PHILOSOPHICAL WRITINGS

MERE CHRISTIANITY
Book Four
Chapter 3

CHAPTER 3: Time and Beyond Time

Before starting, number your paragraphs 1-12

Introduction:
Once more when we look at this chapter, it comes across as pretty simplistic; however, there are some major issues this chapter addresses. Although Lewis does not come out and say it, he is actually addressing Calvin's view of predestination (a Christianization of Plato). According to John Calvin God foreknows everything because He predestined everything to happen. Everything, the good and the bad, are happening according to God's will. The fact that He causes everything to happen then explains why He knows what will happen.

God predestining everything could be one reason God knows everything; however, it's not the only way God could know everything. Lewis gives us an alternate reason which is far more compatible with the Christian faith. According to Lewis the whole issue revolves around God and His relationship with time.


Paragraph 2:
What is one difficulty some people have about the whole idea of prayer?


Paragraph 3:
Lewis says that the whole sting of it comes in the words at the same moment. Most people imagine God attending to any number of applicants if only what is happening?


Paragraph 4:
With regards to time what is the difference between the way people relate to time and the way God relates to time?

Although many philosophers now believe that some things are not in time, who first promoted that idea?


Paragraph 5:
Since God is NOT in time, does He have to listen to all the prayers of people at 10:30 at the same time?

"He has all _________________ in which to listen to the split second of prayer put up by a pilot as his plane crashed in flames."


Paragraph 6:
How does Lewis use the real time the author of a book lives in and the time his characters live in to illustrate the difference between OUR time and GOD'S time?

Lewis fleshes this out in his children's fantasy books The Chronicles o f Narnia by having the time of Narnia going along at different speeds than the time the children experience here on earth.


Paragraph 7:
Since God is not swept away in our time system, "You are as much alone with Him as if you were the _______________ ___________________ He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the _________________ ____________________ in the world."


Paragraph 8:
How does Lewis' illustration of the time of the author and the time of the characters differ from God's time and our time?


Paragraph 9:
Imagine that time is a straight line along which we travel. How would you picture God in relation to the straight line?


This should give us great insight into prayer. Whenever God leads you to pray for something, pray for it. Why? Because God is already in your future and knows exactly what can or will take place. Your prayers at the present time unleash God's power so that He can work to accomplish that will in the future. Example of George Mueller and the orphans who had no food but Mueller in prayer thanked God for His bounteous provision. Outside a milk truck and bread wagon collided, providing breakfast for the children.


Paragraph 10:
What is one of the difficulties this view of time and God clears up?


Paragraph 11:
What second difficulty does this view of time and God clear up?


Paragraph 12:
According to Lewis do you have to believe this view of time and God in order to be a good Christian?