Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rob MacSwain this Friday

From a previous post:
Our November meeting will be on St. Andrew's Day, Friday, 30 November, at 7:00 p.m.  in the meeting room across the street from The Camp House, 1427 Williams St., on the Southside. 



Photo of book co-edited by MacSwain
For our November meeting, we will have The Rev. Dr. Robert MacSwain, Assistant Professor of Theology and Christian Ethics, The School of Theology, The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee.  His talk this evening is titled, “A Fertile Friendship: C. S. Lewis and Austin Farrer.”  It explores Farrer’s close friendship with both “Jack” and Joy Lewis, how each man understood and evaluated the other’s work, their similarities and differences, and what possible influence they may have had one another.

A philosophy graduate of Liberty University, Robert MacSwain studied theology at Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Edinburgh, and Anglican Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary.  After an internship as Research Assistant to Archbishop George Carey at Lambeth Palace, he was ordained in 2001 and spent three years in parish ministry.  In 2004 he was awarded an Episcopal Church Foundation Fellowship and began doctoral studies with Canon Professor David Brown at the University of Durham.  However, in 2007 he followed his supervisor to the University of St. Andrews, and received his doctorate from there in 2010.  His dissertation, which focused on the religious epistemology of the Anglican theologian, philosopher, and New Testament scholar Austin Farrer, will be published in 2013 as Solved by Sacrifice: Austin Farrer, Fideism, and the Evidence of Faith.

His teaching and research interests combine philosophy, theology, ethics, literature, and spirituality with a particular focus on how these five disciplines interact within the Anglican tradition.  The author of several chapters, journal articles, book reviews, and poems, he has also co-edited four books: Grammar and Grace: Reformulations of Aquinas and Wittgenstein (with Jeffrey Stout), The Truth-Seeking Heart: Austin Farrer and His Writings (with Ann Loades), The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis (with Michael Ward), and Theology, Aesthetics, and Culture: Responses to the Work of David Brown (with Taylor Worley).

Feel free to visit the Camp House coffee shop before the meeting.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Video on C. S. Lewis and Scientism

My wife just ran across this on the net and it's very good; check it out!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wonderful opportunity for C. S. Lewis fans

Westminster Abbey has agreed to a memorial for C. S. Lewis in the Poet's Corner, to be unveiled next November. Donations are being received for the memorial! Let's see what we can do. Go here for more information.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lewis to be recognized at Westminster Abbey

Great news! McGrath article in the Telegraph

Audio of Dan Hamilton's tour of "Leaf by Niggle"

We currently are using a google flash-based reader for the audio; it will not work on i-products. Working on that.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Special Discussion with Dan Hamilton

The C. S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga invites you to an evening conversation with Dan Hamilton, Author of Tales of a Forgotten God and co-author of In Pursuit of C. S. Lewis, Editor of numerous editions of George MacDonald's novels, and Co-founder of the C. S. Lewis and Friends Society at Taylor University and the Central Indiana C. S. Lewis Society in Indianapolis.

Topic for the evening: "J. R. R. Tolkiens Leaf by Niggle: A Guided Tour"

Leaf by Niggle is a part of Tolkien's essay on fairy tales - Tree and Leaf  - which C. S. Lewis thought was the best work ever written of its kind. 

Dan Hamilton writes: Leaf by Niggle is a short and charming story - and one of my very favorite Tolkien pieces, one often overlooked and under-appreciated even by Tolkien enthusiasts. It was written after The Hobbit, but before The Lord of the Rings was finished and published; it unveils his creative process (in all its agonies) and reflects his persistent fears that all the marvelous spell-binding stories in his head would remain unwritten and unpublished, and eventually forgotten.

Featuring extracts from Tolkien's letters, this presentation brings out the hidden meanings and allusions in this poignant autobiographical allegory.

