Summary: Developing your testimony, using C.S. Lewis and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe as an example
PICTURES IN MY HEAD
From Webster dictionary, 1913
- Testimony (noun)
A solemn declaration or affirmation made for the purpose of establishing or proving some fact.
1 Peter 3:15-16 NIV
15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
I. Stories or Fact?
a. Every moment we exist is another chapter of our never-ending testimony. Whether committed to Christ or not, every human that has ever existed is the sole owner of a detailed account of every breath, thought, action that they have experienced in their lives.
i. Our brains categorically store these events based on survival and value.
ii. That which we hold onto, what is subconsciously stored in our memory, has, by our choosing, some fundamental or intrinsic value placed on it.
1. Experiences that sustain us develop our ability to survive.
I.e.: The toddler and the refrigerator.
2. Both negative and positive experiences develop our character and personality.
a. Positive experiences that acknowledge our existence, our being, are placed at the top of our value system.
b. Negative or traumatic experiences develop our defense mechanism.
iii. As we mature, these events that are continually reshaping us, act as a foundation as to who, what and why we are. They are embedded in us either enslaving us to perpetual addictions or acting as an agent of freedom encouraging us to conquer.
b. Acknowledging the fact that our personal history is an unavoidable lot that has been given us is the first step toward knowing your place and purpose that God has for you.
Psalm 16:10-12 NIV
10 because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. 11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
II. C.S. Lewis – His Story (begin collage of pictures on screen)
a. Clive Staples Lewis (nicknamed Jack) - Born 1898, in Belfast Ireland, to Albert and Flora Lewis, younger brother to Warren (Warnie). At the age of 10, Jack’s mother Flora dies from cancer, August 23 1908, on his father’s birthday.
i. Much of her time battling the disease was spent at home. Her last days were during the summer months when Jack was home from school. He witnessed the sadness and heaviness that hung over the home first hand. One of Jack’s coping mechanisms was to escape to his attic and play in a pretend world. He wrote imaginary stories about talking animals and mythological creatures.
ii. In the attic he felt as though he were in an in-between world. This was because he lived in a row house where one attic was shared across all the houses. For Jack it was a place where nothing ever changed but was the portal to many other worlds.
b. After her death both Jack and his brother Warren were sent away to Wynyard School in England, and later at Cherbourg School, Malvern England
i. At both Wynyard and Cherbourg he was mercilessly picked on and teased by the older students. He dove into his studies and showed a growing desire Wagner’s music and Norse mythology. It was during this time that he turned his back on God.
c. Jack won a scholarship to University College, Oxford England, 1916
i. During his time at University College he enlisted in the British army and was later wounded at Mount Berenchon during the Battle of Arras in WWI.
d. While serving as a tutor of philosophy at University College and elected as Fellow of Magdalene College tutoring in English Language and Literature, Jack became a “Theist” .
"In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed..."
e. Not long after Jack had a long talk about Christianity with J.R.R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson. That dialogue was important in bringing about the following day’s event that Lewis recorded in his book, Surprised by Joy:
"When we (Warnie and Jack) set out (by motorcycle to the Whipsnade Zoo) I did not believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did."
f. Jack and his friends (J.R.R. Tolkien, Warnie, Hugo Dyson, Charles Williams, Dr. Robert Havard, Owen Barfield, Neville Coghill and others) form a club of sorts dubbed “The Inklings”. Stories, philosophies and ideas were shared and debated in a pub called, ”The Eagle and The Child”.
g. Over the years Jack publishes many books and article, some considered classics, and receives multiple awards for his work.