Mere Christianity Discussion Questions: Apply C. S. Lewis’s Ideas

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Would you like to internalize the concepts in the classic book Mere Christianity? How can you make them come alive in your life and ministry?

In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis sets out to explain and defend Christian beliefs to a skeptical modern audience. Through his essays, Lewis—whom many Christians regard as an important lay theologian—argues for the existence of God, the divinity of Christ, and the benefits of a virtuous life.

Continue reading for several Mere Christianity discussion questions that will help you apply the book’s ideas to your own life.

Mere Christianity Discussion Questions

C. S. Lewis originally delivered his Mere Christianity essays as a series of radio addresses in the United Kingdom between 1941 and 1944. Broadcast to a population in the midst of World War II, Lewis’s discussions on evil, forgiveness, and serving a greater good struck a chord with a wide audience.

You can answer these Mere Christianity discussion questions individually or with a group to get more out of your reading.

Exercise #1: Reflect on Virtue

Lewis argues that virtue will change you. As you make a practice of virtuous acts, you’ll gradually become more aware of opportunities for virtue, and you’ll confront all of your vices. This exercise provides a chance to reflect on virtue and opportunities for moral decision-making in your daily life.

  1. Lewis argues that humility is the most important virtue. Only when we are truly humble will we be able to surrender to God’s moral laws. Do you agree? If so, explain why. If not, write down which of Lewis’s other key Christian virtues (faith, benevolence, moderation) you consider to be the most important to living a fulfilling life and explain why.
  2. Now that you have selected the virtue that is most important to you, brainstorm a list of opportunities to practice this virtue. Think about what your daily life looks like from when you get out of bed in the morning until you go to sleep at night. Consider your daily interactions with family, coworkers, and friends. Where and when could start practicing this virtue?
  3. Lewis asserts that practicing virtue requires surrender—when your will is in conflict with God’s law, you must submit. Now that you have a list of opportunities to practice virtue in your daily life, consider this question: What might you have to give up to practice this virtue every day? (For example, you may need to give up an indulgence, let go of a grudge in order to forgive, or tighten your budget to give more to charity.) Explain the sacrifices you would have to make to practice this virtue every day.

Exercise #2: Reflect on the Nature of God

Lewis makes several claims about the nature and character of God. In this exercise, you’ll have a chance to reflect on his arguments and develop your perception of God.

  1. Lewis contrasts three potential understandings of God: (1) Christianity’s moral God who has granted us free will, (2) dualism’s moral God who is at war with an evil God, and (3) pantheism’s morally neutral God. Do you share Lewis’s perception that the first one is the most compelling? If so, explain why. If not, pick the model you find more compelling and explain why.
  2. Lewis argues that we can understand that God is moral because God created moral laws—thus making an inference about the mind of God by looking to creation. Could we infer other preferences, properties, or qualities of God by looking at creation? Think about the world around you. What sort of creator does it suggest to you and why?
Mere Christianity Discussion Questions: Apply C. S. Lewis’s Ideas

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  • A look at the objective nature of morality
  • What it means to surrender yourself to God's moral law
  • What Christ means to Christian practice and how to follow his example

Elizabeth Whitworth

Elizabeth has a lifelong love of books. She devours nonfiction, especially in the areas of history, theology, and philosophy. A switch to audiobooks has kindled her enjoyment of well-narrated fiction, particularly Victorian and early 20th-century works. She appreciates idea-driven books—and a classic murder mystery now and then. Elizabeth has a blog and is writing a book about the beginning and the end of suffering.

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