Morality is Just social convention”; We find ourselves labeling cultures within communities as better or worse which would be implying a somewhat middle ground of standard morality. Even more detailed and more often with Individual people people are seen as good or bad, better or worse, there Is always a standard of morality. We can even go to say that laws are better or worse, rules are better or worse, some are more beneficial while others may even hinder the lives of some. But the standards within laws only exist if a person believes they exist, like with a mouse, a mousetrap is set, but is it humane?
Chapter 3: The law of human nature simply put is what humans should and should not do. This is skewed by what is convenient or inconvenient to those around us. One person can get lucky and sit In the front row of a movie theater, but the person right behind them without anywhere else to sit would find It Inconvenient, but there Is nothing to be done. While on the other hand If the person had already been sitting down and the next person moved their stuff and sat while the initial person was taking a of Law of Human Nature. It begins to look as if we shall have to admit that there is ore than one kind of reality; that, in this particular case, there is something above and beyond the ordinary facts of men’s behavior, and yet quite definitely real – a real law, which none of us made, but which we find pressing on us. ” Chapter 4: Men have always wondered what the universe really is and where it came from, from this came two predominant views. The materialist view in which people think that matter Just exists without explanation and the religious view in which people think that behind the universe is a sort of mind, God.
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It is conscious and prefers one thing o another. Science cannot tell which is the correct view or if there is a correct view. The one thing we know anything for sure about is man because we are “insiders”; within the information we have as man are the moral laws which we didn’t make, but we cannot forget them or disobey them. If the laws are disobeyed then we become the “bad” instead of “better” person. Knowing there is an “outside” power how does this power know that we have an internal law?
Like the example of an architect, the outside power merely built the house and cannot be a wall or staircase, it controls/ lids from the “outsider” view. There is a certain powerhouse behind everything we know of. “All I have got is a something which is directing the universe, and which appears in me as a law urging me to do right and making me feel responsible and uncomfortable when I do wrong. I think we have to assume it is more like a mind than it is anything else we know – because after all the only other thing we know is matter and you can hardly imagine a bit of matter giving instructions. Chapter 5: It’s fairly apparent that the world, and humanity has been making some pretty big stakes. In order to get back on the right track again we must admit or accept that there is Somebody or Something behind the Moral Law we refuse to abide by. We’re not necessarily drawing from any religion or church or holy book, we’re attempting to see what we can about this Somebody on our own. What is generally found is not the Someone but the Something in the form of Moral Law in our minds. Lewis points out that we often find out more about God from this Moral Law than from the world we live in.
We are taught that the Somebody is very supportive of proper conduct – in air play, unselfishness, courage, good faith, honesty and truthfulness, which sounds or agrees a lot with Christianity. In this chapter Lewis emphasizes that Moral Law does not by any means suggest that God is good in the sense of being soft, or sympathetic as there is nothing sympathetic about Moral Law. Lewis takes an interesting viewpoint of “goodness” and “forgiveness” in this chapter by pointing out that to this point we have only identified a power that is like a mind, not like a person behind the Moral Law.
Assuming this “mind” power is impersonal, it could be concluded that there is no forgiveness. Also, Lewis writes that If this power is absolute good, it can only strongly disagree with the less than perfect things we do. We continually try to hide from. The chapter concludes by pointing out how Christianity instructs all of us to repent and promises forgiveness, which is converse to the impersonal “mind power” therefore the reader is left to conclude God must be behind Moral Law. Kick 2: This chapter was a basic explanation of either believing in a God or not at all.
For example in math some steps to a problem may be wrong, but others may be closer to the truth than other attempts. In this chapter Lewis explain that Atheism is too simple, anything that is real is not simple. So with this Lewis goes on to explain that atheism can’t be such a thing, it is a delusion in a sense because it has no substance and everything in life contains some sort of substance. Another view that is too simple is the “Christianity and water” view in which there is God in heaven and everything is alright, completely neglecting sins, hell, the devil, and redemption.
These are all real and do exist, but seem too complicated or thorough for someone who simply believes in God and thing else or Just doesn’t believe at all. With this comes people who believe the universe is full of things that are bad and meaning less according to the simplicity belief and that we know that it is bad and meaningless. Now Dualism comes into play, the view of two powers, one being good and one being bad/evil. At this point Christianity is very close to being dualism, “Christianity thinks this Dark power was created by God, and was good when he was created, and went wrong.
Christians believe that “an evil power has made himself for the present the Prince of this World. The problem with this is knowing whether this is in God’s will or not. Overall God created all things with free will free will meaning these things could go right or wrong and eventually end up being evil. Jesus claimed to be someone almighty and a leader of a good religion, but was he really? Or was he a “lunatic”? Lewis ultimately accepted him for who he claimed to be. What exactly did Jesus come to do? He came to teach and then there was death and resurrection where the core meaning and purpose of Christianity lies.
