Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Making Sense Of It All

This C.S. Lewis class was nothing like what I expected it to be. I had always loved the Chronicles of Narnia and thought that’s the only kind of writing C.S. Lewis produced. I knew that C.S. Lewis was a Christian and that he had other writings, but what I found out is that Lewis wrote a lot more then children stories. Lewis was a Theologian.
I had never been a big fan of Theology and coming into this class was very skeptical. The reason I didn’t like Christian Theology is because I feel it tries to bring God down to “our level” so that we can find a way to understand what he does. I am not saying that trying to understand what God is doing is wrong. It’s that we tend to start believing these theories as if they were completely true. This is where my problem with Theology comes in. I felt that this kind of thinking takes away from God, because there is no way to really understand the way God works except for what he tells us. I wasn’t sure what I would get out of this class.
I was surprised after about two weeks in, when I noticed that I was actually learning a lot in this class. I was learning to think for myself. I had always grown up believing everything that I had heard from the bible and what people told me about it. I never really stopped to think about it for myself. This class required me to think every day about different aspects of God and the way he works. Bible verses that I heard before, but never really stopped to think about them were presented to me every day. This class brought up ideas and points about these verses that I had never even thought of before.
I was glad that I got to see C.S. Lewis for the person that he really was. After reading a lot of these essays and excerpts. It was nice to see that C.S. Lewis was a normal man. A lot of times after reading something by him you felt that he was a “superman” who lived this glorious and perfect life. After seeing through this class that he was just a normal human being, it reassured me that I can live a good life.
One of thing that I took from this class was new look on education. I had never really though about my education that much until this class. I don’t know why this class gave me such a new look on it, but it did. After reading “Our English Syllabus” I began to see education as a tool to get where I want to in life. That education is a system and not learning. It’s a system that uses learning as a tool. I was never big on education, and had always thought of education and learning as the same thing. This essay really showed me that If we can find a way to use Learning to further our education that education can get you to where you want to go. I have a brand new look at education.
This is not the only thing that I have gained from this class. As I said earlier this class has helped me look at God’s word and God in my own way. It has made me feel that the relationship that I have with God a more personal one.
It was also nice to see the relationship between my two professors. It was nice to see that they were living what they were teaching in this class. They “practiced what they preached”. The love they showed for each other and for their students really showed that they believed what they were teaching. This really helped me really believe what they were saying.
This class is great. It is great to see inside the mind of a great Christian thinker. This class has really helped me in looking at Christian Theology in a different way. I still feel sometimes that theology can be dangerous, but I what I have found out is that it helps us think and remember what God had done for us and how grateful we should be. I loved listening and sometime participating in the arguments and discussions in this class. It was nice to hear what other people thought and how they felt. That they were thinking about the same things that I was. Most of all it reminded me that I am not in this alone, but that there are other there. That we are there for each other, and that Christianity is about family. I loved learning with such a great group of kids who share the same basic belief that I do. That is that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.


In this essay Lewis talks about people's longing to be a part of something bigger or a group. In this case "The-Inner-Ring". I know this to be a fact, because in my psychology class we learned that it is a part of our genetic makeup, this longing to be a part of something bigger. We don' t want to be unique, we don't want to be a different, we want to be just like everyone else. We always strive to be in group, wheter it be big or small. We are even willing to be something completely different then what really are. Just to fit into into a group.
As Christians we are called to be different from the majority of the world. Which goes against our genetics and science it self. When we choose to live for God and become Christians we choose to to be completely different from the world. We have to put up with people looking at us weird or treating us different. Just because we are not the same as them. We can find comfort though that we are not alone in this. We are a part of the Body of Christ. So at the same time that we may feel alone in this world we are not. We have fellow Christians out there that believe the same thing we do.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Problem Of Pain

Problem Of Pain, this essay is about the question that billions of people ask themselves every day. That is "If God is such a loving God then why does he allow us to suffer so much?" I really liked this essay because I have asked myself this question many times in my life. I have lost love ones, and every time I find myself asking God why would he allow me endure so much pain?
I believe that the reason that we go through pain is because we are fallen. I know this may seem like an obvious reason, but its the one that I believe. Sense we are fallen we must put ourselves through pain to become more like God. We must sacrifice ourselves to become followers of Christ. I have learned to look at pain as something that comes before happiness. If you think about it what would happiness feel like if you never experienced pain. We also grow stronger through pain. If you think about weight lifting. When you lift your muscles become soar and weak, but when after that pain they become stronger and are capable of enduring more. The same applies to our relationship with God. We go through trials and tribulations. The pain that we go though during these times is just like our muscles. As we go through these pain it may seem that God has forsaken us. The truth is that these pains are intended to bring us closer to God. How would we grow closer to God if everything was always alright. These pains and suffering are supposed to get us to rely on him and put our faith and trust in Him.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Engaging God's World: Ch. 4

