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Mere Christianity [Deckle Edge] [Paperback]

C. S. Lewis
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 25 2001 C.S. Lewis Signature Classics
A forceful and accessible discussion of Christian belief that has become one of the most popular introductions to Christianity and one of the most popular of Lewis’s books. Uncovers common ground upon which all Christians can stand together.

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From Library Journal

The late Lewis, Oxford professor, scholar, author, and Christian apologist, presents the listener with a case for orthodox Christianity. This is definitely not the shouting, stomping, sweating, spitting televangelist fare so often parodied; Lewis employs logical arguments that are eloquently expressed. He describes those doctrines that the four major denominations in Britain (Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic) would have in common, e.g., original sin, the transcendent Creator God, and the divinity of Jesus as well as his atonement and bodily resurrection. Geoffrey Howard reads both works, and his performance is superb; he is clear and unhurried, giving just the right emphasis and/or inflection. The volume on the Blackstone edition is recorded at a higher level than HarperAudio's. Otherwise there were no perceived differences in the recordings. If your institution can afford it, the Blackstone production would be preferred because of its sturdy case and the announcement of side changes. Whether or not one agrees with Lewis's arguments, it is a pleasure to hear such a skillful reading of an eloquent work. Public libraries as well as institutions that teach religion/theology or speech should consider. Michael T. Fein, Central Virginia Community Coll., Lynchburg
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.


"C.S. Lewis is the ideal persuader for the half-convinced, for the good man who...finds his intellect getting in the way." -- Anthony Burgess, New York Times Book Review

"I read Lewis for comfort and pleasure many years ago, and a glance into the books revives my old admiration." -- John Updike

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Good July 16 2004
This book was not written in an attempt to convince the staunch non-believer. It was written for those who believe and those who doubt their non-belief. I felt that his opening chapters regarding the moral argument presented a strong point in a weak way.
Lewis used very little scripture in this book, but I do not see that as a weakness. If Christ genuinely is the Word, then his message should make perfect sense even apart from the written word.
One of the things Lewis demonstrated very well was the fact that if you look at man's dilemma as being fallen, and consider how he came to be in this dilemma, then the solution that Christianity offers makes perfect sense.
The concept of the trinity is also covered very well.
Finally, the chapter on God and Time sheds light on a few misconceptions about God's nature, and introduces a number of different ways of thinking about time that make it easier to see how God can hear everyone's prayers, or how the fact that God knows my future doesn't mean that I have no choice over the matter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written June 8 2004
By Richard
Lewis was a master of language. This book is written in a style that is both easy to read and beautifully constructed. He was Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge, and his works are widely recognised as masterpieces of literature.
In the book, his description and characterisation of mainstream Christianity is thorough. He covers the faith at a basic level, but it is more comprehensive and comprehensible than most non-Christians and even many Christians have ever heard before. This book taught me a lot about mainstream Christianity, not in a dogmatic sense, but in a spiritual sense. Too many authors rely on discussion of theology and dogma; Lewis covers the spiritual, and this is what sets his book apart.
His coverage of the faith is non-denominational, and he deals with the subject in a frank, conversational manner. It is an extremely easy read, but at the same time both interesting and involving.
With that said, many of his arguments lack force. While his apologetics make use of many good analogies, his logic will be unconvincing to most non-believers.
On a side note, Lewis died on the same day as Aldous Huxley and JFK. Funny how life works!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving and thought-provoking July 19 2006
Format:Audio Cassette
In the foreword it is explained that this book is not one of philosophical musings but a work of oral literature addressed to a people at war. It was originally broadcast by the BBC from 1942 to 1944, hence the gripping metaphors like the image of the earth as enemy-occupied territory. Mere Christianity is a book of plain but moving language.

In Book One: Right and Wrong As a Clue To the Meaning Of The Universe, Lewis looks at the law of human nature (inherent knowledge of right and wrong), certain objections, the reality of the law and that which lies behind the law. Here he discusses the materialist, the life-force and the religious views of life.

Book Two is a discussion on what Christians believe, in terms of the aforementioned occupied territory, a coming invasion, the penitent, and the practical conclusion. This section also deals with pantheism, dualism, free will, the divinity of Christ and God's intentions with the world.

Book Three investigates Christian behaviour, in terms of the cardinal virtues, social and personal morality, morality and psychology, marriage, forgiveness, the great sin (narcissistic pride; in this regard, please also read People Of The Lie by M Scott Peck), and what charity, hope and faith really mean.

Book 4 is a captivating explanation of the doctrine of the trinity. I found this part very interesting and sometimes deeply moving. Lewis speculates on the nature of time, the nature of man and the nature of God, as the Father the source, the Son an emanation of the source and the Holy Spirit as the spirit of love between Father and Son. Lewis explains what he thinks is the process whereby the individual receives a higher nature.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
There is the story told of a teacher instructing a martial arts class. 2 of the class mates are squaring off. The one boy doesn't have the training as the other does, although he's giving it everything he has. He's pretty much throwing every bit of technique at the advanced student as he can, and yet he still continues to get beat. The teacher finally pulls the less of the 2 students off to the the sides and says, "I know that you are as tough as nails. I know what you know. Perhaps if you went back to the basics, it might not be so difficult." The boys line up and square off. They circle each other. The lesser student finds his opening, BOOM!!! The other kid is sprawled out on the mat.
C.S. Lewis takes us through the basic points, and BOOM!! He floors us with what we thought was just going to be, "Mere Christianity." He wrote this back in the 1940's, yet he used a language that we can all understand, yet you have to take the time to comprehend what he's saying. I looked at this as a complex book on simple issues, and it constantly hit me between the eyes! There are places where you see God in a whole new light. It is like you've never seen it in such a perspective, yet now you find yourself amazed. His illustrations are very simple, yet sometimes you might want to read it again to get the full understanding of what he is saying. Then read it again, and smile, and praise God for this wonderful work! People have labeled this as "The most important book next to the Word of God." It just might be. And it is just the beginning.
C.S. Lewis used to be an atheist, and when he gave his talent to God, he became one of the most influencial writers that Christianity has ever seen! Folks, this is what happens when people might say, "God can't use that.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
Great book, a must read for skeptical minds regarding the bible, and the message contained within. Quite different than how contemporary society views Christianity, and quite... Read more
Published 1 month ago by kevin lefebvre
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great Book.. Thanks
Published 1 month ago by Daniel
5.0 out of 5 stars I have never found any better ones.
CSL put forth very well thought out arguments and explanations, I have never found any better ones.
Published 2 months ago by William A. Bolduc
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An all time great!
Published 2 months ago by Dr. I. F. Jagas
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ
Lewis presents the story of the Christianity in simple and understandable terms. He provides an opportunity for believers and non-believers to read of a strong case for the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by HRM039
5.0 out of 5 stars challenging
This book by C.S. Lewis is well written, calling us to examine ourselves, our faith and the way we live our lives as Christians. Read more
Published 3 months ago by George Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good.
I was totally taken up by this book. Great knowledge and insight. This should be a must read for every believers after the Bible. Easily understood and most valued. Thanks.
Published 6 months ago by Gary Hill
4.0 out of 5 stars Open Your Mind !
Mere Christianity

Some will want more detailed and for some, more intellectually stimulating thoughts about God and Christianity BUT if you want to open your mind and... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Paul A. Laughlin
5.0 out of 5 stars An Intriguing Jewel for Non-Believers and Believers Alike
I recommend this book by CS Lewis for absolutely any adult and teenager. It's one of the few books I've read every chance I got. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Juliana Mullen
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