Mere christianity book review

Mere Christianity is Lewis’ attempt to define and also safeguard the prevalent beliefs among Christians (throughout denominations) to non-Christians. Therefore, mere Christianity refers to the basics that all who profess to be Christians agree. Lewis has 4 topics in this book, which were initially talks provided on the radio. In Publication 1, Lewis suggests for best and also wrong as a clue to the definition of the universe. Book 2 talks about what Christians believe, and also Publication 3 addresses Christian behavior. Finally, Book 4 is about what Lewis calls “first measures in the doctrine of the Trinity.”



In Publication 1, Lewis, speaking to a non-Christian audience, says that man’s feeling of best and wrong (Law of Nature) points to the reality of God. Anyone that says that a conventional of right and also wrong does not exist will certainly complain that “it is not fair” as soon as a promise to him is damaged. Lewis points out that while all people acexpertise that an inescapable standard of appropriate actions exists, yet they break it. To those that object the existence of a moral legislation, he suggests that the incredibly fact that difference exists between concepts of what is “appropriate behavior” only proves that such a conventional exists—or else tbelow is no allude for arguing the differences. Behind the moral regulation is vital in knowledge the universe. Wright here does the sense of appropriate or wrong come from? The two most prevalent views are the materialistic view (evolution), religious see, and also a combination of the two (e.g., theistic evolution). Lewis argues that to prove one or the other is past the capacity and duty of scientific research. Behind the ethical law is someone beyond this material cosmos. The cosmos and the ethical regulation in man’s minds allude to a designer that is interested in best conduct—a “great God”. But God is great, not in the feeling that he is indulgent, soft, or sympathetic; fairly, he is God in the feeling of absolute goodness that disapproves humale greed, trickery, and also exploitation through no exception. If an absolute goodness exists, then it need to hate most of what human beings do. By acknowledging this have the right to the Christian’s message just make sense—the message of repentance and the promise of forgiveness. It is the explanation of how the requirements of God’s moral law, which no one can satisfy, have actually been met on man’s befifty percent with God coming to be man to save mankind from God’s disapproval.

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Publication 2 concentrates on what Christians think, through an evangelistic focus on the Gospel. Lewis points out that the majority of the world think in some sort of deity. Unprefer Pantheism, Christianity distinguishes the Creator from his development just like a painter is not a picture. Responding to the atheistic debate versus the existence of God bereason of the existence of injustice, Lewis asks wbelow did the concept of just and also unjust come from? If the people is unsimply, then tbelow have to be a feeling of justice, or else one would certainly not be able to say “unjust” unmuch less tright here is an concept of what is “just.” On the other hand, the water-dvery own Christianity wright here God is great and also every little thing is all best leaves out the tough realities of enduring, sin, hell, and also redemption. Against dualism, Lewis says that there cannot be two equal powers, which is great and also evil for that decides what is evil and what is good? Lewis suggests that,

The minute you say that, you are putting into the world a third thing in addition to the 2 Powers: some legislation or conventional or preeminence of good which one of the powers conforms to and the various other falls short to concreate to. But because the 2 powers are judged by this standard, then this standard, or the Being who made this conventional, is farther back and higher up than either of them, and He will be the genuine God. In truth, what we supposed by calling them great and poor turns out to be that among them is in a right relation to the genuine ultimate God and the various other in a wrong relation to Him…. Christianity agrees with Dualism that this universe is at war. But it does not think this is a war in between independent powers. It thinks it is a civil battle, a rebellion, and also that we are living in a part of the world lived in by the rebel.

pp. 43, 45

Tright here have to be some law or standard beyond the 2 powers that judges them. Once a standard is inserted, then it is obvious that good relates to God, and wickedness is a pervariation of God’s goodness. Good should exist prior to there can be evil. Wickedness is nothing yet a quest of somepoint excellent in the wrong means. Sin is constantly done because it is either pleasing or beneficial to the one who sinned. Then comes a Jew who said that he has constantly existed, talked as if he was God, and also claimed to forprovide sins. Jesus forgiving people’s sins just makes sense if he was the God whose regulations were damaged. Thus, it is foolish to accept Jesus as an excellent moral teacher, yet not accept him as God. He is either a lunatic, a male that claims to be God, or he is truly God made flesh as he declared to be. For Lewis, the central idea of Christianity is that with Christ’s fatality guy deserve to be made ideal with God. Unfavor various other religions, Christians execute not believe that that trying to be good so God will certainly love us; fairly, God will certainly make us great bereason He loves us (p. 63).

