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EH 32 Through the Wardrobe Door:
The Fantasy and Science Fiction of C. S. Lewis
Interim 2005
Study Questions

For Mere Christianity

  1. What are the merits of "mere" Christianity as opposed to those of the doctrines of the variety of Christian sects? What is lost by reducing a religion to its basics? What is gained?

  2. In Book I, Chapters 1 and 2, Lewis discusses what he calls the "Law of Human Nature." Do you believe that there is a "Law of Human Nature" that we all agree on (all being humans of all cultures, religions, races)? Think of Saddam Hussein, of the two sides in the Middle East conflict, of the two sides on the abortion issue, of the United Nations position on human rights and those countries that disagree with it. How would you define this Law of Human Nature if it is different than the one that Lewis proposes?

  3. In Book II, Chapter 2, Lewis does not account for the origin of evil. He says that "badness is only spoiled goodness." Do you agree with him? How did goodness get spoiled in the first place? How does goodness get spoiled?

  4. In Book II, Chapter 3, Lewis presents a situation with only three choices: a) Christ is who he said he was, b) Christ was a lunatic, or c) Christ was the Devil of Hell. Are these three choices the only ones? If not, what are others?

  5. In Book III, Chapter 6, Lewis makes his case for a wife's obedience to her husband in a Christian marriage. Earlier in the chapter, he likened marriage partners to a lock and a key, and a violin and a bow. Although he admits to being a bachelor and to seeing things only from the outside, from our 21st-century American perspective (Christian or otherwise) Lewis may seem terribly old fashioned if not downright sexist. How does Lewis's male chauvinism affect your ability to trust his reasoning?

John D. Tatter, Birmingham-Southern College,