Mere Christianity is a classic Christian apologetic based on a series of talks C. S. Lewis gave on BBC radio from 1941-1944 while Great Britain was embroiled in World War II. Lewis uses logic and approachable language to convey theological concepts common to all Christian religions (rather than focusing on theological differences).
I read Mere Christianity as part of the 2020 Thoughtful Reading Challenge. December’s challenge was to read a book with a religious theme, and Mere Christianity certainly fits this category.
The book is organized by subjects:
- The law of human nature in regards to right and wrong
- What Christians believe
- Christian behavior
- Beyond personality
I would feel silly reviewing such a classic – plus I don’t think I could do it justice – so instead I’ll share some observations.
- This is a book that requires your full attention. Lewis uses logic to make his case for the existence of God as well as basic Christian beliefs. In the early chapters, I sometimes felt like I was reading a philosophy text book and when my mind wandered I’d have to re-read the passage.
- The book has short chapters, each based on one of his radio addresses, which makes the information very digestible.
- S. Lewis converted to Christianity and really thought about and analyzed Christianity before his conversion. He referred several times to when he was an atheist and tried to argue against Christian beliefs but found his own arguments lacking. I thought that was an interesting perspective.
- A Christian apologetic written by a brilliant fantasy writer is a unique thing. Although Lewis used a lot of logic, he also used imaginative analogies to effectively illustrate his points to his less brilliant readers (like me!).
- For some reason I assumed Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia prior to his radio addresses, but The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe wasn’t published until 1950. If you’re interested, here’s a brief timeline of his life, including when his books were published.
- For me, personally, this is a “good for you” kind of book, similar how vegetables are good for you. And like vegetables, this might not have been my first choice of books to read but I found myself enjoying Mere Christianity more than I expected. It’s good to enter the new year having exercised my brain and thought about my faith.
How about you? Did you read a book with a religious theme this month? Tell us all about it!
Happy new year!
And don’t forget about the 2021 Thoughtful Reading Challenge. January’s challenge is to read a book published the year you started first grade. Can’t wait to see what everyone chooses!