Monday, November 21, 2016

You are invited to our Christmas party!



The C. S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga and The Meeting House in Red Bank invite you to our "White-Witch-Defying Christmas Party," Tuesday evening, 13 December, at 7:00 p.m.

While we are still planning fun things to do, some of the activities we are discussing are:
1. A brief talk on why Narnia celebrates Christmas in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
2. A dramatic reading of the Christmas party in the story. We may also have an excerpt from the Disney movie.
3. A flaming snap-dragon!
4. Food and drink - of course - of the Christmas variety. We will probably request people to help out with this.
5. Crackers! (the popping-kind!)
6. Should we do white elephant gifts?
7. etc. We expect the coffee shop to be open.
8. Narnia-related costumes are welcome!


The Facebook event page is here!

The Meeting House is located at 3912 Dayton Blvd. in Red Bank. We plan to meet from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. $5 at the door. If you are a Narnia fan, you are invited!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Our Survey Results

Over the last few weeks, I conducted an e-mail survey of both those who are on our regular Society list and those who are on the list of attendees at our Meeting House sessions since the summer.  There were 22 responses - not very good, I'm afraid, but here are the results:

Question 1: What 2 books would you like to discuss?
Response: the top books were these, beginning with the most requested:
God in the Dock
The Abolition of Man
and coming in at a close third: Mere Christianity

Question 2: What areas would you like discussed?
Responses:
59% - Christian living
50% - Christian apologetics
Third place was tied with three categories (each receiving 45% of the responses):
  • Anything Inklings related
  • Books Lewis liked to read
  • Christian Theology and Philosophy
Question 3: What day of the week do you prefer to meet?
Response: Hands down, Tuesday or Thursday, Thursday being preferred just a little bit more than Tuesday.

Question 4: Do you have any particular questions you want to discuss?
Responses:
40% - God's existence
40% - What makes a book a good book?
35% - Anything about Narnia
15% - Other

Question 5: A particular problem for which you'd like if Lewis addressed?
Responses:
Most people said no.  Of those who did have a question, there were 7 different responses, though 2 were interested in politics - aren't we all!  :-)

Voila!  So, where do we go from here?  Well, with Christmas on the horizon, I'm thinking we may have something Narnia related early December.  Let me get back with you after talking with the folks at The Meeting House.  Feel free to comment, and let me know what you think - especially if you missed the survey!  Ha! 

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