Christianity itself is Jesus, his beliefs, what he claimed to be true and right, how he offered for us, and in the end his resurrection. When people say that God wanted to Chrism’s death was supposed to take us away from evil and give us a sort of “fresh start”, whether this theory is proven true or not, within Christianity it is a common belief and works for all. “no explanation will eve be quite adequate to the reality. ” In this chapter it is said that three things spread “Christ-life” to us: Baptism, Belief, and Holy Communion or mass. They aren’t said to be the only three, but they are the most common amongst the people.
These three methods are the core in Christianity coaching, but from person to person it differs, following Christ in any way is “a way’. Book 3: Moral obedience is harder to actually complete than to talk about, not even then is it easy because people tend to speak more on moral “idealism”. Moral perfection is impossible and even that is part of “idealism”. The “Cardinal Virtues” are Prudence, Temperance, Justice and Fortitude. These are all virtues that most normal,common believed people will recognize and acknowledge, but won’t always follow.
Most of the cardinal virtues have changed in meaning over the years, but changed or not the meanings are important. Prudence is “practical common sense, taking the trouble to think out what you are doing and what is likely to come of it. ” Most people, even children show a sense of prudence, curiosity can be another word for prudence. Temperance is the controlling of actions or feelings, people try everyday to do such things but sometimes out actions come from feelings that get the best of us and we can only ask for forgiveness in the end.
Justice is moral rightness, based on laws or rules that are set, like moral “idealism” or perfection. Lastly, Fortitude is another word for courage and I believe anyone who is believer has courage to believe and have faith in God. Chapter 3: In this chapter it is basically saying that there is a reason for political and religious separation. They can’t go together otherwise there would be a left sided economy and things would be blamed on holy men, the clergy or preachers. It is not up to the preachers to present politics in anyway, they should be tending to religious needs.
In a social environment it would be “Puritan” or family oriented, everyone would have to work, and there would have to be community wide cheer. Realistically this could ever happen, in a world like ours we need the bad and good to make things go round. Psychoanalysis and Fraud’s ideas became apparent. The medical theories are useful, but Freud often misused them. When a man makes a moral choice two things are involved: the act and the impulses inside him. Morality is the acts of choice, whether a person is psychologically capable or not, or if the person has a normal psychological state or is “broken”.
A person can be all good, all bad, selfish, selfless, it all depends on the internal make-up and then the decisions made by the person. The Christian rule of “chastity’ must not be confused with the common society rule of “modesty’. Modesty simply sets the rules for how much skin should be shown in different situations, and what topics are allowed in conversations. The overall appropriateness of openness and sexuality are most commonly thought of when “modesty’ is mentioned. Unlike modesty, chastity is the same for all Christians, until married one must stay in total abstinence.
Chapter 6: The Christian view of marriage is based on Chrism’s words that a man and a woman, in marriage, are a single organism, “one flesh. This is viewed as a fact, not as Just a feeling or emotional way of going about things. This union between a man and a woman goes beyond sex, to a total combination of the two. The scriptures doesn’t reject sexual pleasure entirely, it only says that it occurs within a marriage. This is why divorce in a Christian view is like chopping a body up, because once married we are “one”. With this said anyone who enters a marriage without the intent to be married for eternity, they are a deceiver.
Chapter 7: “Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive…. ” “l did not invent it. And there, right in the middle of it, I find, ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us. ” If we do not forgive we shall not be forgiven. We must be nice and love ourselves before we can truly understand and love another, not in a sense of falling in love or finding them attractive, but to love them as a person to simply forgive. This made me think of when people hold grudges, they simply do not love themselves enough because they are drinking poison expecting others to be hurt.
Chapter 8: Pride is the only behavior that is competitive by nature. Pride is enmity, “And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God. ” Pleasure in being praised is not Pride, the kind of pride that means “a warm hearted admiration for something/ someone” is not Pride, it is more of am admiration or sense of proneness. This means that pride is not a threat to God, it is only a threat to our relationship with him, only making it worse on ourselves. Christian Love for our neighbors does not mean we’ll automatically have affection for our neighbors.
Natural liking for some people makes it easier to help them when/if in need. For this reason, we should encourage love for the reason that it will make us ore forgiving/helpful. We need to be aware that our love for some people will make us less lovable to others or less helpful, even less willing. This will lead to us putting up guard towards others as to not be too vulnerable and to protect ourselves even if it is not necessary. As easy as it might be to be loving towards someone, we cannot try to love someone if it doesn’t happen, we can’t think ourselves into loving someone, it Just happens.
