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“It's Necessity for Spiritual Formation”

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
— 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)

1. Open in prayer

2. Watch Video (58 min.)

3. Questions for group discussion (or individual reflection)

(I) Dorsett emphasizes that to Lewis, Scripture is the litmus test of the validity of all other sources of Divine guidance. For example, in a situation where a woman encountered clergymen who denied the truth of Mary’s virginity before the birth of Jesus, Lewis urged her not “to collect the opinions of individual clergymen, but … read Mathew and Luke I and II.” What is your approach for resolving questions about Christian doctrine and how we should live our lives as followers of Christ? [STSP, pp. 52-53]

(II) Dorsett discusses an interview Lewis had six months before his death with Sherwood Wirt, editor of Decision magazine. In the interview, Lewis was asked “What is your view of the daily discipline of the Christian life—the need for taking time to be alone with God?” According to Dorsett, the context of the question was a debate at the time about whether an emphasis on spending daily time in Scripture and in prayer placed a “yoke of legalism” on people. Lewis responded to Wirt’s question:

We have our New Testament regimental orders upon the subject. I would take it for granted that everyone who becomes a Christian would undertake this practice. It is enjoined upon us by Our Lord; and since they are His commands, I believe in following them. It is always possible that Jesus Christ meant what He said when He told us to seek the secret place and close the door.

Do you agree with Lewis that daily routine of prayer and Scripture reading is not a yoke of legalism but simply obedience to Jesus? [STSP, pp. 65-66]

(III) What steps might a Christian take to establish or improve a daily discipline in these areas? Have you found any particular resources helpful to you in maintaining this discipline, e.g., a Bible reading plan such as the one incorporated in The One Year Bible or a daily devotional such as Scripture Union’s Encounter With God?

4. Read a Reflections: “Engaging the Process”  (1 page)

5. Close in prayer

Personal Action Steps

(1) How would you like to strengthen your discipline of reading and meditating on Scripture? If you do not currently have a daily routine of prayer and Scripture reading, write down the actions you will take to begin this routine. (If you’re not sure where to start, an excellent resource is Scripture Union’s Encounter With God, A Guide for Meeting God Daily in His Word. This resource takes the reader through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in five years, reading 10-20 verses per day. You can read it on the web or have it sent to you by daily e-mail for free, or purchase a printed version from Scripture Union. The web address for this resource is:



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Lyle Dorsett

Lyle Dorsett, Professor, holds the Billy Graham Chair of Evangelism at Beeson Divinity School in Samford University. He taught courses in evangelism, spiritual formation and church history. He also serves as the pastor of Christ the King Anglican Church in Homewood, Alabama. Lyle received his PhD in American history and has published numerous books, including several Christian biographies and three works on C. S. Lewis.  

COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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