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Notes: Spiritual Formation in the Life of C.S. Lewis Part 1 Notes

Spiritual Formation in the Life of C.S. Lewis
A Breakout Seminar at Perimeter Church June 8-9, 2007
Presentation given by Dr. Lyle Dorsett former head of Wade Center at Wheaton College
See Part 2 here.

I. Introduction

�I�m tall, fat, rather bald, red-faced, double chinned, black haired, have a deep voice, and wear glasses for reading.� �C.S. Lewis to a fifth grader

– Do not read the bio of Lewis by A.N. Wilson

A. Life and Legacy of C.S Lewis: a Perspective from Nearly Half a Century
– Discipline was needed to become a theologian, apologist
– Lewis wrote in 7 genres

B. Keys to Lewis� Extraordinary Effectiveness

1. The Author�s Background
– Used his gifts, but also disciplined them
– �nothing I wrote that isn�t essentially evangelistic� � CSL
– Mother died when he was 10 and became agnostic as result

2. The Sacred Anointing
– John 17:3
– He wrote as part of an intimate walk with Christ

3. A Purposive Life
– after conversion (see quote)

�After conversion, C.S. Lewis embarked on an extraordinarily purposeful life. He became as Dorothy L. Sayers phrased it �God�s terrier� � a man with a missionary zeal.� � Lyle Dorsett Seeking the Secret Place

II. Elements of Spiritual Formation (Part 1)

A. The School of Prayer
�What is more natural, and easier, if you believe in God, than to address Him?�

– Mother�s parting gift was a Bible on her deathbed
– Lewis and Warner prayed, yet she died, even after being told that prayer would heal her.
– 2 models of prayer from Scripture as Lewis saw it.
1. pray with faith and there is nothing you can�t do (name it and claim it)
2. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

The School of Prayer � a continuing to learn to pray, never too busy, a daily routine
a. daily quiet time (Clifford Boris � his driver � story)
b. Dean�s Prayers at Oxford � corporate prayer
c. Intercessory Prayer � i.e. go through the Epistles and read Paul�s prayers
– worldwide prayer for self and others � Sheldon Vanauken
– always answered letters because he believed he was told to by God during such prayer time
– also believed He was told not to stockpile money, so he set up Agape Fund to give it
d. Healing Prayer
– Father Bide, the healer who became ordained through Agape Fund healed Joy Davidman through prayer � personal physician told said it wasn�t normal remission � Bide said �I pray and sometimes Jesus Christ heals them.�
– Advanced People in the School of Prayer are obedient in prayer
e. Praise Prayer �considered most beautiful part of prayer � joy and privilege of praise � not thanks, just praise.
– Primary text of Lewis for this as the Psalms

– How did Lewis get committed to prayer?
1. Jesus example
2. The Church and Father Adams
3. discipled by Father Adams

– How did Lewis reconcile the name it and claim it with God�s will?
1. tell God waht you want but still ask that His will be done
2. In some cases God tells some special folks to go heal people

– Prepared vs. Extemporaneous Prayer?
1. Lewis did extemporaneous prayer but preferred prepared
2. Liked Church services because you could trust the theology and not have to double check on the person who is praying and his theology
3. Psalms are prepared prayers
4. Lewis paced across the floor while reading the Psalter all the way through every month

B. Scripture

1. knew doctrine but didn�t always feel it in his heart

2. Michael Christenson, �C.S. Lewis: On Scripture�

3. Lewis had a High view of Scripture
a. Lewis followed John Wesley�s quadrilateral

Wesleys Quadrilateral.JPG

b. Trouble with liberals due to high view (whereas they have low view)
c. Trouble with fundamentalism becasue he saw some of the Scriptures as story instead of History (i.e. Noah, Jonah, Creation)
�More of a wave than a letter� � Letter�s to an American Lady

4. Didn�t see Jesus praise riches anywhere in NT

5. Jesus says �Seek the Secret Place� Lewis said this meant to obey Jesus not question. (a good exercise says Dorsett, is to go through the Gospels and write down every command of Jesus.)

6. CSL �Scripture is the litmus test of all other divine guidance.�

7. CSL could read and write Greek but knew no Hebrew

8. Read for Application and spiritual illumination rather than for curiosity (Read through the Bible for personal transformation)

9. He asked questions of Scripture. He �hammered it out� � Dorsett

10. Read through the Bible frequently, memorized it. Used the 1662 edition of the Book of Common Prayer

11. F.B. Meyer �For Every man and woman that is truly born again, the Spirit is present in you, the spirit is prominent in some, but alas in only a few is He preeeminent.�

12. Lewis was Purposeful, Disciplined, and Humbly Prayed and Read Scriptures.

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