Study Guide - Learning from the Spiritual Pilgrimage of C.S. Lewis - page 6



Learning from the Spiritual Pilgrimage of C.S. Lewis
A Six-Part Video Series by Lyle Dorsett


Session Four: The Church and the Necessity of Spiritual Formation in Community

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
— Romans 12:4-5 (ESV)


1. Open in prayer

2. Watch Video (55 min.)

3. Questions for group discussion
(or individual reflection)

(1) Lewis described the “mere” Christianity he presented as being “like a hall of which doors open into special rooms,” with the rooms being the various Christian denominations/churches. Lewis stressed that while the goal of his book Mere Christianity was to bring people into the hall, once there they must choose one of the rooms to enter because “it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place to try the various doors, not a place to live in.” What do you think of Lewis’s analogy of mere Christianity being like a hall with doors that open into special rooms?

(2) In his book STSP, Dorsett points out that while Lewis believed that many disagreements among Christians are over secondary issues rather than over essentials of the faith, he believed that many “modernists” are not among the company of “mere” Christians. Lewis maintained that some modernists lead people away from orthodoxy and therefore from Christ and the truth, because, among things, they refuse to embrace miracles and the supernatural. (STSP, p. 77) What factors should a Christian consider in selecting a specific church to join, and what role should the teaching of doctrinal truth have in the decision?

(3) While Lewis didn’t seek to tell other people what “room” or denomination they should select, he was an Anglican. As we study his spiritual formation, we see him taking advantage of the spiritual resources that were available to him in his church and community, including, for example attending a parish church near his home and going to daily chapel at Oxford. What spiritual resources are available to you in your church and community? Which ones are you taking advantage of?

(4) How do different people in your church complement each other? What are some of the contributions you make, or have made in the past, to your local church?

4. Read a Reflections: “Finding a Good Church”
(1 page)

5. Close in prayer

Personal Action Steps
(1) As you think about the gifts and talents God has given you, what are some things you might do to contribute to your church or to other Christian ministries that you are not currently doing? Write down one thing that you would like to do, and when you will likely be able to do it.

(2) Take some time to identify spiritual resources that are available to you in your church and community. As necessary, ask Christian friends, call your church, and use the internet to help you. Which of these resources would be beneficial for you in your spiritual development?


Recommended Reading

Chapter 4 of Dorsett’s book STSP, The Church: “The New Testament Knows Nothing of Solitary Religion" (12 pp.)


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Learning from the Spiritual Pilgrimage of C.S. Lewis
A Six-Part Video Series by Lyle Dorsett

For a printer-friendly version of the entire study guide Click Here



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