Venue:
Pasha's Coffee House, St. Elmo
7:30-9:00 p.m., Monday, 19 November, 2012
Feel free to come early to order some of Pasha's great food and coffee

Presented by the C. S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Next Men's Meeting

Our next men's meeting will be Friday, the 16th, 6:00 p.m., at the Chattanooga Billiard Club, 725 Cherry Street, downtown.  Our discussion will be of "The Founding of the Oxford Socratic Club" and "Religion without Dogma," from Lewis' God in the Dock.  You must be 21 years of age, due to Tenn. law re: smoking in a restaurant, even though we eat in a non-smoking room, but there it is.  Come ready for some lively discussion!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Meetings for October and November

October meeting this Friday!


Dear Friends of C. S. Lewis:

I have great news for you.  Our next two general meetings will be occasions to meet and hear two significant C. S. Lewis scholars.  The October meeting will be on Friday, 26 October, at 7:00 p.m. and the November meeting will be on St. Andrew's Day, Friday, 30 November, at 7:00 p.m.  Both events will be in the meeting room across the street from The Camp House, 1427 Williams St., on the Southside. 

For our October meeting, we welcome again Rev. Will Vaus, from Monterey, Virginia.  He will present a paper entitled "C. S. Lewis' Reading of George MacDonald."  In early November, he will again present this paper to the Oxford C. S. Lewis Society, in the U.K., so we have the privilege of getting a preview of his Oxford presentation to our sister Society.

Will Vaus was born outside of New York City and grew up in Southern California.  He is the son of Jim Vaus, former organized crime wiretapper who came to personal faith in Jesus Christ through the ministry of Billy Graham in 1949.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama from the University of California at San Diego and a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.  He has served as a pastor in California, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  He is the President of Will Vaus Ministries, through which he has creatively communicated the love of Christ around the world since 1988.

Will is the author of Mere Theology: A Guide to the Thought of C. S. Lewis, My Father Was a Gangster: The Jim Vaus Story, The Professor of Narnia: The C. S. Lewis Story, The Hidden Story of Narnia: A Book-by-Book Guide to C. S. Lewis' Spiritual Themes, and most recently Open Before Christmas, Devotional Thoughts for the Holiday Season.

During the meeting, we will take up an offering to assist Will on his trip to England.  He will also have copies of his books for sale, especially his latest, which you would surely enjoy reading for this coming Advent and Christmas season.

For our November meeting, we will have The Rev. Dr. Robert MacSwain, Assistant Professor of Theology and Christian Ethics, The School of Theology, The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee.  His talk this evening is titled, “A Fertile Friendship: C. S. Lewis and Austin Farrer.”  It explores Farrer’s close friendship with both “Jack” and Joy Lewis, how each man understood and evaluated the other’s work, their similarities and differences, and what possible influence they may have had one another.

A philosophy graduate of Liberty University, Robert MacSwain studied theology at Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Edinburgh, and Anglican Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary.  After an internship as Research Assistant to Archbishop George Carey at Lambeth Palace, he was ordained in 2001 and spent three years in parish ministry.  In 2004 he was awarded an Episcopal Church Foundation Fellowship and began doctoral studies with Canon Professor David Brown at the University of Durham.  However, in 2007 he followed his supervisor to the University of St. Andrews, and received his doctorate from there in 2010.  His dissertation, which focused on the religious epistemology of the Anglican theologian, philosopher, and New Testament scholar Austin Farrer, will be published in 2013 as Solved by Sacrifice: Austin Farrer, Fideism, and the Evidence of Faith.

His teaching and research interests combine philosophy, theology, ethics, literature, and spirituality with a particular focus on how these five disciplines interact within the Anglican tradition.  The author of several chapters, journal articles, book reviews, and poems, he has also co-edited four books: Grammar and Grace: Reformulations of Aquinas and Wittgenstein (with Jeffrey Stout), The Truth-Seeking Heart: Austin Farrer and His Writings (with Ann Loades), The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis (with Michael Ward), and Theology, Aesthetics, and Culture: Responses to the Work of David Brown (with Taylor Worley).

