Lewis seeks in Mere Christianity to help us see religion with fresh eyes, as a radical faith whose adherents might be likened to an underground group gathering in a war zone, a place where evil seems to have the upper hand, to hear messages of hope from the other side. --Kathleen Norris, from the foreword.
One of the best in the Christian tradition, 'Mere' is a book that will change your perspectives on all things spiritual and eternal. You will away from this book a changed person, regardless of what you went in thinking.
From the back cover: "First broadcast as informal radio "talks" and later published as three separate books, 'The Case for Christianity,' 'Christian Behaviour,' and 'Beyond Personality' are presented together in 'Mere Christianity.' In his remarkably direct and accessible style, the renowned Christian apologist shows how the power of Christianity manifests itself - not in any single denomination but as 'mere' Christianity, a total force. For Lewis sets out to prove only that 'in the center of each there is something, or a Someone, who against all divergencies of belief, all differences of temperament, all memories of mutual persecution, speaks with the same voice."
I read this book about a decade ago for college, but remember very little about it. What I do know is, C.S. Lewis knew how to write well and presented his subject matter in an interesting way, lending his unique voice to any topic he tackled.
This book reads as a persuasive argument for Christianity. I ususally have no interest in this genre of book, but Lewis presents his argument and evidence in such an interesting, well-though out manner I could not stop reading. His points are so articulate and thought provoking that I think this would be an equally interesting read for Christian and non-Christian alike.
This book was originally written in 1943, yet C.S. Lewis is still one of the most famous & popular Christian theologians of all time. He is famous for his special gift of being able to convert people to Christianity by appealing to their intellect. He also was noted for the way he could speak to "everyman," even though he was a Cambridge professor.
"The real test of being in the presence of God is, that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether."
This a passage from a random chapter I selected. I can tell from this random reading that this book is refreshing, invigorating and a source of wisdom. I read a passage like the one above and ask myself, "How can CS Lewis, an upper-middle class Englishman, a literatus who chaired the English department in the second oldest and prestigious institution of higher education in the world have this kind of insight? Can a man of Lewis' social stature be a teacher of humility?" It makes me wonder about my own personal pride. In short, I highly recommend this book.
An intellectual's approach to Christianity. Lewis begins not with Christianity but with a logical stance that a non-Christian intellectual might have. Unlike many writers who take such an approach, Lewis takes this hypothetical interlocutor seriously. Part of the reason is because this is where Lewis himself stood before joining the church. From there he presents a series of simple statements that eventually build to a logical and solid series of conclusions. Mere aims to educate but beyond that to convince the outsider to join the Christian family.
Everything about the book is logically tight. Elegant. But the real wonderful thing about the Lewis' writing is that it is elegant without it being obtruse. The writing is logically sound but not so abstract as to confuse its audience. The writing is simple. The title reflects Lewis' goal of presenting Christianity at its most basic, wherein all denominations agree. The book however does veer into areas where controversy exists. That's unavoidable. After all Mere aims to presents the tenets that hold all Christians together, but in addressing some of the subtler points in these tenets Lewis inevitably relies on his own understanding to reach a point of clear understanding.
One point that did not sit well with me is the idea that we can and should separate our Christian and civic duties. He uses the example of the Christian government lawmaker. Now according to Lewis this lawmaker should keep his personal beliefs as separate as possible from his civic duties, and his vote should aim at some kind of common ground. That I believe is impossible. His idea of the Christian society sounded odd to me, partially because it reflects Lewis' own thoughts on the matter but also odd because to him this ideal is self-evident. Well, it wasn't so with me. All in all, I say this is a wonderful book.
Well written, and easy to understand, it was serious without being heavy or dull. Lewis had a great sense of humor, and a knack for explaining things with neat little analogies. A very quoteable sort of fellow, too. Whether you're looking for the meaning of Christianity, a little encouragement and guidance, or simply an enjoyable non-fiction read, Mere Christianity comes highly recommended by me. ;-)
This C.S. Lewis work is transformative! I loved reading it for the second time. Though there are some philosophical weak points, Lewis's arguments are very sound.
I am a church-going Christian, but even if I were an Agnostic, this book would touch my heart.
Although I don't agree with everything in the book, Mere Christianity is an excellent read to challenge the mind and give excellent insight into various aspects of the faith. Even my 14 year old really enjoyed our daily reading of it and was disappointed when we finished the book.
This book is great! It was my first exposure to Lewis writings and I have enjoyed many other books of his since then. If you want to give it as a gift to someone who wants to know more about the Christian faith this is an excellent choice.
CS Lewis encourages a person to look and feel beyond our human body. His writings teach a person to be involved with God, to experience his ways, his expectations and to find their own way in life here on earth and beyond. This book opens your heart and mind and gives a person insight on Christianity and faith.