This chapter is the cornerstone to our faith, Redemption. It amazes me every time when I think that Christ, the universes' creator came down to this small little planet to give his life for us. The most undeserving of his creations. I dont think you will find redemption in any other religion, but Christianity. This is the part of Chrisitianity that I love. Not for the obvious reason that now I am not completely doomed to hell, but that it makes me feel God in a more personal way. It still blows my mind thinking about how can God love us that much, when compared to him we are nothing more then a piece of dust floating in the wind.
I had a really hard time really expanding on this chapter then what was written above. Thats all redemption means to me. It was intersting though to see different, but basic beliefs of redemption. I really liked how we talked about it in class that when we here this story or talk about God's redemption we tend to think of it as something old and boring. That we have heard before. Which is wierd, because its something we should really get excited about everytime we hear it. It is for God's redemption that we are still hear and living. No matter how many times we hear about it we should never grow bored with it.

Man or Rabbit

"Man or Rabbit" ask the question can one live a good life without believing in Christianity? According to Lewis there is not really any debate about whether your can or can not. If you are a Christian you live a life for God. If you are a materialist then you live life for earthly happiness. Both can't be right. If one is right then the other is absolutely wrong. Lewis says that "If Christianity should happen to be true, then it is quite impossible that those who know this truth and those who don't to be well equipped for leading a good life. Knowledge of the facts must make a difference to ones actions. Suppose you found a man on the point of starvation and wanted to do the right thing. If you had no knowledge of medical science, you would probably give him a large solid meal; and as a result your man would die."
I think this really sums up what Lewis is trying to get across through out the whole essay. If you believe in Christianity then it is impossible for a non-christian to lead a good life even if they want to. You can have all heart and good intentions to do so, but if you are not properly equipped you will end up doing more damage then good in the long run. I don't think what Lewis is trying to say is that there is no good non-christians out there. There are plenty of people who don't believe in Christianity, but are very good people. What Lewis is trying to say that no matter how good there lives may seem in the long run it leads Hell. It does not mean they can't do good.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Abolition Of Man

"Abolition Of Man" is probably one of the hardest reads I have ever had. I read through it and could only understand parts of what Lewis was trying to say, because of some of his previous essays I have read ("Our English Syllabus").
The first chapter talks about the education system and how it focuses only of the intellectual side side of learning rather then the emotional side. What lewis is trying to say is that we need the emotional side to be able to discern from whats right and whats wrong. The name of the chapter was "Men Without Chest". Sense education only focuses on the intellectual side we don't have the emotions necessary to make the right decisions between right and wrong, but they demand it of us. Hence the title "Men Without Chest, It like asking the body to function without of a heart.
The whole book really deals with Natural Law. Natural Law is something that was given to us when we were created. It is the ability to know the if something is morally wrong or right. I know that the idea lewis is trying to get through is that when we cover up our Natural law and struggle to tell the difference between right and wrong. This is what causes the abolition of man.

The Love Eros

Eros is one of four kinds of Loves that Lewis describes in the reading "The Four Loves". Eros is what you would call being deeply in love with someone. How he describes "Eros" is when you can only think about that person and nothing else. Lewis makes sure to point out that "Eros" is not the craving to have sex with that person, but more. It is what he calls " a pre-occupation with that person" without really thinking about sex. you are facinated with who she is. Sex is just a desire and for that persons body. Just sexual desire itself is not true love, its just lust. You will grow bored with it after awhile. Eros is a desire to be with that person for the rest of your life. Its a desire for that person to feel the same thing your are feeling towards them, "You Desire them to desire you". Sex is something that comes after you have found that person that completes you. Its something that happens within the boundaries of marriage. Its when two people become one according to the bible. Its not something that should be taking lightly. It should be something special every time.
Another thing that I noticed is that this love "Eros" goes along with Lewis essay of "Subjectivism". In a way we show "Subjectivism" when we are experiencing the love "Eros". Regardless what people think we will view the person we are falling in love with as the most gorgeous person in the world, whether she is or not. Either way we will all experience "Eros" at one point in our lives. I just want to remember how sacred and special it is when I do.