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The Way

A great many of those who ‘debunk’ traditional or (as they say) ‘sentimental’ values have in the background values of their own which they believe to be immune from the debunking process.

Chapter 2 “The Way” The Abolition of Man

1. Bible Study: Read Psalm 19:1–14 and then reflect on the following questions.

Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold,
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (NIV)


  1. What is David’s main point in verses 1–6 of Psalm 19?  How does this impact your worldview?
  2. What are the character traits of God’s law as expressed by  David in verses 7–10? 
  3. What benefits come from God’s law or commands to the  person who heeds them?
  4. How does David pray in response to his personal encounter  with God’s laws? How do you respond to the commands of  God when confronted by them?
  5. What daily practices or habits can we implement in our  lives to remind ourselves of the goodness of God and His  laws?

 2. Read The Abolition of Man, Chapter 2, “The Way.”

Chapter Summary: In the second chapter, “The Way,” Lewis begins with  the assertion, “The practical result of education in the spirit of The Green  Book must be the destruction of the society which accepts it.” This happens  when societies become unmoored from objective standards, whether they  be “Natural Law,” “Traditional Morality,” or, as Lewis cites throughout The  Abolition of Man, the Tao. The Tao is a term Lewis uses broadly to describe all  forms of moral law including Platonic, Aristotelian, Stoic, Judeo-Christian,  and Asian. 

Key Quotes to Look For:

“The practical result of education in the spirit of The Green Book must be the destruction of the society which accepts it.”

“A great many of those who ‘debunk’ traditional or (as they say) ‘sentimental’ values have in the background values of their own which they believe to be immune from the debunking process.”

“Each instinct, if you listen to it, will claim to be gratified at the expense of all the rest.”

“The human mind has no more power of inventing a new value than of imagining a new primary colour, or, indeed, of creating a new sun and a new sky for it to move in.”

3. Watch Video: The Way – A Guided Reading

Learning Goal

At the end of this video, you should be able to offer a rational defense of objective moral value. 

4.  Questions:

(1) On what ethics do “Innovators” want to base ethics? What does Lewis say will be the result if the Innovators get their way?

(2) What role does the use of language and specific words, such as “necessary,” “progressive,” or “efficient,” play in determining objective value?  

(3) Why does Lewis use the term Tao as his standard for objective morality instead of “Natural Law” or “Traditional Morality” when the terms generally mean the same thing?

What can we learn from Lewis’s use of language in regard to how we communicate ideas to our generation?

(4) Is it possible to make moral progress outside of the Tao? Why, or why not?

(5) Lewis writes that he is not making “any indirect argument for Theism.” Do you believe him? Why, or why not?

5. Make It Personal

  • In what ways do you see today’s culture turning against or even negating biblical morality? How does this impact the ways you approach your moral behavior?
  • Read and meditate on the Great Commandment from Matthew 22:36–40:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (NIV)

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Bryan C. Hollon

Bryan C. Hollon, Ph.D., is Dean President of Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Previously he served as the City Director of the C.S. Lewis Institute of Northeast Ohio and as a Professor of Theology and Director of the Center for Christian Faith & Culture at Malone University. Dr. Hollon was ordained a priest in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) in 2015. In 2017, he planted and pastored St. John’s Anglican Church in Canton, Ohio until 2021. As a scholar, Dr. Hollon specializes in ressourcement theology, which is best exemplified in the work of Henri de Lubac. He is also a proponent of the great consensual tradition that C.S. Lewis referred to as “Mere Christianity.”


Joseph A. Kohm

Joseph A. Kohm, C.S. Lewis Institute Vice President for Development and City Director for Virginia Beach. Joe is an attorney and formerly worked as a Certified Major League Baseball Player Agent. He earned his Master’s in Management Science from the State University of New York at Oswego and both his J.D. and M.Div. from Regent University. Joe is the author of The Unknown Garden of Another’s Heart: The Surprising Friendship between C.S. Lewis and Arthur Greeves (Wipf and Stock, 2022.)


Joel Woodruff

Joel Woodruff, President, C.S. Lewis Institute, has worked in higher education, “tent-making,” nonprofit administration, and pastoral ministries in Alaska, Israel, Hungary, France, and Northern Virginia. He served as Dean of Students, Chaplain, and Professor of Bible & Theology at European Bible Institute, where he helped train Europeans both for professional ministry and to be Christian leaders in the marketplace. Prior to joining the Institute, he was on the leadership team of Oakwood Services International, a nonprofit educational and humanitarian organization. He is a graduate of Wheaton College, earned his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and has a doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. As a Parish-Pulpit Fellow, he studied Biblical Backgrounds & Archaeology in Israel for a year.


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