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Mere Christianity

by C. S. Lewis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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26,181218118 (4.26)1 / 234
In the classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, the most important writer of the 20th century, explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together. Bringing together Lewis' legendary broadcast talks during World War Two from his three previous books The Case for Christianity, Christian Behavior, and Beyond Personality, Mere Christianity provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear this powerful apologetic for the Christian faith.… (more)
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 Friends of Jack (C.S. Lewis): Mere Christianity1 unread / 1eschator83, January 2017

» See also 234 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
Well meaning and interesting refreshed presentation of christian thinking. Also a bit simplistic, and distant from the problems of contemporary Christianity. I would recommend it because it does create a vivid picture of a certain value system that has shaped the “western” world post WW2.
( )
  yates9 | Feb 28, 2024 |
We read this book as a small group, doing a few chapters at a time and discussing them together. It's led to some great, helpful and deep discussions.

As the book progressed, I started to find his style a little tiresome. Reading the book over six or months may have had a part in that. Some of the analogies are excellent, others are not, but most are helpful.

A good book to go through some of the basics of Christianity, though I think the book is incomplete on its own (people or other resources work well to fill in gaps). It is essential to remember the post-WWII context of the book. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Dec 24, 2023 |
very personal account of his becoming a believer ( )
  betty_s | Nov 28, 2023 |
My least favorite kind of spirituality book. The author has an existing religious belief, and then tries to rationally justify it with reason. But his arguments are flawed and easily dispensed with. I would much rather read a memoir about his journey to faith, than an attempt to rationalize that which is basically irrational. If faith is belief without evidence, one should not try to logically prove the foundations of one’s faith. ( )
  rumbledethumps | Nov 25, 2023 |
Some good contained here, many helpful illustrations, especially regarding the existence of God and moral law. Lewis also has several questionable beliefs, though, such as the idea that salvation (rather than sanctification) is a slow process. He states that there's no such thing as being 100% Christian or non-Christian, that everyone is essentially along some continuum.

Some repetition, as he gives many examples for every point he makes. The first few times, I didn't mind, but my patience began to wear as the book went on.

If someone is just looking for the basic tenets of Christianity, I think reading the Nicene creed, Westminster Catechism, or something along those lines would be more accurate and to-the-point, even if they do make for dry reading. ( )
  RachelRachelRachel | Nov 21, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
Mere Christianity is full of memorable and powerful revelations that elucidate the foundations of Christian theology, our relationship to God, and the meaning of life. Only C.S. Lewis could summarize such broad concepts so eloquently without coming across as overly-religious or preachy. His extraordinary ability to focus on the core tenets of Christianity and explain them with remarkable ease reinforces the wide appeal of his writings.

Regarding man's relationship with and need for God:

God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just not good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

Regarding true happiness and freedom:

The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free.

On pursuing truth and finding comfort in our lives:

In religion, as in war and everything else, comfort is one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth -- only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.

In a world that is often hostile to religion, particularly the Christian faith, Mere Christianity stands as a testament to truth, love, faith, and the value of human life; its enduring and inspiring message shines like a beacon, guiding and helping all those who have eyes to see and ears to listen.
 
Mere Christianity is a long walk, through which Lewis holds your hand the entire time. It isn’t so much long in size (my copy is 191 pages) as it is in attention to detail. Lewis begins with human nature, the law, the ability to discern between right and wrong, and step-by-step, slowly but surely, comes to understand Christianity and God manifested all the way down to, by the end of the book, our daily lives and our every moments...Lewis does more than just “prove” Christianity, if you will. In establishing the Christian God as the only reasonable solution to, you know, everything going on in the universe ever, Lewis provides and expounds upon a context through which things like forgiveness, sexual morality, charity, hope, and faith can all be understood more fully in their role in the church.
 
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.
 
Cotton candy apologetics - engaging and conversational but shallow.
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lewis, C. S.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gresham, DouglasForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Liljeqvist, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Norris, KathleenForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nylén, AnttiForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rhind-Tutt, JulianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Every one has heard people quarrelling.
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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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In the classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, the most important writer of the 20th century, explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together. Bringing together Lewis' legendary broadcast talks during World War Two from his three previous books The Case for Christianity, Christian Behavior, and Beyond Personality, Mere Christianity provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear this powerful apologetic for the Christian faith.

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