Feel free to visit the Camp House coffee shop before the meeting.  We look forward to seeing you there.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Doug Wilson on Lewis' "Calvinism"

Pursuant to our discussion last Friday night. Lewis would speak ill of Calvinism, but it was of a certain sort, a kind of determinism. As Wilson explains, when it comes down to what he says about salvation, he was in line with the teaching of Calvin and the other Reformers.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Our September Month's End Meeting

Chapel of Magdalene College, Cambridge
The next meeting of our Society will be the last Friday of September, the 28th.  We will discuss the last two chapters of The Weight of Glory.  The chapter "On Forgiveness" was written by Lewis in 1947 for a parish newspaper, but the rector moved to another church before it could be published.  It did not appear publicly until good ol' Walter Hooper located it in 1975.  In this paper, Lewis deals with the two ideas of forgiveness and excuses.  Should be interesting!

The second chapter is "A Slip of the Tongue."  Lewis was privately praying a prayer from the Prayer Book and almost said the wrong thing.  It got him thinking about something and we find his thoughts here.  Hooper tells us that Lewis used his thoughts for the last sermon he preached - which is our chapter - at Magdalene College Chapel, Cambridge, 29 Jan. 1956.  

Now something else different about this meeting will be the time and venue.  We are going to meet an hour earlier - at 6:00 p.m. - and we will convene at the Mean Mug coffeeshop, 114 West Main St. on the Southside.  They normally close at 5:00 p.m., but will open up for us and make their full menu available to us for a light supper.  Their coffee is produced by Velo and is really good.  We should have the place to ourselves, so we may find this a really good evening for discussion.  You can park on Main St. or in the back.  

Mean Mug on Facebook: click here.  They provide a map.

Hope to see you there!  If you are a Society friend on Facebook, be sure to indicate at the event post if you are coming or not - would be good to know.

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paullew/6840995606/sizes/c/in/pool-346755@N20/

Monday, September 3, 2012

Membership - Notes from our last meeting


Notes on Lewis' chapter in Mere Christianity, "Membership"

False ideas of belonging
Lewis' statement re: the idea that relig. is to be a private affair in the modern world.
The idea is:
1. Paradoxical - said at the same time when the modern world - with its collective - is trying to exclude privacy
2. Dangerous
a. because the combination of "keep it to yourself" and yet not allowing anyone to be by themselves results in a lack of occasion or place for religion.
b. sincere believers may import the alien sense of the collective into the faith in the name of Christian Body Life or fellowship.
3. Natural: that is, though an error, it is a natural reaction to modern collectivism; the individual matters.  The feeling that we must preserve the individual life is just.
Hierarchy of value/importance:
I (top)        Participation in the Body
II                Private spirituality
III               Collective social experience; exists for our earthly good; of no service to spiritual good
We think of such things (regarding time and life in this world) only so we can be in a position to think of better things.
p. 163; definition of membership
Top, 166: two ways of departing from isolation: a) the collective (where individualism is lost) and b) integration into a body or family, where individualism, personality, and hierarchy is celebrated

False ideas of the individual
p. 167; the paradox of equality
the legal fiction of equality, like medicine, keeps away bad things, but it is not what we are meant to live on.
170 - Rom. 5 heroic death and death for love; our real equality is in his love, not in us.
171 - his delight when the priest stands and others kneel
SUM - Mid 171 - how a single life is defended from the collective.  Not by isolation, but membership in the Body

False ideas of true personality (the eternality and place of the individual)
new side of the matter: the eternality of the individual
172 - we shall share the victory by being in the Victor
175: His 2 main points:
1. the false idea of individual worship alongside collectivism; they aggravate each other; they are natural and of this world
2. Christianity is not really concerned with either one, but a new creation in Christ; this is a matter of the next world

Saturday, September 1, 2012

C. S. Lewis and Anglicanism


Lyle Dorsett has a lot of insights into the Anglicanism of C. S. Lewis, of which he writes in his book Seeking the Secret Place - The Spiritual Formation of C. S. Lewis. He reminds us firstly of Lewis' statement in the Preface of Mere Christianity that he was neither high nor low Anglican, just an ordinary layman in the Church. He did have a high regard for the Anglican tradition. This is evident in his book Letters to Malcolm and personal letters. Dorsett says that the safest thing to call Lewis is a Protestant, since the Anglican Church was so diverse.

