A Reflection of Mere Christianity: C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis

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Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

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Introduction

 

            Picking up a book by C. S. Lewis other than his fictional series, be it his Space Trilogy of 1945 , or The Narnia Series, was by all intense and purposes rather intimidating. I had heard all about his philosophical genius, his deep thinking apologetics. To say, I was nervous of his books, would be an understatement. So when I received a biography of the famed Mr. C. S. Lewis for my birthday this summer (I enjoy biographies), I was excited to learn more about this man, whom I held in such high esteem. Surprisingly the more I read of “him,” and began learning about the man himself; the more I wanted to read his other writings. So, I decided I would start with “Mere Christianity” as I had seen it referenced so many times. I picked up the book from the Library and about halfway through the preface I was hooked.

A Selection of C.S.Lewis Books From Amazon

Lewis‘s Presentation:

What amazing and concise language as well as exquisite word crafting. I can say it no other way. Lewis has a way that slowly and soothingly draws you into his world. He introduces his thoughts as he would introduce a small child to bike riding. With patience, he laid out his premise. With honor, he made sure the reader would be able to follow without feeling as if he was patronizing them.

In reading this book, I was exhilaratingly encouraged to follow wherever he would lead. I was not afraid of his spirituality as I was already put at ease on that score through the many referrals I received to read this man’s words. Greater thinkers, by far, than myself have taken in Lewis’s thoughts and been refreshed by them and spurred on to more responsible reflection. That, is what I have appreciated the most out of his books (yes, I have read 1 or 2 others since then), is the encouragement to “think,” and not just helter skelter thinking, but objectively, responsibly, and with a logical follow through. That has been a theme for me since  and oh, how I have enjoyed it.

 

C.S.Lewis at his desk

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ISBN: 9780060652920.
ISBN: 9780060652920. | Source

Mere Christianity:

Lewis first presented these thoughts for the British BBC radio broadcasts during the years 1942 to 1944. Having himself been in the trenches in WW1 and having served as air raid warden in 1940, Lewis was all too familiar with the horrors of war. He was fully aware of what war does to a person’s psychological well-being. Therefore, when the BBC invited him to “explain to his fellow Britons what Christians believe” he took on the challenge with joy and “because he believed that England, which had come to consider itself part of a “post-Christian” world, had never in fact been told in basic terms what the religion is about” . Right there I thought, yup…I need this book.

From the very first chapter I knew that I had needed something like this for years. Lewis wrote for the “normal” person. He wrote for the person in the street. That is why he is so readable, and why his broadcasts were so popular. People could, and maybe for some, for the very first time, understand what Christianity was, and how a man of his reputation could have decided to put his life under such a system. Lewis shared with his radio audience that “he had been selected for the job because he was not a specialist but “an amateur…and a beginner, not an old hand.”.

It was as if I was continually having electrical shortages in my brain as he would lay out concept after concept and I found I was “getting it .” I have never experienced anything so exciting since first being introduced to the Word of God after being saved. It was glorious. I learned concepts like the moral argument, when the truth of right and wrong is presented like this, it makes one wonder how anybody can refute the existence of a moral giver. Line by line, precept by precept, he laid his thoughts out and I could take it up and fit all the pieces together and dvoila! I had the concept crystal clear before my eyes.

I also appreciated the fact that Lewis did not hide the “nasty parts” of Christianity. The disagreeable parts but explained the simple logic of what complete sense it was for a non-believer to feel uneasy, even highly disagreeable. He went ahead and invited the reader to look at just how we came to some of our own disagreeable objections, like just and unjust. Lewis would use something as simple as, “A man does not call a crooked line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.” Wonderful! What a clean thought, yet it took me to places in my musings that I had never been to before. It is really like finally learning the language of a country I have lived in illiterately for 20 years!

