Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Our October, 2016, Meeting

C. S. Lewis had his own "Gethsemane experience." It was during the illness and loss of his wife, Joy, who died in the spring of 1960. Lewis makes this plain to us in his book, Letters to Malcolm.

Lewis speaks elsewhere about issues related to Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane as well.

What does he say about the prayer? What intellectual problems did the prayer raise in Lewis' mind and how did he answer them?

At our Thursday, October 20, meeting, we will read what Lewis has to say about Jesus' prayer. We will also view a short video Rev. Beckmann made in Oxford this summer where he addresses in particular Lewis' comments in Letters to Malcolm. You will find Lewis' words both interesting and encouraging. We hope you will join us. 

The Meeting House is located at 3912 Dayton Boulevard in Red Bank.  $5 at the door.

Image source: https://studyingprayer.com/2015/09/05/jesus-last-prayers-were-simple-direct-and-earnest/

Monday, September 26, 2016

Meetings status

I'm sorry, I've gotten so Facebook-event-page oriented that I failed to announce the September meeting here.  We are planning the October meeting, looking right now at the third Thursday in the month, again at The Meeting House, in Red Bank.  Topic will be "The Anxiety of Hope: C. S. Lewis Comment's on Jesus' Prayer in Gethsemane.  I'll have more info here as soon as things are confirmed.

Long live the True King!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Our August Meeting


C. S. Lewis has lots of stories that are scattered through various books, including his poetry. Rev. Beckmann will quickly survey some of his lesser known whole-book stories, and then look at stories that most people don't know exist. We'll read a couple of shorter ones and Rev. B. will work really hard at not spoiling what some people think is one of the best of all his stories - about a queen who flees her castle!

Tuesday, 9 August, 2016
Location: The Meeting House, 3912 Dayton Blvd, in Red Bank
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.  The coffee shop will be open.  $5 at the door.
You and your friends are invited!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Our Meeting This July


"The Children and the Wardrobes: The True Story of the World War II Evacuees Who Lived with The Professor: C. S. Lewis"  
Rev. Beckmann will tell us the story of what life was like at The Kilns during the war, and the children from London who lived there.  Details connected with the Narnia stories will be noted.  Discussion to follow.
7:00 p.m., Tuesday, 12 July, at The Meeting House, 3912 Dayton Boulevard, in Red Bank.  The coffee bar will be open.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, June 20, 2016

C. S. Lewis and Star Wars


The public is invited to The Meeting House, 3912 Dayton Blvd, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37415, Tuesday, 21 June, 7:00 p.m. for "C. S. Lewis & Star Wars."

Discussion leader and speaker: The Rev. David Beckmann, Moderator of the C. S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga


C. S. Lewis was a life-long Sci-Fi fan. Though he did not live long enough to see the beginning of the Star Wars saga, he did write many things that tell us what he would have said about it. Join us as we reflect on various issues of the Star Wars "canon" from Lewis' perspective.


The coffee bar will be open.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 9, 2016

April Men's Meeting Notes



At our last C. S. Lewis Society men's meeting, we reviewed Part I, chapters 22 and 23 and Part II,chapter 1 of God in the Dock

I, 22, is "Rejoinder to Dr. Pittenger."  In 1958, Dr. Pittenger was Chairman of the Theological Commission of the World Council of Churches.  He wrote an article in Christian Century taking Lewis to task over various issues, especially in his books The Problem of Pain and Miracles.   Lewis' response is humble, humourous, and rather a rebuke to Pittenger. 

We kept noticing that Lewis expresses frustration with Pittenger (P) because P is often not clear in his writing of what he means.  Lewis tries to answer him as best he can. 

As for The Problem of Pain, two points addressed.  Lewis admits his statement about the Incarnation in one place was a bit "crude," but he states that he corrected it in another edition and his statements in Mere Christianity should be an antidote.  The second point is Lewis attempting to understand what P says about the "God-Man", trying to decide whether he agrees with P or not.

When it comes to P's criticism's about Miracles, Lewis up-front says that he has to deny them all.  Lewis' comments about one of these issues needs a little background.

At that time, it was common among critical New Testament scholars to believe that the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) were written in the first century, but John's gospel was written much later.  They believed this because they assumed that there was an evolution in the Church's understanding of the divinity of Jesus, and since John's statements about Jesus are so explicit, then they must represent a later development.  In other words, John's gospel could not have been written by John in the first century, because he seems so sure about Jesus' divinity - more sure than the authors of the Synoptics seems to be.  P has apparently complained of Lewis not siding with the current opinions on the gospels.

Lewis is, of course, aware of this "scholarly" opinion.  He simply disagrees with it.  The Synoptics themselves contain stories about Jesus that contain inescapable claims by him of deity.  He cites Jesus' claim to forgive sin and his confessions at his trial.  We have here the same Jesus of John's gospel. 

After a humourous response to P's complaint about Lewis not caring about animals, he concludes with a final judgment on P's failure to recognize the audience to whom Lewis is writing.  He is writing to the uneducated, and apparently P doesn't even think about these people. 

We have here an important autobiographical insight into Lewis' rational for his writing style; very worthwhile reading.

Part I, ch. 23 can simply be summarized thus:  Lewis helps the Bishop of Woolwich say what he meant to say or should have said, and takes the wind out of his claim of "novelty" or that the whole thing is an "issue" needing to be addressed.

Part II, ch. 1, is very interesting.  There are several things going on here.  Lewis is trying to balance out a recent call - primarily by Oxford undergrads - for national repentance.  That is, England needs to admit her own faults for decisions that have lead to World War II.  


He is not against calls to national repentance.  However, he cannot help but notice that such calls can lead to a failure to recognize the reality of the issues related to the individuals involved: 
a) the students themselves are accusing people in the Government of wrong - some of them Christian brothers, by the way - without having to examine the wrongs of their own lives; 
b) their accusations against these people are uncharitable and a show of disrespect for their elders; 
c) they were not even alive when some of these decisions were made, so if they want to blame themselves for something, they need to look at the sins of their own generation - but then they aren't really counting themselves in anyway. 

It was obvious that these young people were only too glad to bring accusations against their elders, and that enjoyment lead Lewis to suspect the whole affair.  The movement reminded us of calls for repentance or confession of sin for this or that organization today, which are lead more by political sentiments than a careful evaluation of the actual circumstances involved. 

We also recognized that a nation only repents when the majority of the individuals in that nation repent.  The best thing we can do for our country or other organization is ourselves to honestly repent and, with humility and charity, encourage others to do so as we are able.  If the Church officially calls a nation to repent, it must do so carefully, and in the right spirit.  There should be nothing about it to enjoy - no "gotcha" moment.

Image source: https://universityhistory.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/looking-back-degree-day1950s-bw.jpg?w=820&h=312&crop=1 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Annual UTC Lecture This Week

This week! the annual UTC C. S. Lewis Lecture, 31 March, at the University Center Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.  The speaker for 2016 is Dr. Joseph Laconte of Kings' College, New York City.  Dr. Laconte is an Associate Professor of History and author of the book A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918For more info on the lecture go here: lewisutclecture.com  You may find a description of the book on Amazon by clicking here

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Men for God in the Dock

Calling all guys! We are rebooting our monthly men's meeting. We start tomorrow night, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m., at Anglican Church of the Redeemer, 104 McBrien Road. We will summarise and discuss chapters 20 and 21 of God in the Dock. Suggested donation of $5 for drinks and church use. Come if you can!