He was not anti-Puritan but critical of Puritans. He especially did not like their delving into predestination. Lewis considered the topic a "meaningless question." In a margin note of his copy of the Book of Common Prayer, Lewis wrote beside Article XIII, "doctrine never to be discussed..." He also did not like the preoccupation many Puritans had with our sinfulness as Christians. He found it unhealthy. Lewis is thus more of a Methodist when it comes to the issue. He was also close to Methodism in his idea of holiness. But, as alluded above, he ultimately really like the "middle ground" of Hooker and Jeremy Taylor.

Lewis did strongly object to the modernism in the Anglican Church. He was a great apologist of orthodoxy. He found both evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics on solid common ground by virtue of being super-naturalists.

Dorsett writes: For the most part, C. S. Lewis spent little time studying, analyzing, or criticizing the factions in the Anglican Church [though I would not include the modernist faction here]. Instead, he behaved like a member of a good family - giving what he could to encourage others and taking what was offered to him. He lived in the church and loved it, and from it he drew much of his spiritual vitality. Being in the church was to Lewis as important to healthy spiritual development as being in a family is to emotional and social health. (pp. 78,79).

According to Harry Blamires, in a conversation Dorsett had with him, "Lewis was at times quite high on the Anglican spectrum and at other times rather low. It all depended upon the doctrine and the practice." (p.97). On the high spectrum, Lewis practiced confession and he believed in Purgatory (See Letters to Malcolm, p. 108, - Dante's version of Purgatory, not the later version). However, when it came to Mary and the pope, he was thoroughly biblical. Contrary to what some have said, Lewis remained steadily against becoming a Roman Catholic to the end.

When I read Lewis on Purgatory and also learn of the kind of spiritual literature he favoured, it seems to me that he was heavily influenced by his earlier philosophical and medieval reading, especially the latter. He came into Christianity as a medievalist and he never seems to have lost much of his taste for that era of our history and thought. Medieval spirituality appealed to him. This was balanced by his Protestant upbringing and what he also learned from his reading of Protestants, such as Milton, Hooker, etc. But when you read his argument for Purgatory, it is philosophical, not biblical. He really likes Dante and so he sticks with him.

Though Lewis respected and appreciated the Anglican Church, he remained "his own man." I think he lacked some biblical consistency with his beliefs, but his "mere Christianity" approach, and his decided appreciation for the bulk of Anglican tradition, make him someone we Anglicans continue to hold in high regard.

D. Beckmann

Monday, August 27, 2012

Meeting this Friday

This Friday, the 31st, we will hold the Aug. meeting of the CSL Society.  Reading: "Membership" from The Weight of Glory.  7:00 p.m., Camp House, Pax Room, 1427 Williams St., Southside. This is such a fantastic chapter! Get a cuppa at the coffee shop across the street and come and join the discussion.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Men's Meeting this Friday

Our monthly men's meeting will be this Friday, the 17th, 6:00 p.m., at the Chattanooga Billiards Club on Cherry Street, downtown.  The subject will be Lewis' essay "Christian Apologetics" from the book God in the Dock.  Lots of good stuff to talk about here.  You must be 21 to attend, thanks to the social engineering laws of the State.  

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Going Another Direction

Lewis closes his address entitled "The Inner Ring" with the words: "The true road lies in quite another direction.  It is like the house in Alice Through the Looking Glass."  To what is this a reference?

In the story, Alice sees the reflection of her own house in the mirror which is over a mantlepiece.  She thinks that it would be very interesting to get into that other house.  By magic, she is able to pass through the looking glass into the other house.  However, when she gets there, she does not find it all that pleasant, and decides to go out of the house into the garden.  She sees a hill and thinks that, if she could get to the top of that hill, she could see the garden better.  So, she aspires to arrive on the hill, but she finds that, however she tries to get there, she always winds up back at the house somehow.

