MERE CHRISTIANITY (HarperSanFrancisco, Reprint Edition 2009 (1952))

A Christian society is not going to arrive until most of us really want it: and we are not going to want it until we become fully Christian. I may repeat ‘Do as you would be done by’ till I am black in the face, but I cannot really carry it out till I love my neighbour as myself: and I cannot learn to love my neighbour as myself till I learn to love God: and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him.

Reading Mere Christianity is like sifting the wheat from the chaff. C. S. Lewis presents the essentials of Christianity and brushes aside other categories. With a deft stroke, he paints the the picture of what it means to be Christian. Lewis gave this content in a three-part series of radio talks that he’d been asked to do, with a skeptical audience in mind.      Lewis used logic and concrete concepts to present what Christianity really is and claims to be, as seen in: The Case for Christianity; Christian Behavior, Beyond Personality, which comprised the original three talks, and which unfolded ‘what Christianity is not’ and ‘what Christianity is’ for the interested and curious person.

Some of the content could seem outdated with present day societal mores and flexing views where lines are blurry. But Lewis calls a spade a spade. He doesn’t duck on hard issues, like morality. Lewis builds the theme, chapter by chapter, until the reader has a general understanding of the meaning behind Christian faith and how it is lived. He uses a fair-minded approach and intentionally chooses to not emphasize one mainline viewpoint–Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox–over another.     I am a fan of C. S. Lewis’s writings. His books read like he is talking to you, like a teacher to a student, a friend with a friend, which makes him fairly easy to follow; but one must engage in what he is saying in order to be impacted by its big picture ideas. Mere Christianity will cause you to think–and that’s a good thing.

I have read Mere Christianity several times and am reading it again. His approach helps keep me sharp as I rethink what needs thinking about.

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