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Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
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Mere Christianity (original 1943; edition 2001)

by C. S. Lewis

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Title:Mere Christianity
Authors:C. S. Lewis
Info:HarperOne (2001), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 227 pages
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Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis (1943)

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Showing 1-5 of 124 (next | show all)
Just another tedious christian apologisits book. Mere Christianity is logically weak, filled with antiquated views, and ignorant of some basic social science. Give it a miss. ( )
1 vote bke | Mar 30, 2014 |
Every time I dip into Lewis's books, I am amazed by the clarity of this thought and the everyday analogies he uses to illustrate his points. I particularly enjoy his no-nonsense, common sense attitude in this book. ( )
  nmele | Feb 26, 2014 |
The first time I read this book I thought that it was the best explanation of Christianity that I had ever read. It was written in an easy to understand language using clear and concise illustrations to help people understand the mysteries of the Christian faith. However, as I returned to it and read it a second time I discover that there are a few things that I really do not agree with. As for the writing, I always have and always will believe that C.S. Lewis is an excellent writer, and in fact I have found a lot of his philosophical and theological texts to be written in a very easy to understand language and that he uses simple words to explain some very complex ideas.
The book was originally broadcast as a series of radio shows during World War II. Now, we must remember that Lewis was a World War I veteran, and thanks be to God, managed to survive. By the time World War II rolled around he was too old to join active service, though we note that he is very supportive of the soldiers. In fact, Lewis' writings do not seem to condemn the occupation of a soldier. The reason that I write this is because there are a lot of people out there who do. Lewis' view is that we live in a fallen world, and as distasteful as a duty that a soldier must perform (that is killing people) it is a necessary role in this world.
Now, let us look at some of the aspects I have discovered after reading this book a second time. The first thing is that we can see a lot of Plato in Lewis' writings. Now, that does not mean that he is a Platonist, or even a Neo-platonist, but his study of Plato does tend to show. Now, Lewis is one of those who believe that Socrates, and even Plato, are what are termed pre-Christian Christians. The theory is (and I do not necessarily debunk the theory) is that the writings of the pre-Christian, Gentile philosophers sound so much like a Christian writer that there must be some connection. I do not necessarily disagree, however do not necessarily agree either. The reason is that of the sources that we have of Socrates, that being Plato and Xenophon, do not agree, and further, Plato goes on to use Socrates as a mouth piece for his own philosophy.
Now what is it of Plato that seems to appear in Lewis' writings. That would be the Theory of Forms. The theory goes like this: the world in which we live is merely a shadow of a much more real world. It does not mean that the world in which we live is a dream, it is not, but rather the world is imperfect and decaying. Everything that we see in this world is based upon a perfect form. As my Classics teacher attempted to explain, it is like there being a perfect table, and every table that we see is a shadow, or an inferior copy, of this perfect table. In the same sense Lewis suggests that the world in which we currently live is a shadow of the perfect world which is to come. However, unlike Plato, the world in which we live was originally created perfect, and when creation fell, perfection was lost. So to with us. In our current state we are only a shadow of our perfect self, and as we live through life and learn, we grow towards that perfect self.
Now this leads me on to my next disagreement, and that is the doctrine of purgatory. It is clear from this text that Lewis believes in Purgatory. I don't. The reason that I say this becomes clearer as we get closer to the end where he is writing about how Christ's purpose is to mould us into new people. When we first come to Christ, we are little more than shadows. Our soul (and body) has been corrupted by sin, and there is nothing that we can do to make ourselves better people. He thus indicates that from repentance Christ then begins to heal us and to rebuild us so that we may be presented perfect before God. However, he seems to find difficulty in understanding the period between our death as imperfect humans, and judgement, when we are presented before God as perfect. It seems that he assumes that the in between period, purgatory, is where the final kinks and dents are ironed out.
Look, I don't agree with Lewis on the doctrine of purgatory, but that does not necessarily mean that he is wrong. It is my position that the period between our death and judgement will pass like a twinkling of an eye, but in another sense we will be asleep. It is like when we fall asleep in this world time actually passes differently, so to will it be then. I am doubtful that we will dream like we do in this world, but I do not believe the bible supports a period where all of our remaining flaws are burnt off, rather I believe that when we are presented before God we will be presented in our new body. So then, what are we to do here on this world. Well first, we grow to become more like Christ, secondly we tell people about Christ, and thirdly we help to alleviate the suffering that sin brings into this world.
I will not expand on these points now as there will be plenty of time to do it at a later date, and in anycase, others are likely to, and have likely done it, in my place. As for Lewis' book, I struggle to try and work out for whom it would be best suited. While it is helpful for Christians to try to understand their faith better, I feel that Lewis originally intended it to tell others about Christianity, however the further into the book we go, the deeper the theology becomes. Granted, Lewis is writing in a simple style, but it hardly goes to say that the ideas that he is trying to explain are simple, far from it. However, this is a good book, and if you haven't read it, then do so. ( )
  David.Alfred.Sarkies | Feb 4, 2014 |
What a great talent this man had for explaining Christian theology. His writing is extremely rich but easy to understand, and at the same time original and creative. It's like a juicy, tender piece of meat. Very nourishing. ( )
  krista.rutherford | Jan 3, 2014 |
Even if we do disagree on a few points I really appreciate and enjoy Lewis' playful style of explaining things. ( )
  Zabeth | Dec 9, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 124 (next | show all)
Cotton candy apologetics - engaging and conversational but shallow.
 
I am well aware of Lewis' writing talent and he is clearly an intelligent individual, so I feel unqualified to "critique" Mr. Lewis. However, I would like to comment on why, at least for me, Lewis' arguments for the existence of God are uncompelling.
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lewis, C. S.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gresham, DouglasForewordmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Nylén, AnttiForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Quotations
"You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
"A man who jibbed at authority in other things as some people do in religion would have to be content to know nothing all his life."
"The bad psychological material is not a sin but a disease. It does not need to be repented of, but to be cured... Human beings judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices."
"We must get over wanting to be needed: in some goodish people, specially women, that is the hardest of all temptations to resist."
"How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different are the saints."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The 'Lewis' DVD sets which feature sergeant Lewis,in the British television series,have nothing to do with the author C.S.Lewis.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060652926, Paperback)

In 1943 Great Britain, when hope and the moral fabric of society were threatened by the relentless inhumanity of global war, an Oxford don was invited to give a series of radio lectures addressing the central issues of Christianity. Over half a century after the original lectures, the topic retains it urgency. Expanded into book form, Mere Christianity never flinches as it sets out a rational basis for Christianity and builds an edifice of compassionate morality atop this foundation. As Mr. Lewis clearly demonstrates, Christianity is not a religion of flitting angels and blind faith, but of free will, an innate sense of justice and the grace of God.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:34 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Discusses the essence of Christian faith and the doctrine of the Trinity.

(summary from another edition)

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