In the meantime, she sees the Red Queen and desires to talk to her.  When she tries to get to the Red Queen, again, she winds up back at the house.  The flowers tell her "to walk the other way," but that seems nonsensical - to walk in the direction you do not want to go to get to where you want to be.  However, after running back into the house again, she tries their plan, to walk in the opposite direction, and it "succeeded beautifully."

Lewis reminds us that, to a young person, the life of the wide world around us seems to be full of various kinds of things that we think we would like.  The youth therefore desires to enter this world.  However, once he gets there, he finds that it was not worth the trouble.  True friendship, true and good belonging, "lies in quite another direction."  In order for the youth to really have what he desires, he must go in a direction opposite to that which seems to lead to his desires.  If we keep pursuing fulfillment in the wrong direction, we will keep running into the House; the place we don't want to be in any more.  I think that this is what Lewis means when he says that the pursuit of the "inner ring" can be like the house in the story.  

Jesus challenges us to die to our own ways that we may live, does he not?  We are to follow a call that seems to be the opposite of what we want; we enter a path of death on a cross that we may live forever. If we listen to the flowers and follow their Maker's instructions, we find that it succeeds beautifully.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Monthly Meeting This Friday - The Inner Ring

The end of July is upon us and we plan to have our next meeting of the C. S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga on the 27th, the last Friday of the month, 7:00 p.m., in the "Pax" building, across the street from The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. on the Southside. Our topic of conversation will be Lewis' penetrating essay entitled "The Inner Ring" from the book The Weight of Glory. It is short, very readable and you are encouraged to read it this week, whether you are able to make the meeting or not. It's one of those essays in which Lewis demonstrates his genius at unearthing the deceits of our hearts. It's almost like reading a letter from Screwtape. The conversation may be uncomfortable, but it will be good for us. Hope you can join us.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lewis' The Grand Miracle - a "missing chapter" in our lives?


One of the wonderful things about Lewis' article, "The Grand Miracle," is that it incarnates the very virtue that Lewis says demonstrates the reality of the miracle of the Incarnation.  For one thing, he surprises us.  As western moderns, we would have anticipated that Lewis would have reveled in the spirituality of the Christian religion or the more theological aspects of the Incarnation touching specifically upon "salvation".  Instead, he revels in the truth of the Incarnation by reveling in nature.  The virtue of the Incarnation is the way it leads to the redemption and renewal of all of nature.

The structure of his essay is as follows:
I. Introduction
A. The question on the floor: can Christianity exist without miracle?  His answer: absolutely not.  The whole point of Christianity is the story of the Incarnation; a miracle. 
B. How the historic event of the Incarnation should be approached
1. In terms of the probable or improbable; a statistical inquiry?  Lewis answers, no, because the Incarnation, by its very nature, is a one time event.  It cannot be evaluated in statistical terms.
2. It should be evaluated as the introduction of a missing chapter may be evaluated in a story.  Does the Incarnation act in such a way as to illumine every other part of the story?  Since the context of our discussion as moderns is limited to the material universe - to what we observe in nature - then the question becomes: If the Incarnation did occur, then does it illumine and augment what we already know about nature?
C. Term defined: Incarnation refers to the "whole huge pattern" of descent and resurrection.  It is the pattern which we find in nature of death and life.

II. The Incarnation sheds light on the natural world and the nature religions.  It is like both - it's in the same story - but it is behind them both, and that in an unconscious manner.  The "corn king" story is not on the surface of the New Testament, because everyone seems unconscious of the corn king parallels; the reason being that the Corn King Himself was there.

III. The Incarnation sheds light on the seemingly unjust selectivity of nature, leading to "horrible and unjust" things by human standards.  Without minimizing the bad here, however, the Incarnation also shows us the beauties that can come from inequalities.  Thus it sheds light on this principle of nature.

IV. The Incarnation sheds light on the natural law of vicariousness.  Nothing can live on its own.  This too leads to horrors, such as carnivorousness.  However, The Incarnation brings to our attention the fact that "nearly everything good in nature also comes from vicariousness."  With this point, Lewis summarizes his argument of how well the Incarnation acts like a missing chapter: "If I accept this supposed missing chapter, the Incarnation, I find it begins to illuminate the whole of the rest of the manuscript" (viz., nature).  "I find it lights up nature's pattern of death and rebirth; and secondly, her selectiveness; and, thirdly, her vicariousness."

