Book 2 Chapter 2 The Invasion

Bible Study Mere Christianity
What happens to a writer when the train of thought derails.

Mere Christianity Book 2 Chapter 2: The Invasion

Welcome to the train wreck notes of my time with C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. This is all train of thought without any editing or revisions. It is as it happened, as I wrote it down, as I read the text and pondered what it meant. I welcome any and all comments. Chapter 2 of book 2 introduces us to the concepts of Deism, Dualism, and Christianity with regard to Good and Evil as over-arching ideas. You can find the copy I’m using HERE.

C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity Bible Study Notes

Book 2 Chapter 2: The Invasion

  • Christianity and Water
    • Atheism and “…a good God in Heaven and everything is all right” are “boy’s philosophies” meaning this is a child’s level of thinking. Not very complex, not very eloquent, not very germane to reality. It is simple and does not encompass the truth because it is a lie of omission leaving out intrinsic points needed to understand the whole.  Lewis backs this up by saying, “Real things are not simple.”
  • Then you must be prepared for something difficult….
    • This is all about Christianity. Very little in it is simple as a child’s prayer.
  • God didn’t make religion. Man made religion based on what God told us about Himself. Paragraph three of this chapter is precisely why I no longer debate in an apologetics fashion, why I am only willing to have discussions about Christianity with others who are willing to explain upon what scripture they base their beliefs and understandings. It is only through knowing what scripture passages inform their beliefs that I am able to decide if I agree or disagree with what they say.
  • “The problem is not simple and the answer is not going to be simple either.”
  • The problem: “A universe that much that is obviously bad and apparently meaningless, but containing creatures like ourselves who know that it is bad and meaningless.”
    • Christianity or Dualism are the two views that fit all the facts
      • Christian view that is a good world gone wrong but still remembers what it should be
      • Dualism is yin and yang in that there are two equal forces; one of good the other evil, fighting an eternal war.
    • Our preference meaning which one we like or don’t like, good or evil, is NOT a declaration that one actually IS good or evil. It is just that, our preference. If it is NOT a preference and one of them actually IS good and the other actual IS evil, then one of them is actually right and the other is actually wrong. If that isn’t true, then all life is merely preference and there isn’t any morality in any one choice over any other choice.
    • When we say Good and Evil, we are actually saying one is Right and the other Wrong.
      • This then means there is a third thing in the universe that is the “standard” by which definition right and wrong are measured. This standard is only needed to define what Good is because in not being good you fail.
      • This also means someone else defined that standard and that further means whoever that “someone else” is has more power than all the people who fail to conform to that standard combined because if he did not, those other people would toss him out and define the standard as their behavior being “good”.
      • That means that what we meant by “good” and “evil” really means “right relationship with the being who defined the standard” and “wrong relationship with the being who defined the standard”.
      • No one does bad because “it is the wrong thing to do”, Lewis says they do bad because they are pursuing things that are themselves inherently good: being happy, pleasure, acquiring things, etc. They are just going about it in the wrong way. His point here is that this puts holes in Dualism as the answer to the existence of the universe because the bad power gets things from or once was the good power and thus became bad. It could not have existed outside of the good power for the sheer sake of badness. It is defined by good because it owes some portion of itself to or was once good.
      • We humans, humanity, all of creation actually, live in “occupied territory” in the civil war between Good and Evil, God and Satan.
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