God in the Dock; Essays on Theology and Ethics Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. The terms prayer books often use to describe personal feelings would best be described as which of the following?

2. Lewis hoped that his club would adopt what type of a political viewpoint?

3. Pittenger believes that Lewis' argument against naturalism is really a response to what kind of an argument?

4. What did the woman see in Part I, Essay 2, "Miracles"?

5. Why should the Gospels not be considered legend?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Lewis formulate his theories about the suffering of animals?

2. Explain the way that Lewis states that probability judgments of events in Christianity should be made?

3. What is the theory of dualism?

4. According to Lewis, what distinction does Christianity carry, compared to other religions?

5. According to Lewis, how could a Materialist lead a good life without Christianity?

6. What does Joad argue in his original 1941 article, "Evil and God"?

7. What does Dr. Pittenger say about Lewis' arguments in his earlier works?

8. What is the essential conflict between dogma and knowledge according to Lewis' argument in Part I, Essay 2, "Dogma and the Universe"?

9. What is the difference between religion and politics, according to Lewis?

10. What is the problem with relying only on experience according to Lewis' argument in Part I, Essay 2, "Miracles"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

National repentance is the phenomenon of a nation's citizens feeling as if they must each personally atone for the wrongs of the nation as a whole. Although this guilt and the consequent repentance often makes people feel good, Lewis argues that it is undesirable and dangerous.

1) Explain the concept of national repentance and why it was prominent in Lewis' time.

2) Discuss the positive aspects that Lewis believes national repentance can bring about and what it is intended to achieve.

3) Discuss the problems that Lewis sees in national repentance. Explain how it can act as a distraction from real spiritual matters, and detail Lewis' arguments against it.

Essay Topic 2

Dogma is the more or less unchanging set of beliefs and rules that establish and maintain a religion's identity. Although often vehemently despised by materialist thinkers and liberal churches, Lewis contends that dogma is an important component of faith and essential for a mature religion.

1) Explain what dogma is, especially in the Christian church, and how and why is remains unchanging. Explain one element of Christian dogma that has not changed significantly in a very long time.

2) Discuss the problems that outsiders, liberal thinkers, and materials have with dogma.

3) Explain how dogma aids a religion in maintaining its cohesion, and explain Lewis' suggestion that dogma's unchanging nature is a strength, and not a weakness.

Essay Topic 3

Lewis explains that "witnessing" is the Christian practice of sharing the "good news" as expressed by Jesus in the New Testament with those who are outside of the church, attempting to educate and convert them to the Christian faith. Lewis contends that Christians are specifically commanded to pursue this practice, and that failure to do so has serious consequences for themselves and those they fail to convert.

1) Explain the concept of witnessing within the Christian church that Lewis describes. Explain its practices, aims, and target audience.

2) Discuss Lewis' view on the importance of witnessing for Christians.

3) Describe some of the difficulties that Christians experienced in "witnessing" in England in Lewis' time, and discuss techniques that Lewis recommends in order to surmount these difficulties.

(see the answer keys)

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