Book 3 is about Christian actions. Lewis says that morality is what keeps mankind from falling apart favor rules for making use of equipments appropriately to proccasion a failure (p. 69). Morality stays clear of human breakdvery own by being pertained to via the harmony between people, harmony inside each individual, and finding the objective of life offered by his Creator (p. 72), which differentiates Christian morality from non-Christian. Regarding social morality, Lewis says that a Christian culture will not arrive unless it is desires, however one cannot learn to love his neighbor unless he learns to love God by obeying him first (p. 87). Regarding morality and psychoevaluation, Lewis distinguishes the two: psychoevaluation is pertained to about the feelings and impulses behind a moral choice, however principles is pertained to around the acts of alternative themselves (pp. 89-91). Morality is about the free option of man—will he put his own benefit initially or will he put it last? Most of the chapters focus on what Lewis’ lists of Christian virtues. The four cardinal virtues are prudence, temperance, justice and also fortitude. Chastity, which Lewis calls “the many unfamous of the Christian virtue,” borders sexual intimacy within marital relationship. Put positively, Christian marriage is the principle from God for a male and wife to be “one flesh” for life. Forgiveness is extended to adversaries also in the conmessage of war, and also battle, though dreadful is sometimes important. What Lewis calls the great is pride, on what he calls “the finish anti-God state of mind” surpassing the vices of unchastity, anger, greed, and drunkenness. He ends this section with discussion on three “theological” virtues: charity, hope, and belief.

Publication 4 is Lewis’ theological treaties. He likens theology to a map towards better understanding Christianity. He begins by affirming that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He explains the Trinity this way: “In God’s dimension…you discover a being that is 3 Persons while continuing to be one Being, just as a cube is six squares while remaining one cube” (p. 162). Lewis, but, acknowledges the obstacle of understanding the concept of the Trinity. He redirects the conversation to being drawn into God. People have a sense that deity exists, then Jesus came and also declared to be God, but he was likewise guy. Those that believed in him developed right into a neighborhood led by God inside them . They finally concerned realize the doctrine of the Trinity. Lewis then talks around God’s connection with time—being outside time (for he created time), yet enters in time. Back to the Trinity, Lewis argues that the statement “God is love” have no definition unless God is at least 2 Persons. Hence, the love within the Godhead has actually been eternal. What God did for guy is to send the 2nd Human being of the Godhead to come to be humale, passed away, and also climbed aget. Lewis challenges his readers to correct this salvation (p. 181). The Son is transdeveloping and also turning us right into little Christ. But followers of Christ must count the cost, yet Christ is not just after one’s advancement, however one’s transformation. He is making his followers new guys.


Mere Christianity is a classic literature for a factor. C. S. Lewis exhibits his ability as a writer by simplifying challenging theological and thoughtful ideas right into understandable and concise bites. Lewis gives several illustrations and analogies that simplify prodiscovered truths. He has actually demonstrated that, contrary to secular reasoning, Christianity is not versus rationale and logic. While human thinking is limited and not the final basis of belief, Christianity is not versus it. Believing the clintends of Christianity, though via belief, is not based on blind belief.

One of the benefits of Mere Christianity is that it challenges the secular mind not to dismiss out on Christianity too soon, however to probe deep into the structure of the ideas of Christianity. Lewis’ timeless occupational is a helpful guide to check out through a non-Christian that struggles in expertise Christianity. Lewis’ debate on the existence of God based on the global concept of morality is advantageous. The universal complaint, “it is not fair,” points to an existence of a ethical standard that transcends culture and also generation. Ultimately, it points to a great God that erected these standards in his cosmos. Lewis is managing ultimate reality principles, such as the visibility of God and God’s production of male. These realities cause significant ramifications around man’s duty before God and also proper feature on God’s universe. With great skill, Lewis redirects these ideas into the heart of the gospel message—the needs of God’s ethical law cannot be met, yet God calls male to repentance with his sell of forgiveness (pp. 30-32). The dilemma of man’s accountability before God and the imopportunity of the meeting the criteria of principles have the right to just find its solution from the claims of Christianity. Lewis is likewise advantageous in confronting, not only the secularist, but additionally the religious guy. Regarding the claims of Jesus, Lewis argues that it is foolishness to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, while denying his deity. Jesus is either God or a lunatic (p. 52). This confronts both the religious human being of Lewis’ day and this particular day.

