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Benisse 10-14-2017 12:16 PM

Real Presence
My husband and I have weekly BFF dates that include comparing notes together after reading the same chapter of a certain book. This week we are about to start reading Leanne Payne's Real Presence: The Christian Worldview of C.S. Lewis as Incarnational Reality. Here is our schedule in case any of you would like to join me in reading this book:

November 17 Introduction: Incarnational Reality
November 24 God, Super-Nature, and Nature
December 1 Sacrament: Avenue to the Real
December 8 Spirit, Soul, and Body
January 5 Till We Have Faces
January 12 We've Been "Undragoned"
January 19 The Great Dance
January 26 The way of the Cross
February 2 The Whole Intellect
February 9 The Whole Imagination I: Surprised by Joy
February 16 The Whole Imagination II: The Two Minds

I will be posting reflections on each chapter here starting on the date given, and if you would like to add comments or your own reactions as you read, please chime in!

Glenburne 10-14-2017 04:07 PM

I've got this weird thing called a life now that my master's degree is done (okay, it's a cursed half-life, I'm teaching Art Appreciation to my nut of an 18-year-old brother), so I'm going to see if I can get a copy of the book.

timbalionguy 10-15-2017 02:55 AM

That sounds like some SERIOUSLY heavy reading.

But it's tempting to join and read along because it sounds like this might reflect a big piece of my own Christian worldview, that I experience, but don't understand.

Copperfox 10-15-2017 06:37 PM

I also have that nagging thing called life. In my case, "life" includes trying to minister to the needs of two female friends who are suffering depression, and another who suffers short-term memory failure. This is eerie, because my departed Janalee had BOTH of those problems. (For the record, none of these three women is even remotely a marriage prospect for me.) But if you post insights on the above-mentioned book here, I'll find time to read them.

MissReepicheep 10-17-2017 12:28 AM

Thanks for mentioning this book! It sounds interesting. I'll add it to my Goodreads to-read list.

Glenburne 10-20-2017 03:15 PM

Just received my copy!

Benisse 10-21-2017 12:24 AM

I'm having computer internect connection difficulties where I am -- Sorry for the delay in getting this book group off the ground. When I get back in town I will re-do the discussion schedule and then we can really get started, okay?

Benisse 11-12-2017 02:57 AM

THanks for your patience with me. I just re-posted the reading schedule... See post #1 on this thread to get started this Friday :)

Benisse 11-26-2017 11:44 AM

Chapter 1: Introduction -- Incarnational Reality
At last (!) I am able to post my notes on the first two chapters of Leanne Payne’s Real Presence: The Christian Worldview of C.S. Lewis as Incarnational Reality. Sorry for my multiple delays; I was traveling 10/14-30, 11/18-21 and 11/23-26 so didn’t have tie to really sit down and write down my thoughts. Hopefully I can keep on schedule better in the future.

Chapter 1: Incarnational Reality
The term incarnational reality captures the essence of C.S. Lewis’s worldview as a Christian. To him this is what it means to Know God – to be invaded by His Spirit so that He is in us and we are in Christ (p.14).

Payne quotes Lewis in Mere Christianity (p. 13):
“When Christians say the Christ-life is in them, they do not mean simply something mental or moral. When they speak of being ‘in Christ’ or of Christ being ‘in them,’ this is not simply a way of saying that they are thinking about Christ or copying Him. They mean that Christ is actually operating through them that the whole mass of Christians are the physical organism through which Christ acts – that we are His fingers and muscles, the cells of His body.”

To Lewis, God is more than a theological abstract – His Real Presence was an experiential, supernatural knowledge of a personal God; and this awe-filled reality, immanently indwelling those who are His, “formed the center of Lewis’s theology and philosophy” (p.14). This truth he proclaimed over and over in his theological and imaginative writings.

Truly Knowing God through the indwelling Spirit, however, is the truth that many choose to turn from, choosing to embrace “shallow and less demanding substitutes for his one redeeming link with God” (p.15). This Real Presence therefore sets Christianity apart from all other philosophies and ideologies, for none other focuses on the Holy Spirit indwelling and transformationally reviving our every faculty, our whole personality to the glory of God.

Just as God was incarnate in Jesus Christ, through the indwelling Spirit, the Risen Christ is transposed in the believer. This transposition is God reaching down to mankind, linking us to God; and thus we are restored to the reality of God, supernature (angelic realm) and nature.

Glenburne 11-27-2017 10:14 PM

I found her emphasis on the Holy Spirit as the central theme in Lewis's work a bit unusual--I don't remember him putting as much emphasis on that topic as Payne does. The author information on Goodreads seems to indicate that she was involved in charismaticism to some extent; perhaps that accounts for the emphasis? Considering the increasing value Lewis put on the sacraments as he grew older, however, I think it does make some sense to structure the book around her enlarged Real Presence idea.

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