Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Debriefing Session 4: Discussing Mere Christianity

Brown's summary of this session in the accompanying book is well done.  I did not find the discussion questions helpful.  What I did this time was to give everyone a printed handout that both summarized where we have been and the two chapters for this session: Book II, 3 & 4.  We spent the first bit of time going over this, up through ch. 3, and then watched the video.

Yancey's strength was his illustrations.  Everyone thought them helpful.  It seemed a lot of people could identify with the illustration of his aquarium.  Though he had nothing but good planned for the fish, when he approached the tank, they always hid from him.  If he was going to help them to understand him better and not hide, he'd have to become a fish in the tank with them.  It's a good illustration for the Incarnation, but I think people were especially touched by the recognition that often we are like the fish, hiding from God because we are afraid of him - when we shouldn't be.

Yancey only covered the material in chapter 3, so we wound up discussing ch. 4 on our own.  One of our Greek Orthodox attendees recognized a lot in common with Lewis' idea of the Atonement and their own.  We did discuss how Lewis' idea was a combination of substitution and union with the life of Christ.  We also noted that Lewis here ignores a forensic view.  Since Lewis spends over two pages in this chapter just trying to get people to realize that there are different theories of the Atonement and that they are secondary to the actual work of Jesus itself, it seemed to us that his effort goes beyond a mere caveat for his own position.  It is an actual promotion of the idea of keeping the different theories secondary in our thinking.

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