V. He comments on the "odd point" that Christianity thus acts in a manner unique among the religions of the world for it is neither, as other religions, a pure nature religion or an anti-nature religion.  Rather, it sheds light on both the "good" and the "bad" of nature, showing that they are really morally neutral.  Even death itself, "an appalling horror," can be, "somehow or other, infinitely good." 

VI. Conclusion: the Incarnation fits the bill prescribed under I.B.2. above.  And the glory is that, through the Incarnation, the whole of nature, humans being a part of it, will be re-made.  While life is like winter now, spring and summer are coming.

Now, that's how the argument proceeds.  But note that it is not based upon abstract philosophical arguments, nor upon proof-texting from Scripture.  Rather, it is all a reflection upon the amazing complexity of nature, in its twisted ugliness and in its inherent beauties.  Especially, Lewis wants us to recognize that, because of the Incarnation - the whole story of Jesus, past, present and future, nature is going to be an even more wonderful thing than we have ever known. 

Lewis in his own way incarnates the Incarnation in his examination of what the Incarnation means for us.  His  nature-focused explanation of the truth of the Incarnation enlightens our whole understanding of what Jesus has done for mankind.  It makes us think about the Christian story, the Christian religion, in a way that seems to be rather ignored by many.  It shines a grandeur upon the Christian faith by drawing in the whole story of the Creation, it's fall, redemption, and renewal.  It causes passages of Scripture, such as Romans 8, to stand out in sharp relief, more than they do in sermons and books focused on "salvation" and "justification."  It helps to open a door to Christian reflection on how we relate to the environment.  It helps us see our lives in that "whole, huge pattern" of Incarnation so that the very air we breath and the sun shining on the flowers and the birds singing in the trees leads us to think about our own personal and corporate redemption as humans.  I could go on, but my point is that the essay is like a missing chapter in much of Evangelical thinking about the story of Jesus.  Lewis, via this essay, steps into our minds, lifts them up from their limited perspectives, and brings us up into an air filled with wonder, both spiritual and natural.  We suddenly see ourselves in a truly sacramental universe.  We find the truth of Christian faith established in our hearts in a new and wonderful way that makes us to not only want to kiss the Cross, but the very earth on which we stand.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Men's Group this Friday

"The Grand Miracle," chapter 9 of Lewis' book God in the Dock will be the topic of our discussion at our men's group meeting this Friday night at the Chattanooga Billiards Club, 6:00 p.m., on Cherry Street. The point of the chapter is that, without "miracle," there is no Christianity. Come and let's talk about it.

Image source: http://mihaicucu78.wordpress.com/icons/

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Is Theology Poetry? - audio interview with Dr. Ordway

I had the rich blessing of spending time with Dr. Holly Ordway at the Kilns this month.  She has a lot of really good things to say about Lewis' work.  Here is a brief interview with her by William O'Flaherty about the essay which is our topic of discussion at the meeting this Friday.

 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Is Theology Poetry? This Friday

Update: 4:12 p.m., Tues. 26 June: venue: Craft room across from the Camp House, 1427 Williams St. on the Southside.

Why do Christians believe what they believe?  Is it because they leave Reason behind and are simply victims of an overactive imagination?  Is Christian belief merely a kind of poetry - something that satisfies the imagination, and nothing more?  Has Reason no role in leading to Christian belief?
 
Such was the challenge set before C. S. Lewis at the 6 November, 1944, meeting of the Oxford Socratic Club.  In the essay "Is Theology Poetry?" Lewis takes the challenge on as a true champion of Christian apologetic.

Professor Marvin Hinten in the C. S. Lewis Readers' Encyclopedia (p. 222) considers this essay poor and disjointed.  The second half, he claims, is off topic.  Rev. Beckmann will demonstrate how this is not the case.  The essay is quite brilliant and exemplifies how formidable Lewis could be in debate at the Socratic Club.  The whole essay fits the topic and is especially interesting because of the way Lewis uses his own personal experience to answer the topic at hand.

