August 2017

What's the Bible All About?

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I was raised in a denomination that took the Bible very seriously: “We speak where the Bible speaks, and are silent where the Bible is silent!” In many ways, it was a great advantage, because I had quite a bit of knowledge by the time I graduated high school graduation: not only could I name all […]

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That Hideous Strength: Denouement

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Denouement is not a common word in everyday conversation, so for a long time I didn’t know how to pronounce it.  It’s day-noo-MAHN (go easy on the final n).  This is the resolution of the story, or (according to my dictionary), “the events following the climax of a drama or novel in which such a resolution […]

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The Abolition of Man, Part Three

Part One. Part Two. In the second essay of The Abolition of Man, “The Way,” Lewis showed that humanity seemed to have only one stable code of ethics, one set of standards for determining what’s good.  Though it goes by many names, western tradition calls it Natural Law, but Lewis tagged it the Tao, as […]

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That Hideous Strength: Climax

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To catch up with the reading, see the Introduction, Setup, and Development. Climax?  Isn’t it a little early for that?  Most of us have the idea that the climax is a high point of the story (as the word would seem to suggest), after which nothing is left but tying up loose ends.  But there’s […]

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The Abolition of Man, Part Two

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Last weekend, all eyes turned to Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia–“Mr. Jefferson’s university”–where violent right-wingers faced off against violent left-wingers.  A similar clash occurred in Seattle that same day, an event completely overshadowed by the Charlottesville ugliness, and Portland saw more of the same the weekend before.  Shaking my head over the videos […]

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That Hideous Strength: Development

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If you’re just joining us, you might want to get oriented with the Introduction and Setup. Almost all the main characters have been introduced and the potential conflicts are in place.  Now development: that phase of a novel that builds tension and raises the stakes.  All the major plot elements will be rounded up and […]

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The Abolition of Man: Reading Along, Part One

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In February of 1943 C. S. Lewis delivered three evening lectures at King’s College in Newcastle.  Later that year the lectures were published in book form under the title of the third: The Abolition of Man.  Over time Lewis came to regard this slender volume as his most significant work.  It’s very short, only 91 […]

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That Hideous Strength Read-along: The Setup

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In Chapters 1-4, we situate ourselves in a time and place: modern Britain sometime in the 1950s, with the memory of World War II’s devastation fresh and vivid. The action takes place at three fictional locations: Edgetow, a university town similar to Cambridge, but smaller; St. Anne’s-on-the-Hill, a nearby village; and Belbury, a village in […]

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That Hideous Strength: An Introduction

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“C. S. Lewis?  Love him.  Absolutely L-O-V-E him.  I grew up with one foot in Narnia, you know, and Mere Christianity opened my eyes to the glory of faith.  Till We Have Faces should be on everyone’s reading list.  I’m not as fond of his science fiction, though I liked the first two novels of […]

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