Are we willing to engage in conversation?
Are we willing to engage in conversation? | Source
C.S.Lewis and J.R.R.Tolkien
C.S.Lewis and J.R.R.Tolkien | Source

Conclusion:

My recommendation would be that every new Christian after being taught the basics of Christianity should be encouraged to read this book through in a group or with someone. It would illicit so many interesting and eye opening questions. Yes, I know a “modern world-view” author for a “modern world-view” audience wrote it. But, it still has the viability to reach all manner of folk in our post-modern world today. The very reason I went to Bible College at 51 years old was because I had been a Christian since 1981, and by 2006, I was still not familiar with these basic thoughts and arguments of basic Christian Doctrine. That speaks a sad word for the Christian Church today. We need to bring, not only basic evangelism, but also theology and apologetics back into the common man’s hands. (I know I am on a soapbox now, sorry). However, I believe before anybody can do any kind of community discourse travelling, they need to be versed, and confidently, (living it out of your bones versed), in what they want to share with the neighbouring community or else why bother even going there, as they will just take their confusion with them. We don’t all have to be a “Ravi Zacharias,’” or a “C. S. Lewis,’” but we must all learn to talk the language of the kingdom as our first language before we start learning the language of the kingdom we are sent to, to be ambassadors, and bring them the gift we have to share. How can we give a gift we cannot even explain? That is what Mere Christianity has begun for me. I look forward to the journey ahead.

C. S. Lewis Quote

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Comments 26 comments

FloBe profile image

FloBe 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I also love books by C.S. Lewis and I appreciate what you wrote in this review. Clear and concise! It makes me want to read the book again.


"Quill" 6 years ago

Excellent writer, a man of great vision, a thinker well beyond his time.

Excellent piece of writing here sister.

Blessings and Hugs


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

I also enjoyed CS Lewis, but here I want to write about something you said. That Christians can attend church for a lifetime and still not understand the basic tenants of the faith. How true. And how many have twisted it all around as well.

Is there anything more dangerous than a belief in that which is not understood? Is it through this that so many of the "ugly" branches of the faith have risen? For as sure as I live and breathe I know Jesus Christ would be sick to his soul at what is and has been said and done in his name.

So you seen it is your words, not CS Lewis's words that started me pondering today. Lynda


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

# FloBe, thanks for stopping in and having aread. I like to read Lewis over and over again, as I cannot take all that he presents in one read! So I get the pleasure of reading again and seeing something else! Just like the Bible. Gotta love God books! Blessings to you Ulrike Grace


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thank you my kind brother...Lewis is an excellent writer and although I read him because his work is challenging and promotes deeper thinking within me, I find that reading excellent writing as this also increases my vocabulary and writing skills. Thanks for your kind words Quill. Hope all is well for you and yours, am continually lifting your names before the Father. Blessings to you Ulrike Grace


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

Lynda, welcome out and up from the writing hole, I hope NanOWri was successful and a pleasant expereince for you. AS well thanks for your comments. Yes, I agree it is a sad state the Church is in and has been in. However, we can't let the mistakes and error of others deter us from doing the right thing ourselves, our relationship is afterall an individual one with Jesus and if "I" follow Him as He calls me, then that is what I am responsible for. However the rest is sad as we are a family and what affects one affects us all. I need to remember this more often when I step out on my own. Thanks Lynda for stopping in and now giving me something to think on. :)Blessings to you Ulrike Grace


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Ulrike Grace: Thanks for the book reporting and the info on the author.

Brother Dave.


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

Hello Dave...you are welcome, I do these things because I am interested, Lewis' biography was amazing to read as was Tolkien's. Knowing what made these men tick gave me a deeper appreciation for their work. Bless you Ulrike Grace


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 6 years ago from Southern Minnesota

I rather enjoyed the soap box. : )

You make excellent points about learning the language of the kingdom and being knowledgeable about the doctrines of our faith.

It is admirable of you at 51 to seek further academic instruction concerning these things.

I have this book but have not read it. I will have to check it out.


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

Tamarajo, Bless you for stopping in and having a read. I'm glad you enjoyed my "soapbox" I try not to ascend those heights too often while writing articles. (smile)

When I attended college I was astounded at how illiterate I actually was! And even how illiterate the *kids* are that have been raised in the Church! And as far as going to college at 51, Tamarajo...it was desperation! Blessings to you Ulrike Grace


rls4immanuel 6 years ago

Ulrike Grace: Another excellent article of encouragment. Men and women such as c.s. Lewis are a gift from God, a vessel of His blessing for all of us as we pilgrim through this life journey our heavenly Father has so richly blessed us with. What a reminder and encouragement that we are not alone and we are to receive and give blessings to the glory of God to our brothers and sisters. Just think, one day we will worship our Lord Jesus in the fellowship of C.S. Lewis and multitudes more who are nameless but to our Lord! Thanks for pointing us to a valuable sign post along the way.


