#TheGreatDivorce  C.S. Lewis – The Inklings – Podcasts on The Great Divorce

These 11 sermon podcasts by Langdon Palmer tie each chapter of C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce to their scriptural foundations and help us see how they apply to our lives.

01  – The Fork in the Road – The Preface through Chapter 3

Are you facing any choices in your life right now ?

Have you noticed recurring streams of thought – on going conversations you have with yourself about yourself or about others that you know are no good ?

Today we begin our sermon series on the Great Divorce when C.S. Lewis comes on stage and shares with us a piece from his Introduction.   Lewis shows us how our choices and streams of thought are connected.  We look at Proverbs 16 and Romans 13:12-14 to understand Lewis’ premise – streams of thought lead to streams of choices which shape who we become and where we end up.    For more resources see http://levpres.org/the-great-divorce/

 02 – The Big Man – Chapter 4

Have you ever met people who have a litany ? A litany of all the reasons why they are OK and why all their problems are somebody else’s fault ?
It’s not just other people – all of us are tempted to be full of excuses, finding ways to tell ourselves that we are right, that we are righteous.
This tendency cuts us off from the very life of freedom and grace that God wants for us.
Join us today as we meet the person C.S. Lewis calls “The Big Man” who was full of excuses and out of grace. And we discover that there is a way to live out of excuses and into grace!

03 – The Bishop – Chapter 5

In this third sermon in the Great Divorce series we move from the basic sins of the Big Man to the sins of intellect of the Bishop. We discover a man who views him self as very religious yet doesnt even realize he is living in Hell. Not all spirituality leads us to Jesus. There are ways of understanding faith, Jesus, and the scriptures that are so distorted that they actually lead us away from Jesus. The scriptures are full of warnings about false teachers. In our own day we can feel the pressure to conform our beliefs to what is currently in vouge, what is considered thoughtful, tolerant, reasonable … even if it is actually none of those things. We look at 2 Timothy 3:1-17 and discover a practical way to uncover the assumptions of the strand of heresy C.S. Lewis personified in the bishop – the very strand we are most in danger of swallowing in our day.

04 – Ikey and the Hard-bitten man – Chapters 6 & 7

Do I lean towards Optimism, Do I lean towards Pessimism, Or do I lean on Jesus? Today we discover that two very common sense approaches to life actually keep us from seeing the Kingdom of God. We take a look at two characters in the Great Divorce, Ikey the Business Man and the Hard-bitten man in order to avoid two dead-end streets. We end with the incredible words of Isaiah 61:10 which show us the way to live which is life indeed!

o5 – The Embarrassed Woman – Chapter 8

When you think about it, few things paralyze, cripple, and stunt a person’s soul more than… shame. Today we join C.S. Lewis as he shows us “The Embarrassed Woman” so we can understand how to pride, guilt, and shame go together. There is a huge difference between healthy guilt and debilitating shame. It is the difference between the road to hope and the road to despair. This is a challenging podcast, but what we can discover on the other side of shame is is a way of living where we never have to listen to shame again !

06 – The Artist, The Grumbler, and The Child – Chapter 9

We often tell ourselves “I need to get more organized!” It might be true, but perhaps the more important question is this – what is my life organized around ? What organizes me ? Today we look at three people who organized their lives around very different things and how those choices changed their destiny. We look at the Grumbling Woman and the Artist that C.S. Lewis depicts in the Great Divorce, and we compare them to the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 131. Come join us for a fun but convicting look at how NOT to live your life!

07 – Robert and the “Fix Him” Woman – Chapter 10

What’s the difference between wanting the best for someone and being a control freak ?
What do truly healthy relationships look like ? Do you have a relationship right now that you would like to improve ?
Today we look at two examples of really bad relationships to help us see more clearly what good relationships can be like.
We start with a hilarious video from Tory Kinne for one extreme and then a character in C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce for the other.
We then look at practical advise from the scriptures that can help us create relationships that age well – that get better with time!
While we focus on romantic relationships this morning, most of these principles can be applied to any relationship in your life.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqQgDwA0BNU for the Tory Kinne video
The Notes Sheet for this sermon is available as a PDF above.

08 – The Red Lizard – Chapter 11

Why do smart people do stupid things ? Why are we constantly shooting ourselves in the foot ? Why are bad habits so hard to break ? Why do some people get better and better at their craft while others get worse and worse ? In one of the most vivid scenes in the book ‘The Great Divorce’ C.S. Lewis shows us the radical difference between the lives of those who rule their desires and the lives of those whose desires rule them. And just to be total nerds, we connect this story to recent discoveries in brain science! It turns out that modern research confirms that the ancient wisdom of the scriptures is not only true, it actually works! Join us as we come to the place where we are willing to confront The Red Lizard.

09 – The Dwarf and Sarah Smith – Chapter 12

What will be your legacy ?
We only get one shot at this life, and when your is done, what do you hope people will say about you and how you lived ?
Today we look at two very different people who ended up with two very different legacies.
We join C.S. Lewis as he encounters the Dwarf and Sarah Smith.
And we turn to the book of Colossians Chapter 1 to find the kind of life that leaves an eternal legacy

10 – Free will and the Soverignty of God

Do we have control over our fate ? If God is completely in control and has already decided how everything is going to work out, do we really have choice, do we really have free will ? Do we make choices, or do our choices make us, or does God make both, or all of the above ? These are not idle, speculative questions. How we answer them, what we really believe, will effect how we live our lives, it will have a profound impact on our futures and who we become. Join us as we delve into the deep waters of Free will, predestination, and the beautiful revelation of scripture of the God who loves us

11 – Facing Heaven and Hell – Chapters 9,13,14

What happens after we die ?  Is that just the end, or is there an after life ?  Are Heaven and Hell myths or reality ?  If they are real, how could an all loving, all powerful God allow anyone to be in Hell ?

What we believe about eternity will drive the priorities and stance we take towards our lives here and now. Today we jump into difficult waters and try to get some grasp of eternity. We draw from multiple scriptures and the picture painted in C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce (in chapters 9, 13 and 14) to try to understand what awaits us on the other side of death.