"Is Theology Poetry?", the fifth chapter in the book The Weight of Glory, is both autobiographical and a living witness of what it could be like to be present at a meeting of the Socratic Club.  Why not be present at our next meeting of the C. S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga and enjoy with us together this wonderful essay?

The meeting will be this Friday evening, 7:00 P.M.  The venue will be confirmed within twenty-four hours, so check back tomorrow if you think you can make it.

Narnia Code Podcast Series Begins

Be sure to listen to the podcast series on Michael Ward's book The Narnia Code that has just been posted.  You can hear it here.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

June Men's Meeting

Our next men's meeting will be this Friday, June 8, 6:00 p.m., at the Chattanooga Billiard Club, downtown.  Topic: chapters 7 & 8 of God in the Dock: "Religion and Science," and "The Laws of Nature."

Monday, May 21, 2012

May meeting this Friday - "Transposition"

This just out to our e-mail list:


The topic of discussion at our next meeting of the C. S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga is Lewis' Pentecost, 1944, sermon entitled "Transposition."  The connection with Pentecost in the sermon is Lewis' use of the speaking of tongues on the day of Pentecost (Acts ii) as an example of this principle of "transposition."

What is transposition?  Lewis' friend Owen Barfield said, "It took me some time to realize that, whatever else it [transposition] is ..., [it] can be seen as a theory of imagination ... I am not sure whether there is anything like it anywhere else in Lewis' writing, but that little sermon "Transposition" amounts in my view to a theory of imagination, in which imagination is not mentioned." (Hooper, Companion, p. 574).  

Referring to the sermon, Walter Hooper writes, "Lewis was always at his best when writing about Heaven, and now he found a way of making his thoughts even clearer."  This imaginative principle described by Lewis was very important to him.  Hooper tells us in the introduction to The Weight of Glory, that Lewis had to leave the pulpit while preaching the sermon "under stress of emotion."  The Principal of the College had the congregation sing a hymn until Lewis was composed enough to come back to the pulpit and finish the sermon.

You'll notice, however, that I'm not really answering exactly what transposition is.  For that, you need to come to the meeting!  It will be at the Camp House, 1427 Williams Street, 7:00 p.m. - across the street in the craft room.  The feast of Pentecost is this Sunday and what better way to begin to celebrate the day than with a discussion of Lewis' Pentecost sermon.  We hope to see you there. 

P.S.: forgot to remind everyone that "Transposition" is the next chapter in the book we have been reading: The Weight of Glory.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Horrid Men's meeting this Friday!

We will discuss 2 chapters from God in the Dock: "Myth Became Fact" and "Horrid Red Things."  We will meet at 6:00 p.m. at Chattanooga Billiards Club on Cherry Street.  See you there!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Men's meeting this Friday

6:00 p.m., Chattanooga Billiards Club, Cherry Street. We will be discussing the 3rd chapter of God in the Dock.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Audio of UTC Annual C. S. Lewis Lecture

Thanks to the efforts of the Poindexter Library, 18 of the past years' lectures have been recorded as mp3 files and soon there will be more. I will periodically upload lectures linked to this website, however, it is my hope this summer to develop a website specifically designed for the annual lecture and to have all the digitalized lectures available there. Last year's lecture by Peter Kreeft is available for listening here under "Recorded Lectures".

Update:
The 1996 lecture by Marjorie Mead can now be heard under the same link above for the Kreeft lecture. The 1998 lecture by Douglas Gresham may also be heard via the same link.

Friday, February 24, 2012

News for March

Just sent this out to the folks on our e-mail list:

Due to a scheduling glitch, it looks like we are not going to have a general meeting this month. I have, however, taken care of March through August, so this should not happen again.