Chapter 10: Hope is one of the Theological virtues, Hope means that we are to look forward to the eternal world, but not as a form of escaping, that is impossible. Hope ultimately does not mean that we can leave the present world as it is because after we leave we do not benefit from it. But we in a sense do. Historically, the Christians who made the greatest difference in this world, are the ones most fixed on the next; there were the apostles, then the middle age builders, the working towards the end of slavery by the English evangelical, there has been help and hope throughout the ages until ours.
We have been the most ineffective religious age. Since the beginning of our lives we have been swayed from the thoughts of wanting to go to heaven by our thoughts of ring to fix our minds and lives here in the physical world. But little do we realize that in this world our wants and desires to fix our minds or progress will never be satisfied. These desires are an apparent longing to only be fulfilled in the next world/ age, heaven. One who never thinks of the next step will ultimately gain nothing but failure in this world. Chapter 11: “Faith….. Accepting or regarding as true the doctrines of Christianity. ” Obviously, something should be accepted or rejected based on the facts about what seems to be true. Being honestly wrong about something doesn’t mean a person is ‘bad,’ it Just means they really didn’t know the right thing. Then, if a person thinks something is bad, but goes with it anyway, this person isn’t honest in any sense, Just ignorant. With this one could say that we can accept or reject things based on reason, which is not true. You should only accept Christianity, if your best reason says that it’s true.
Of course there comes second guessing or questioning when believing in something like Christianity, but peer pressure or unsure feelings should not sway your beliefs. Being Christian is not accepted only when convenient, one should believe all the time, not only around other believers. One must have a good habit of Faith. Having Faith that it will all work out and being Christian is the way to be will get you further come easy, but determination will come along with the love for someone who loves unconditionally, all the time.
Chapter 12: In this chapter we come to Faith, the necessity in becoming and being Christian, it is key in standing our ground and continuing to believe regardless of the cultures around us or opposing beliefs of today’s society. We discover this Faith when we have tried our hardest to be Christian, and we find that we cannot. Only when we discover our bankruptcy we discover what God really cares about. He desires that we become “creatures of a certain kind or quality ; the kind of creatures he intended us to be ; creatures related to Himself in a certain way. He wants us to become creatures that relate to each other in a way that is loving and understanding, and of course forgiving. We can only discover our low point in trying to become Christian when we have tried our absolute hardest and have still failed to keep God’s law and obey the rules necessary in being Christian. This means that we can only learn to be faithful after failing to do so. We have to hit rock bottom before we learn to get back up and ultimately rely on God to help pick us back up.
We must be faithful and trust in God. Trusting in God means that we do the things he wants of us not only because it has been asked of us, but because it is something we must do to save ourselves. Our purity in a sense is a thankfulness for how God has helped us. Book 4: Lewis shows how religion and its’ principles are like a map. They provide us a general concept of what God is like. In this chapter Lewis states,” Theology…… Gives us a much greater scope of the personality of God that we cannot get on our own”.
Each of us are empowered to utilize this “map” to find our own Journey, however as pointed out by Lewis we must focus on the relationship with God over the long term and not get caught up in the immediate “God Moments” the with not lead us anywhere. Even if one is not a student of Theology does not mean they will not have many thoughts and ideas about God. Lewis points out that theology is practical and without some study of it, one is likely to form wrong ideas about God. Many of the innovative philosophies about God in modern media are exactly the same things that theologians evaluated and discarded centuries ago.
Lewis concludes, “To believe in the popular religion of modern [America] is retrogression – like believing the earth is flat. ” of God actually makes sense from a cynical viewpoint. Why did God place His Son on an earth amongst enemies? The obvious answer in to teach and provide an avenue for salvation. Another question from this perspective is, what was the real purpose of the death and resurrection? Lewis points out many theories surrounding these core events of Christianity. One theory is that God wanted to punish mankind for choosing evil over good (Him).
This theory however does not make sense; if God anted to forgive man, he could have simply done so without the symbolic events therefore this theory lacks good explanation. The common belief is that Chrism’s death made things right and gave man a fresh start. There are many Christian theories this common belief, however Christians generally agree that it does work. Lewis’ belief is that “no explanation will ever be quite adequate to the reality. ” This chapter takes a hard look at Time as it correlates to Prayer. Each of us live through time and move simultaneously in one direction with it.
