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Mere Christianity Paperback – Deckle Edge, April 21, 2015
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"The first qualification for judging any piece of workmanship from a corkscrew to a cathedral is to know *what* it is - what it was intended to do and how it was meant to be used. After that has been discovered the temperance reformer may decide that the corkscrew was made for a bad purpose, and the communist may think the same about the cathedral. But such questions come later. The first thing is to understand the object before you: as long as you think the corkscrew was meant for opening tins or the cathedral for entertaining tourists you can say nothing to purpose about them."
This is a splendid piece of writing, but the idea presented is no way an original one - Plato and Aristotle said the same, said it clearly, and said it over two thousand years before Lewis did. If you had been able to confront Lewis with this fact, he might have said "Exactly."
This brings us to one of the great themes of Lewis's writing, evident nowhere more so than in "Mere Christianity": the defense of traditional wisdom against prejudice of our age that would reject it for no other reason than that it is traditional. Lewis often encountered those who complained that his ideas were old-fashioned, and his standard reply was that theirs would soon be as well, so in that they were equal. I admit I couldn't help but smile at the complaint by one Amazon reviewer that Lewis's ideas on sexuality were "decades old". The complaint is quite mistaken: the ideas are not decades old but thousands of years old.
And it is here that we have part of the answer to the problem of understanding the kind of thing "Mere Christianity" is: it is nothing new. It is in fact very, very old.Read more ›
'Mere Christianity' is a great introduction to Lewis's way of thinking. Originally a series of radio addresses, this work details why Lewis is a Christian, and presents a case for Christianity that is compelling, to say the least.
'The Screwtape Letters' is my personal favorite. It is fiction, written from the unique point of view of a master devil named Screwtape. The master is trying to teach his nephew how to win souls for the devil through temptation. This one will definitely change the way you look at sin.
'The Problem of Pain.' -- what is pain? Well, Lewis tackles this subject here, and argues that God gives us pain because he loves us, and in order to mold us to his will.
'A Grief Observed' is a very intimate work, written after Lewis's wife died. It is, quite simply, a very honest and unique look at grieving, which shows this master Christian apologist, who seems to always have all the answers, vulnerable and without a solution.
'The Great Divorce' is Lewis's 'Divine Comedy.' This is a great look at Heaven and Hell, and presents the very compelling idea that people will go to Hell, not because they are forced to, but because they simply won't tolerate Heaven.
'Miracles' examines the question "can miracles occur?" For Lewis, the answer is yes, and this book shows how the Creator of Nature and mankind can work miracles without interrupting the 'natural' flow of things.
Buying these books together in a set is a good way to get these six classics at a great price. This is a wonderful starting point for anyone interested in Christian theology. No one interested in Christian thinker should be without these masterpieces by CS Lewis.
In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis leads all the Christian religions to common ground. This book is in fact a defense of the beliefs common to all Christians at all times. Originally, these ideas were contained in three separate books. Prior to 1943 they were only heard as informal radio broadcasts. This is why you will see colloquialisms used and the conversational style of the writing.
When you read C. S. Lewis' work, you can hear his voice. Sometimes I forget I am reading. Like a friend with a cup of coffee in hand, he sits across from us. He then leads us up a ladder of logical thinking. He starts on the lowest step and gives us confidence to climb the next step. He guides us through an incredible thought process to a conclusion, which is perhaps so logical it becomes irrevocable truth.
If you were to fall off a real ladder, your body would simply be obeying the laws of Gravity. He brilliantly explains how there is an eternal Law of Human Nature. This is the law of how mankind "ought" to behave in order to maintain a safe and happy society where everyone plays fair. Unfortunately, we all know how our society has failed to practice this law in all aspects of life.
If you want a definition for this law it can only be "morals." A word from which many reel, as if a light was shining brightly in their eyes. To others: it is a light by which they see the path they walk through life. C. S. Lewis divides morality into three main sections: the actions, reasons behind the actions and why man was created.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The man really knows how to lay down an argument, one brick at a time. He has some terrific thought on religion.Published 1 day ago by Floyd E. Bucher
This is my second time reading and I got much more than my first time through. Well thought out and organized, this ready to read gem is full of sound logic and wonderful examples... Read morePublished 5 days ago by BPrentice
Lovely, lovely, lovely. Get it now and read it. You won't regret a single ounce of it. I promise.Published 5 days ago by Nate Boscaljon
A classic tool for systematically examining the core belief of the Christian religion. Amazingly, it is a book on religion highly useful to someone who does not subscribe to said... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Jono Le Feuvre
Most comprehensive, well-thought out book I have every read...except the Bible. It will speak to you on many levels. Enjoy your time with a man that has heard the Word of God.Published 7 days ago by MidEastMark
We are studying this book in our group. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a perspective of Christianity that is laid out in such a manner that is easily understood... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Diane