simple ink cartridge choice. Even God points this out in the name he gives to Moses, “I am that I am.” He is what he is, and that’s all there is to it.
30 How to think about people Christianity thinks about people interconnected, as if they were branches on a tree, or organs in a body. There are two ways we mess this up:Individualists see people as disconnected, free to act as they wish and be whom they wish without regard for how it affects the rest of the body.Totalitarians see people as identical; they want to suppress differences and make people all alike.
31 As Christians, we must avoid both of these errors As Christians, we must avoid both of these errors. And we must realize that they are both equal errors. The devil often tempts us by providing pairs of errors, and letting us choose which of the two is “better.”
32 Chapter Seven “Let’s Pretend” Lewis spends some time in discussion of how Christianity works in practice.The first words of the lord’s Prayer: “Our Father.”But he is not, not in the same sense that he was Christ’s father. When we say this, we are “dressing up” like Christ.
33 There are two kinds of pretending The first is when the pretence takes the place of the real thing, like someone who pretends to be your friend just so they can stab you in the back, or someone who pretends to love you, just so they can sleep with you.The good kind is when the pretence leads to the real thing, like children playing at having manners (tea party) or being courageous (cowboys and Indians)
34 “Dressing up as Christ” The pretence of “dressing up as Christ” is pretending of the second order. And in doing it, we are led to realize where it’s still pretence. This shows us what to change.Praying, then, is a way of catching the “good infection” from God himself.We also catch it from books, from Nature, from experience, from other people.
35 Jesus as disease…People are carriers of Christ. The odd thing is, just as you can carry TB without having TB, sometimes Christ is carried to us by a non-Christian.Notice something again…none of this sounds like “read what Christ said and try to do it.” The NT talks about “putting on Christ,” “being born again,” Christ “being formed in us,” about us “having the mind of Christ.” It all refers to us changing, not acting.
36 Christ and changeAt first, we can only be like Christ for moments at a time. But as he changes us, and we submit to it, we notice that we can do it longer. And we notice two other things.We begin to notice our sinfulness more than our acts of sin. We worry not about what we do, but about who we are.
37 “That just slipped”What a man does when he is taken off guard is the best example of who he is. Trying situations don’t make us evil; they reveal the evil that was already there.Because of this, we begin to realize that we can only change from within, through God.
38 We begin to realize that it is God who changes us, God who shapes us, God who does everything we cannot do for ourselves.
39 Chapter Eight, “Hard or Easy?” This idea of “dressing up like Christ” is different from the normal idea of “being good.”The normal idea of “being good” tries to retain some of our own desires and will; we are like a man who pays his taxes, hoping there will be enough left to live on.
40 One of two things happens Either we give up tryingOr we become very unhappyThis is because it is impossible to be both your own person and God’s person.
41 Christianity vs. “being good” The Christian way is both harder and easier.It is harder because God requires everything. He leaves nothing for ourselves. He doesn’t want to prune a branch, but to cut the tree down and grow a new one.It is easier because it takes us out of the equation. We know we cannot succeed, except by His grace, so we rely on his grace rather than ourselves.
42 ImpossibilityIt is impossible to have as your goal both personal happiness and comfort and security and success and the will of God for your life.Jesus said “a thistle cannot produce figs.” We must be plowed up and resown.It’s no use trying to be a very good egg when Christ called you to be a bird.
43 What to do…The first job of a Christian each morning is to quiet the thousand voices and desires that assault our mind as soon as we wake up.We can only do this a little at first…but it gradually grows in our systemJesus said “be perfect…” which we can’t do, but He can.
44 Chapter Nine “Counting the Cost” A lot of people are bothered by Christ’s command to “be ye perfect.”They think it means “unless you’re perfect, I won’t help you.”Instead, what it actually means is “the only help I’ll give you is help to become perfect, even though you want something less.”
45 Toothaches and JesusThink about a child with a toothache. Often they refuse to tell their parents, because their parents will give them medicine…but they will also take them to the dentist.A lot of people go to Christ to be “cured” of some particular sin of which they are ashamedHe won’t stop after it’s cured. He goes on to “cure” a lot of things you didn’t know were sick to begin with.
46 The costThis is why Christ warns his disciples to “count the cost” of following him.And yet, as he demands perfection, he is also pleased with the first feeble steps you take.Every father is pleased with his son’s first attempt to walk. No father would be pleased with that walk when the kid’s 24.
47 God is easy to please, but hard to satisfy Many of us start resisting God just at the point when he’s beginning to make us into something great…and also, a lot of babies get really upset about coming out of the womb.This explains the role of suffering in the life of the “mature” Christian. We usually think that tragedy made sense as a way to shake us out of our gross sin, but once we’re “good people,” we expect things to go smoothly.
48 ProblemsThe problems are the way God reminds us that we’re not yet perfect.
49 Chapter Ten “Nice People or New Men” An obvious question: if Christianity is true, why aren’t all Christians nicer than all non-Christians?If conversion makes no difference in a person’s behavior, then we must question if “conversion” happened at all.
50 Don’t judge…right?Christ told us to judge by results…he called them “fruit”
51 When Christians behave badly, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world.
52 2 possibilitiesTwo explanations for this phenomenon of “unnice” Christians and “nice” unbelieversThe world is not a black and white place. A lot of “Christians” are slowly moving in the opposite direction, and a lot of “unbelievers” are sort of slowly putting this whole God thing togetherWe often don’t know the starting material (remember?) of the Christians we judge.
53 Two things should be true, though Any person who is a Christian is better now than they were before accepting ChristAny person who is a Christian is better now than they would be if they weren’t a Christian
54 Niceness and beliefA further thought: “niceness” is God’s gift to some people…it in no way correlates with belief in God.As long as we believe our niceness is our own, we don’t recognize it as God’s gift to us.This explains why so many reprobates come to faith in Christ, but a whole lot of “really good” people don’t believe in Him…they don’t know they need him and they give themselves credit for their niceness.
55 Moral richesThink of Christ: how hard it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Couldn’t this monetary point be applied to moral riches as well?