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

I have heard such great things about this book! Would you believe I even purchased it, yet it is sitting on the shelf. So little time, would be nice to make time for more reading? Thanks for the nudge, to get this book out...and actually read it:)


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

Rls, bless you for taking the time and efoort to give this article a read. Oh the thought of the many that we will get to fellowship with in heaven astounds me. Wow, besides Lewis and the likes of him, but Paul, Peter, John. Mary...the list goes on, oh and Enoch! Abraham...but the one I look forward to the most is Jesus! Blessings to you today sir and may God's presence enrich your life with joy. Ulrike Grace


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

Boy do I hear you heart4theword, I have more than my share of those kinds of books as well, so many books so little time and believe me I spend more than my share reading! It was good to hear from you. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoy the book when you do get to read it. When its time God will make the way. Blessings to you, Ulrike Grace


coffeesnob 6 years ago

Ulrike

CS Lewis is quite a thinker - his depth and profundity always amaze me; yet, as you have said he seems to write for the noraml person...


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks coffeesnob for stopping and taking the time to read. It's good to hear from you. I enjoy good aplogetics, he and Ravi Zacharis are two of my favorite but there are others out there I know. Bless you sweet one, and may you snese the Lord in your day in greater and greater measure. Love Ulrike Grace


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 6 years ago from Manila

Excellent and well-written hub. I find this hub interesting and I enjoy the read. I have heard of the man C.S> Lewis a former atheist who turned to Christ. C. S. Lewis is indeed a man of great minds and talents, it is always though-provoking to read his books. Thank you for sharing this great wealth of information. Remain blessed and regards.


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada Author

cristina327, thank you for dropping in and having a read. When thinkers like Lewis embrace the truth of Christ, it is always facsinating to me how God has been grooming them to come to this momentous occasion. As well how He has geared them to be able to explain the deeper things of God to us. They are like our modern day Saint Paul's. Blessings to you, Ulrike Garce


parrster profile image

parrster 5 years ago from Oz

We have come to have even more in common Grace. I was blessed to discover Lewis as a young man (through the Narnia novels) and went on to read much of his works. One of my daughters, on returning from Nepal recently, and witnessing the poverty of orphaned children living on the streets there, has started reading Lewis's The Problem of Pain. He really does do a marvellous job at addressing issues that are still prevalent today. I enjoyed reading this review. God bless


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 5 years ago from Canada Author

I too was introduced to Lewis many years ago...and I thouroughly enjoy his fiction series...however, I find his non-fiction writing are as meat for the soul and do so love to sit down to a meal of his words on a regular basis. Thanks for reading and commenting Parrster...bless you...Ulrike Grace


FaithDream profile image

FaithDream 5 years ago from (Midwest) USA

One of my favorite writers of all time. Mere Christianity was one of the first books I read by him. Thanks for giving us a look into this great author.


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 5 years ago from Canada Author

FaithDream...Lewis is always a good read as well as a growing read...his thoughts and musings cause me to look deeper than just the top of my skin. Praise God for that! Blessings to you...Ulrike Grace


sandy sue profile image

sandy sue 5 years ago

Nice to find others who appreciate the best Christian apologist of our time. Have you ever seen the movie Shadowlands? It is biographical and a real tear-jerker. It is a must see for any C.S.Lewis fan. It will further your appreciation of him.


Maralexa profile image

Maralexa 4 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Thank you for such an inspiring hub! I too like the writings of CS Lewis. You make me want to read the book. I appreciate what you say about new Christians reading this book in a group setting. Getting a good start, a good foundation in the faith can lead a person to growth and a way of being influential to others.

Blessings from a sister. Up, awesome and a new fan!


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 4 years ago from Canada Author

Maralexa , thanks for reading and for your comments...blessings to you as you write...


The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 3 years ago

UlrikeGrace

I can already tell after on read that I will be a happy follower of your hub. I loved the book Mere Christianity have been a Christian since my teens years, I was blessed to dig deeper in my adulthood. This book surprised me in tht it took me months to truly read it as I kept going to the word and learning. I also kept distracting from the thoughts prevoked as I read C. S. Lewis's work. I loved looking through your hubs and am excited to read more. I must head out to a funeral for a friend but I will be back. Thank you for sharing and blessings to you.

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