March is going to be busy. On Thursday, the 8th, Dr. Ralph Wood will be giving the annual C. S. Lewis lecture at UTC. The lecture will be held in the Benwood Auditorium in the Engineering Building on the UTC campus. Admission is free. The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. The title of his lecture: "Rum, Romanism, and the Sacramental Imagination: G. K. Chesterton as Defender of the Faith." Should be great.

Our men's group will meet at the Chattanooga Billiards Club on Cherry Street, Friday, 16 March (the evening before St. Patrick's) at 6:00 p.m. We'll be studying the 3rd chapter of God in the Dock.

The general meeting for March will be on Friday, 30 March, 7:00 p.m. at the craft room across the street from the Camp House on Williams Street. We will discuss the 2nd chapter of Lewis' book The Weight of Glory.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Men's Meeting on the 10th

Hope to have absolutely definite word tomorrow, but it looks like we men will be able to meet on Friday the 10th at the Chattanooga Billiard Club, downtown. 6:00 p.m. We'll be in the non-smoking dining room. 2nd chapter of God in the Dock! CBC

Update, Sat. p.m. Word is definite; we're on for this Friday night.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This Year's UTC C. S. Lewis Lecture in Early March

We are coming up again on that time of the year when we get to enjoy the annual UTC C. S. Lewis lecture. This year's speaker is Ralph C. Wood, University Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His topic (you gotta love it!): "Rum, Romanism, and the Sacramental Imagination: G. K. Chesterton as Defender of the Faith." Chesterton was a huge favourite of Lewis, his book, The Everlasting Man, being key to bringing Lewis to the Faith.

The lecture will be held on the 8th of March, again at the Benwood Auditorium in the Engineering Building on the UTC campus. Admission is free. The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Image: Dr. Wood

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Meeting this Friday

Our meeting for this month will be Friday, 27 Jan. at 7:00 p.m. We'll discuss the first chapter of Lewis' book The Weight of Glory. We'll meet in the craft room across from the Camp House on Williams Street, Southside. Catch a cup of coffee at the bistro and join us!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Men's group reload this Friday

Friday the 13th, 6:00 p.m. at the Honest Pint. We'll put some tables together on the upstairs landing, so come on up. Discussing the first chapter of God in the Dock. Bring a friend.

Please NOTE! I sent out an e-mail reminder about this meeting and included a comment that our monthly meeting at the Camp House was confirmed. I put the wrong date! The monthly Camp House meeting is the Friday the 27th, not the 21st. Sorry!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Plans - Current Status

This just posted to our e-mail list and Facebook page:

Greetings, C. S. Lewis fans:

I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas. 2012 is going to be a great year for our local Society. We are especially looking forward to hearing Dr. Wood speak about Lewis and G. K. Chesterton at the annual UTC lecture in March. I'll be sure you have the details when they are available.

As for our regular monthly meetings, we will work our way through Lewis' book The Weight of Glory. The first of these meetings should be on Friday, 27 Jan, at the Camp House, but I'm waiting for them to get back with me to confirm. Be sure to read the first chapter, with the same title as the book, in time for our meeting.

In addition to our monthly meetings, there has been some advocacy for us to renew our men's meetings, which we had years ago. I will have a trial run on this. I'll be at the Honest Pint pub on Friday, 13 Jan., around 6:00 p.m. ready to discuss the first essay of Lewis' book God in the Dock, entitled "Evil and God." I'm thinking that I and those who come will be there for a couple of hours, so late is OK. If you'd like to come to a men's discussion, but cannot make this one, be sure to let me know. The time and place for future meetings is certainly on the table for discussion.

With the first installment of Peter Jackson's new movie, The Hobbit, due for release 14 Dec., we need to have a meeting in the autumn dedicated to Lewis and Tolkien. I'll be working on this and will keep you in touch.

Important details:
The Weight of Glory, ISBN-13: 978-0060653200
God in the Dock, ISBN-13: 978-0802808684
The Camp House: http://thecamphouse.com
The Honest Pint: http://thehonestpint.com

A big thank you to the few, that happy few, who have helped make our plans. Wishing you all a blessed new year, I remain,

Your servant,

David Beckmann
Moderator