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The area on Christian morality touches on beneficial conversation in understanding Christianity and its duty in society. Particularly useful is Lewis’ individual suffer as he discusses specific facets of Christian morality. Being a war veteran, Lewis’ therapy on the topic of forgiveness and foroffering the enemy is convicting and heartfelt (pp. 115-120). Being a non-married male during the moment of this composing, his convictions on chastity were constructive. He urges those who have actually fairesulted in ask forgiveness, attempt aobtain, and also depfinish on God (p. 101). Even even more valuable is his caution about making sexual values the facility of Christian principles. He suggests that

A cold, self-righteous prig that goes on a regular basis to church may be much nearer to hell than a prostitute. Of course, it is much better to be neither.

p. 103

A few points, but, I find to be disappointing. Certainly, Lewis’ goal as declared at the start is to administer a writing on the many standard ideas of Christianity that everyone will agree on, regardmuch less of one’s denomicountry. Yet it is disappointing to discover Roguy Catholics to be had here (p. xi). In the first chapter of Publication 2, Lewis argues that other religions are not sindicate wrong all through—they have actually some hint of the truth. This is absolutely true, but such language require caution once embraced into today’s post-modern and also pluralistic culture (maybe not so a lot during Lewis’ context). For sure even the non-spiritual at times have actually some hint of truth, yet is partly true taken into consideration truth? Doesn’t the interpretation of fact need “truth” to be an absolute truth? To be fair, Lewis later states that tbelow is only one best answer, yet some of the wrong answers are nearer than others (p. 35).

Lewis’ debates are advantageous, but only to a particular extent. Some logical disagreements, once taken to its ultimate logical conclusion drops short on representing the biblical truth. Regarding God and also time, Lewis speculates,

In a feeling, does not know your activity till you have done it: yet then the moment at which you have done it is already ‘Now’ for Him.

P. 170

This statement is encouraged by Lewis’ see on totally free will and how that interacts through God’s omniscientific research and also eternality. He though later on admits that such view can be left alone given that “it is not in the Holy bible or any of the creeds” (p. 171).

Anvarious other location wbelow Lewis’ totally free will certainly creates troubles is in the area of sanctification and perseverance. He says that God deserve to make us creatures that have the right to obey his commands if we let him—but we deserve to additionally prevent him, if we choose (p. 205). In this conmessage, he seems to be speaking to those who have currently turned to Christ (p. 204). This leads to among Lewis’ problematic concepts. He argues that tright here are those who “belengthy to Christ without discovering it” (p. 209). He illustrates that

A Buddhist of excellent will may be caused concentprice more and also even more on Buddhist teaching about mercy and to leave in the background (though he can still say he believed) the Buddhist teaching on particular other points.

p. 209

This undermines Lewis’ earlier debate on the need of viewing Christ as the Son of God, or reject him as a lunatic. While the gospel message is consisted of throughout Lewis’ occupational, it is not as clearly presented in such a method that a non-Christian would certainly plainly get what it is.


It seems that the areas I uncover Lewis disappointing is in the discussions wbelow approach takes over clear biblical teaching. Since Lewis’ strategy is based on logic and rationality, its expression of the realities of God and also Christianity will normally be restricted. In the finish, the best way to understand also the basics of Christianity—the mere Christianity—continues to be to be with God’s special revelation, the Bible. Any various other indicates will certainly normally fall short. Yet, maybe, Lewis was attempting to reach out to those that execute not preexpect that the Scriptures is God’s Word, or possibly his confession at the onset that he is no theologian however only a laymale inhibits him from appealing to biblical interpretation to support his disagreements.

In spite of these weaknesses, but, Mere Christianity remains to be a classic job-related that eextremely Christian and non-Christian need to review. Its writing style is engaging, and its disagreements are compelling. Tbelow is no writer choose C. S. Lewis that writes through sharp, logical, imaginative, complex, and concise disagreements. Lewis thinks clearly and writes plainly. Non-Christians need to provide Lewis a hearing once probing into Christianity. Christians have to worth Lewis’ analogies and also beneficial arguments on important worries concerning apologetics, viewpoint, and also principles.