Everything in our past is gone and lost except for the memories we have. Conversely, our future is completely unknown. I believe what Lewis is trying to say in this chapter is, “How can God listen to everyone in the world praying at the same time? ” What we can conclude the answer is since God created time, exists beyond time (“outside and above”), and is not restricted to time then He can see all of the right knows, all of all time. We humans do not have the ability to put our minds around the God’s presence outside of time as we know it.
God was able to tell the prophets what their future’s held for them because it was not in the future to God, but present reality. Humans existence in the now forces personal accountability without the luxury of knowing what is in their future “now’. In this chapter Lewis discusses The Trinity; God the Father, God the Son, Jesus, The Word, the Logos and God the Holy Spirit, the Spirit, Comforter, Counselor. I am convinced that the symbols existed “before time,” and before (in time) the Holy Spirit took on human flesh in the person of Jesus. Lewis describes this as “The Son ‘streaming forth’ from the Father like light… . We must understand that these are not two separate people, but expressions of two things. As humans we are limited to hat we can comprehend and must have faith that only God will be able to explain to us. Ultimately Lewis reminds that “God is Love” and His love has been eternal even before the creation of man. This chapter forces us to imagine what it would be like to something other than the figures that God created us as. The extent God has gone to make us into our became a man, He did not only Just assume the appearance of a man, but He was actually conceived as a fetus and born a baby to Joseph and Mary.
Lewis’ message in pointing this out is that by God becoming flesh there was finally one man who was he complete fulfillment of everything that man was intended to be. Lastly as man rejected many of the values and God was rejected, misunderstood, abused and eventually killed only to rise again as the divine man Chapter 6 was a continuation of Chapter 5 by Lewis further expressing the how the transformation from creature to son would not have been anguished if not for the rebellion against God.
This rebellion was eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. This Free Will was the only true way for man to be capable of infinite love and happiness. The second part of the chapter is somewhat complicated by our perception of things room within creation. Lewis’ interpretation is that the whole human race is one organism, despite the uniqueness of individuals. This chapter discusses the many practices of Christians. Many of the very things we do as Christians are subconscious emulations of Christ himself.
Lewis’ theory on man and the practices as Christians is that somehow man that feels when he pretends to be better than he is, he ends up being better than he was. This theory is seen in the games we play as children and how they begin to build the characteristics we desire to have as adults. In fact the best way to have quality in laity is to simply behave as if you already have it. When we pray we usually have some failure of our own come to mind. God says that we should address this failure immediately; this is how God influences us through our prayer life.
Many Christians feel like this Jesus being always beside us has never happened, however as Lewis points out that Christ very often helps us by helping other people help us. Lewis maintains that “He works through Nature, through our own bodies, through books, sometimes through experiences which seem (at the time) anti-Christian. ” Very generally, Christ serves us by helping us through each other. Chapter 8: Serving Christ is not Just a Job that Christians have to do, serving Christ is” the” Job Christians have to do. Lewis points out that this concept is different from the typical idea of being moral or good.
This idea holds that we start with ourselves by doing all the ‘right’ things and not do all of the Wrong’ things and in the end preserve something of ourselves left over for our own interests. This is not the true Christian way however, Christ does needs, He wants all of us, the good, the bad and the ugly. Lewis’ analogy is of a grass field not producing wheat ; it has to go deeper than mowing the grass, it has to be lowed up(deep change) and reason. Chapter 9: In this chapter Lewis points out how Jesus is working in us to make us perfect ; and will accept nothing less, even though we would.
Jesus helps us with our sins and he will not give up on us. Jesus offers the ultimate treatment for those who call upon him. Ultimately Jesus wants to make us perfect like our heavenly Father. Throughout the chapter we are reminded that we should not be discouraged by our attempt at perfection as God will keep picking us up every time we try and fail and his work is never done as He has much greater plans for us. Lewis says that “To shrink back room that plan is not humility; it is laziness and cowardice. To submit to it is not conceit or megalomania; it is obedience. Just as earlier in this book, Chapter 10 is an extension of the previous chapter. Much of the discussion is how Jesus is constantly in the process of assembling Christians perfect, Just as He is perfect. How we behave as Christians have an effect on the believability of Christianity. On the other hand being a Christian does not necessarily make you a better person than a non-Christian. In fact some people are Just born with better dispositions than others and becoming or being Christian is a process of hang to become more Christ-like.
The basic moral of Chapter 10 is that being a Christian does not make us perfect, Just as acting Christian-like does not make us a Christian. God gave us the gift of free will. We must call on Jesus to help us to be a better person, allow him to work on us and our imperfections understanding that we cannot do it without Him. In the final chapter, Lewis uses the example of Evolutionary change and asks the question of what is next in the evolution for man. Lewis makes the case that “the Next Step” for humanity is Christianity.