Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Inner Ring

This essay that Lewis wrote was very nice and I enjoyed reading it very much mostly because it applied to me in real life. He starts off by telling his audience that he is going to give advice and issue warnings. He states right in the beginning that he is going to warn us about the world and not the Devil and the Flesh. He uses the example of Boris Dubretskoi, who discovers that there two different systems or hierarchies that exist in the army.

He uses this story to introduce his topic, the Inner Ring. This Inner Ring is found everywhere that you go according to Lewis. Lewis speaks of how we desire to be in the inner ring, and how to be accepted in human society is one of the greatest desires of man. Society is one of these rings, in which we strive to follow what is normal and accepted by man.

These inner rings are defiantly everywhere we go and we must always be aware of where we are and what we are striving to be. These inner rings can be something that we as college students would like to be part of at times but we have to remember that it is something that we should not strive for. I believe that any type of happiness that happens in this inner ring is short lived and is something that we will have no long term enjoyment from. There is only one type of long term happiness and that is within Christ and His church.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Problem of Pain

This chapter in Lewis' book, Problem of Pain was about the physical pains that we have in this life and how we deal with them. He classifies pain into two parts, the first of these is painful sensation in the nerves, the second is unpleasant experience. Lewis focuses on the second part, unpleasant experience. Everyone experiences pain at some point in their lives whether it is physical pain, such as breaking an arm or some other body part, or whether it is mental pain of losing a loved one.

Sometimes it is very difficult for us to understand why God sends us trials in this life, especially the very hard ones. It takes a great deal of time to try to understand that it is for the best and that the event itself has a purpose. We must always remember that God is in control and that this life is a life of suffering. We must look at the bigger picture which has a greater end which is in heaven.

Lewis brings up an example of how he reluctantly attempts to bring himself into the frame that he should be in at all times, and then he reminds himself that his only real treasure in this life is in Jesus Christ. He states "I remind myself that these toys were never intended to possess my heart, that my true good was only in another world, and my only true treasure is Christ."

We talked in class about how it is easy to forget about God when things are going great in our lives, so we only come to Him when we are facing trials. An example of this is 9/11 when all Americans stopped their normal lives and turned to God in prayer, but then months later seemed to forget about God and returned to their normal lives again. Even though this was not the case of everyone we are defiantly guilty of living this type of lifestyle. We must always be consciously focused on our goal which is in heaven.

We have a great story in the scriptures of Job suffering all of his hardships, having everything taken away from him and yet he still remained focused on heaven. As Romans 12:12 says, "Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Plantinga Ch 4

Plantinga writes in this chapter about the redemption of man. He starts off the article with “human misery is nearly as old as the human race, but equally old is the story of God’s grace, that is, God’s mercy to the undeserving.” He is saying that we are undeserving of anything that God gives us that we should have nothing on this earth, but by the grace of God we are supplied with our daily bread.

He then goes on to talk about all of the nice pleasures that we as humans had when God called us into His fellowship before the fall. The redemption that Plantinga is talking about is something that has come out of necessity because of the fall.

Christ went to the cross to pay for the original sin of the fall and because of the resurrection of Christ we are saved from the torments of hell. We deserve hell but because of the death on the cross we are saved.

Man or Rabbit?

I really enjoyed reading this essay. The discussion in class was very nice to go along with the essay itself. This article by Lewis was written based on the question can a man lead a good life without Christianity? He states in the beginning what the materialist’ answer is, all I’m interested in is leading a good life. He then goes through a few positions not necessarily believing them to be true but rather for discussions sake.

Lewis brings up in the first paragraph the difference between a man and an animal. He states that the main difference between man and animals is that “man wants to know things, wants to find what reality is like, simply for the sake of knowing.” He calls the essay man or rabbit because what distinguishes man from the other animals is that he seeks knowledge and desires to find answers.

I very much agree with Lewis when he says that God will punish the wicked whether or not God has been revealed to them. Sometimes it does not seem very fare for them to be judged even though they were not aware when really all along they were. On this earth God's creation is a witness to everyone. It is very obvious to see that there must have been a creator in order for this universe to even exist. It speaks in the bible that God will not tolerate anyone who rejects the gospel.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Abolition of Man

The theme of Abolition of Man is the natural law tradition and stands for the tradition of the giants of Western civilization such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas. Natural law is the sense of right and wrong that we have in our hearts. Any type of society would not exist if these moral laws did not exist. This book is only three chapters long but is still one of the best defenses of the 20th century. We focused on the third chapter, "The Abolition of Man."

Lewis brings up some very interesting points in this article, one of which is when he stated that the newer generation is weaker than the previous. This is referring to the technologies that were invented that the later generations will not be able to live without. It is something that we tend to rely upon as we grow older and cannot live without. We will usually take the technologies we have today for granted and we will eventually forget how to do the things in the past.

We must always remember that we cannot take these technologies for granted and that they will always be there in time. The technologies also must not be used for an improper cause. We all know that the technologies that we have can be used for bad, but we must remember also how they can be used for the good of man. We can use such things as the internet to proclaim the gospels good news all around the world.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Four Loves

The book “The Four Loves” is divided into Storge Philia Eros Agaphe. Eros, the chapter that we read, is about “the kind of love which lovers are.” Eros is more of the romantic side of a relationship and Venus is more of the carnal side of the relationship. In a relationship Eros should come before Venus because of Eros being more of the romantic and closer side in a relationship. Eros carries the aspect of a man loving a woman for who she is rather than Venus for the physical attraction.

Eros makes it so that a man wants a woman for the person that she is and not for the sexual drive which is presented so many times in this life. This is referred to as a Venus type of love which is more of a self centered type of love usually focused more on the outside appearance of things. Lewis writes that “Eros wants the beloved” meaning that Eros is focused on the feelings. Along with Eros will eventually come the drive of Venus. It is a “by product” of Eros that will follow the romantic side.

In this life it is very easy to be caught up in the Venus type of love and forget about the Eros side. The world pictures love in this way and it can creep into our lives. It is a desire that must only exist in the marriage bond.

In Ephesians 5:25 it states “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” This verse is telling us to use a Christ like reverence in our love that we have for one another, whether it is towards our family, wives, or friends in the church. We must always strive to live towards Christ and His church.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Plantinga Ch 5

In this chapter Plantinga talks about our longing for the kingdom of God and how we are to use the talents that God has given us to the best of our ability. He calls us to serve the kingdom of God by using these talents to the best of our ability and to the honor and glory of him alone. This chapter fit in very well with Learning in War-Time because of CS Lewis telling us to always strive for more knowledge.

Plantinga begins by saying that sometimes we are eager for the coming of the kingdom of God and sometimes not so much. When we are having fun and enjoying the finer things in life we seem to forget to pray about the coming of the kingdom. I agree with Plantinga when he says this. It can be very easy to forget to pray for the second coming of Christ let alone for the coming to be soon. We must always remember why we are on this earth and that the life we are living is only temporary.

Plantinga goes on to talk about the importance of a Christian education. It is very easy to forget about why we are at a Christian school. We are here because the professors will always attempt to integrate God into our studies and will always strive to bring attention to Him. This is something that can be taken for granted. In the end Plantinga writes that we are to use the three skills of knowledge, skill, and virtue to better serve the kingdom of God and to bring glory to His great name.